Global interest in space exploration and the new space industry is growing. Earth & Beyond Ventures, a new Israeli early-stage venture fund, is capitalising on this by raising $125M to invest in the country’s developing commercial space ecosystem, with an emphasis on aerospace and satellite engineering startups.
The new fund announced that it had received commitments from a number of investors, including international manufacturer and NASA supplier Corning Inc., Japanese electronics behemoth Kyocera Corp, producer of electronic connectivity components Samtec, Inc., and Israeli satellite communication services and solutions provider Spacecom. The Israel Innovation Authority also supports the group.
Daniel Recanati, founder of private investment firm Rhodium; Doron Zauer, founder of investment advice firm Initium; Dr. Israel Biran; and Ofer Asif from Spacecom are among the fund’s co-founders and general partners.
The fund intends to invest $500,000 to $2M in local seed and pre-seed stage firms working on semiconductors, robotics, novel materials, sensors, smart farms, quantum computing, solar power, cybersecurity, and alternative proteins.
“Israel’s achievements in the development of innovative technologies are world-renowned, but many don’t realize that Israel was one of the first countries to design, build and launch its own satellite, a feat which requires tremendous cross-disciplinary expertise and know-how. Together with our investors and partners in the ecosystem, our job at Earth & Beyond Ventures is to identify and support the deep technologies and ideas that can become powerful applications not just here on earth, but in space as well,” said Earth & Beyond Ventures CEO Baruch Schori.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Earth & Beyond Ventures to explore new business opportunities together in the Israeli space tech market, which we consider having high future growth potential. Kyocera Group has contributed to spacetech through a wide range of products, and I am looking forward to seeing many more contributions coming from this strategic investment in Israel and in Earth & Beyond Ventures,” said Koichi Kano, Director & Managing Executive Officer, Kyocera Corporation.
Israel already has a number of interesting space tech businesses, like Helios, which is researching technologies to produce the oxygen needed for fuel from lunar soil, and Ramon.Space, which is developing supercomputing systems for the space sector.
According to a McKinsey report published by Earth & Beyond, the total yearly investment in the commercial space industry increased from $300M in 2012 to more than $10B in 2021. The Space 2.0 market may generate more than $1T in income by 2040, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the fund claimed.
Former Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) CEO Yossi Weiss, The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Space Research Institute head Prof. Ehud Bachar, and former science minister Yizhar Shay serve on Earth & Beyond’s advisory board.
In addition to its investment objectives, Earth & Beyond Ventures is collaborating with worldwide and local strategic partners to strengthen the Israeli space-technology ecosystem through its mentor and professional adviser network, according to the fund.