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Space Venture Europe 2023: Investment in the European and Global Space Sector

Space Venture Europe is ESPI’s annual report on private investment in the space sector, focusing on investment data for global, European, Chinese, and African markets. 

In Europe, the space sector raised €942 million, representing a 7% decrease in investment in 2023. The report highlights a pivotal phase in Europe’s investment cycle, detailing how 2022 and 2023 accounted for over half of all investments since 2014, at almost €2 billion, and scenarios going forward, in comparison with dynamics found outside of Europe, especially in the US. 

Globally, the sector experienced a 32% decline in total investments in 2023, amounting to a total of €6 billion. Although the US is by far the region attracting the most investment, it is also the one driving the downturn trend. There are multiple reasons for the drop in investment:

  1. The Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) phenomenon, which reached its pinnacle in 2021 helping raise almost €3B, has largely subsided since then;
  2. Large acquisitions, which greatly boosted investment volume in 2022, have also not taken place in 2023; and
  3. Venture capital, the backbone of the NewSpace fundraising ecosystem, has decreased considerably, reaching the lowest level since 2021 at €3.8 billion. 

This year’s edition once again opens new horizons, with an expanded special focus on China and a new special focus on Africa. China’s space sector has seen remarkable growth in investment, with approximately €7.5 billion raised by more than 150 companies since 2014. Moreover, almost 75% was raised by just a handful of companies: Galactic Energy, CAS Space, Orienspace, MinoSpace, ADA Space, and Emposat, totaling 8 of the 30 funding rounds. Regarding Africa, since 2015 space startups raised around 184 million, 84% of which was raised since 2021. 

ESPI’s Space Venture Europe report equips public and private actors alike, and policymakers in particular, with an opportunity to strengthen Europe’s space sector and ensure its continued growth and success in the years to come. 

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