These are the next big catalysts for the space industry

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Space Capital founder and managing partner Chad Anderson joins Catalysts to give insight into the next big catalysts for the space industry.

“Today there’s a new world order with the US and China collectively accounting for 80% of orbital launches and 75% of total funding over the last ten years, but due to geopolitical tensions, we actually know very little about each other, and so…we took this opportunity to take a peek over the wall and look at what’s going on there, there is a lot of innovation happening…[China[ has become a leader in the last two years,” Anderson tells Yahoo Finance.

Catch up on Yahoo Finance’s special coverage as part of this week’s Space Race: Investing in the Final Frontier series.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Catalysts.

This post was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video Transcript

The space sector experiencing massive growth in investment activity over the course of the past decade.

Just last year alone, private investors pumped $12.5 billion into space companies with 39 M and A deals in the sector.

It was called the year of consolidation in space capital’s latest report.

That trend seems to be continuing after investors raised $6.5 billion in Q one of 2024.

So what’s the next big house that can fuel the space race to new heights here to weigh in as a part of Yahoo Finance Space Race Week.

We’ve got Chad Anderson Space Capital founder and managing partner as well as author of the Space Economy.

Thanks so much for being here with us this morning.

I appreciate it.

So I want to get your take on that exact question, Chad, what is the next big catalyst for space investment given that we’ve already seen so much capital heading into this space?

Yeah, sure.

I mean, um A I is clearly um the darling of the industry, it’s kind of um uh two worlds at the moment and two perspectives.

You know, there’s kind of the economy and then there’s um uh A I and everything else and um it’s no different in space, you know, recent advancements in A I are enhancing capabilities across the space economy.

Um We have, you know, it’s getting involved in everything from satellite design to operations and network management.

Um uh Planet recently incorporated NVIDIA chips onto its satellites to help with onboard processing.

And at the same time, synthetic data has become an essential tool for um uh the advancement of A I and ML and given the uh massive data sets uh that are coming off of earth imaging satellites.

Geospatial Intelligence is one of the largest initial markets.

Um and organizations are leveraging this technology um for A I training and validation.

And in our recent Space Capital summit in New York City last month A I was one of the key trends and one of several important catalysts in the space economy going forward.

We had a panel with rendered A I which is a leading synthetic data platform uh company and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency which just um is one of the big five US intelligence agencies and shows um how interested the US government, the Department of Defense and the intelligence agencies are in this technology.

Let’s talk about the US government’s interest in space technology because you know that 80% of the kind of total accounting for space involves the US and China when it comes to total orbital launches I should say in the year 2023 what do we know about the kind of space race between the US and China and to what extent the US is ahead in that race?

Yeah.

So this was another topic that we covered in our summit.

Um you know, just five years ago, Russia and Europe dominated access to orbit and today there’s a new world order with the US and China collectively accounting for 80% of, of orbital launches and 75% of total funding over the last 10 years.

Um You know, but due to geopolitical tensions, we actually know very little about each other.

Um And so this is one of the, you know, we took this opportunity to take a peek over the wall and look at what’s going on there.

Um There is a lot of innovation happening.

They’ve quickly, they have not really been a leader on the global stage when it comes to space, but they have become um a leader over the last few years.

Um They have a spacecraft that is um bringing samples from the far side of the moon, no country has ever done this and they’re, they’re doing that right now.

Um They are a leader um in terms of launch activity.

Um and there’s a lot of investment going into a lot of satellite capabilities.

Um And so the US and China are um are the leaders in, in space at the moment.

There’s a lot of investment into uh uh these uh defensive capabilities, the quest for the ultimate high ground um establishing a base on the moon.

Um and everything in between.

And so defense dollars have actually been um a key catalyst for a number of companies uh across the space economy over the last couple of years when it’s been difficult to um access enterprise dollars.

Um uh when a lot of companies are laying off staff and are reducing costs, the government has leaned in and has been spending more so across our portfolio and across the space economy at large, we’ve actually seen uh record revenues for many of the companies.

All right, we’re gonna have to leave it there.

Chad, really appreciate you joining us on all the space.

Thank you so much.

That was Chad Anderson.

He’s pace capital’s founding and managing partner.

Really appreciate it.

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