The world’s first venture capital fund to focus on the space industry is gearing up for a rocket-powered launch on the London stock market as record levels of funding are poured into the sector.
Sky News has learned that a branch of Seraphim Capital is working with bankers on plans to sell shares that could bring in around £ 250million.
Sources in the city said on Friday that Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are working with Seraphim on its initial public offering (IPO), details of which could be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Seraphim has a portfolio of nearly 20 companies, with current holdings including a stake in Arqit, a UK-based quantum crypto company that last month announced a $ 1.4 billion merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition (SPAC) listed in New York.
Other companies in the portfolio include PlanetWatchers, a provider of satellite data analysis; Altitude Angel, a next-generation cloud services builder; and AST, which claims to be the only spatial broadband cellular network accessible to conventional smartphones.
At least three of the companies backed by Seraphim’s space fund have become “unicorns,” meaning they have reached valuations of at least $ 1 billion.
The fund was founded in 2016 by Mark Boggett, its managing director, alongside James Bruegger and Rob Desborough.
One investor said the timing for its IPO was right due to the growing level of interest in supporting space technology companies.
Sky News revealed last month that Relativity Space was set to close a multi-million-pound funding round, while the UK government showed interest in the industry by investing in OneWeb, the satellite group in low earth orbit.
Seraphim’s first backers included the British Business Bank, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the European Space Agency.
A spokeswoman for Seraphim Capital declined to comment.