Space exploration is accessible only to the elite but will prosper if the average person is given a chance to innovate here. As we open up opportunities to contribute and invest in aerospace technology, the pursuit of space will accelerate.
- Since 2004, 862 space companies have received a combined $135.2B of investments, with more than 75% of that dollar figure coming in the last 6 years (Space Capital)
- The Boeing Market Outlook projects $2.5 trillion of defense and space opportunities during the next decade (Boeing)
- Space startups raised $5.7 billion in financing in 2019 – 70% of that went to Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic (Axios)
- Since 2009, early-stage deals (Seed + Series A) have accounted for 69% of total deals in space infrastructure companies (Space Capital)
- In Q1 & Q2 2020, a total of $12.1B was invested in space companies, with $303M of that being allocated to early-stage investments (Space Capital)
- On Wall Street, the focus is on creating an orbital infrastructure that will serve as a foundation for the next century of space-based technologies.
- On Main Street, space enthusiasts will create services and products that elevate the collective knowledge and trajectory of this industry.
- On Side Street, we’ll see the bizarre and audacious attempts to commoditize this industry.
On Wall Street
Investing in space-based technologies is not always about building the biggest rocket and going the furthest in space. Space infrastructure brought us GPS. Without GPS, we don’t have Uber, Waze, Pokémon Go, etc.
Investing in Space is investing in the infrastructure for consumer businesses a decade from now. SpaceX and now Blue Origin are putting satellites into space in order for our land-based businesses to evolve.
Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit, working in combination with ground transceivers. Where will the whole-Earth Internet take us? What businesses will be built upon this unprecedented access to the Internet?
AST & Science needs this space infrastructure in order to create the first and only space-based cellular broadband network to be accessible by standard smartphones. Called SpaceMobile, this ultra-powerful network will provide connectivity at 4G/5G speeds everywhere on the planet – on land, at sea, and in flight. How will life change when we have perfect cell service on the top of Mount Everest?
Likewise, space infrastructure gives rise to companies like Picterra, who have created a platform where anyone can access and train their own AI to detect objects and patterns on satellite and aerial imagery. Quite literally, an agriculture company could use Picterra to count the number of free-range cattle on a neighboring farm. Outstanding!
Investing in Space on Wall Street
Wall Street benefits from space-based technologies two-fold. The creation of space infrastructure becomes a rentable service. This infrastructure then elevates their investments down here on Earth.
Wall-Street-Worthy Business Ideas:
- Satellite Imaging Companies – Capture large quantities of Earth images in order to pinpoint trends and deliver value to businesses (Planet Labs, Picterra, SkyWatch)
- Satellite-Based Connectivity – Using satellites to enhance broadband (AST & Science, Starlink, Astranis)
- Space Transportation and Launching Services – Launches sub-orbital balloons and rockets (Blue Origin, SpaceX, ABL Space Systems, many more)
- IoT Nanosatellites – Monitor and track IoT assets from afar (Totum, Kinéis, Skylo)
- GPS-Based Consumer Businesses – Applications built on the backbone of knowing where a node is on Earth (gojek, Bounce, Bird Rides, Uber, Placer.ai, etc…)
- Space Debris Management – Services for navigating space debris (LeoLabs, Astroscale, Obruta)
- Asteroid Mining – Collecting precious metals and resources from space rocks (Asterank, Deep Space Industries, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Mars One, Bigelow Aerospace, Aten Engineering, TransAstra Corporation, Asteroid Mining Corporation)
On Main Street
Finding a crash course on the current state of space companies is difficult. You could spend hours learning terminology and scouring Google for companies. Fortunately, Space Bandits does all of that for you.
Sarwech Shar is not an astronaut. He’s not an astrophysicist. He’s simply a guy who likes space and wants to interview the people creating space technologies. And he’s compiled all of his research in a convenient space startup database called Space Bandits. NASA doesn’t pay him to do this. He does it for the love of space. His labor of love will make it easy on a teen scouring the web to learn about all the companies and wide-reach of space startups.
This is the role that Main Street plays in Investing in Space.
Largely, we’ll see Main Street play a supporting role in space development by elevating the knowledge and interest in space exploration and business. Main Street will play a big role in inspiration and education.
Very simply, Main Street is filled with space enthusiasts that want to inspire other space enthusiasts.
Investing in Space on Main Street
Main Street won’t put satellites into space, but they will inspire the kid who grows up and creates an orbital distribution company.
Main-Street-Worthy Business Ideas:
- Space Camp for Adult Entrepreneurs – Teach entrepreneurs about present space opportunities and what is possible for them to build
- Space Camp for Kids – Inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers (Club for the Future)
- Digital Space Tourism – Low-cost ways for people to experience and tour the cosmos (SpaceVR, SpaceTV)
- Space Progress Tracking – Creating resources for enthusiasts to watch the progress and players in the space industry (Space Bandits)
On Side Street
Matty Roberts jokingly created a Facebook Event in June 2019 called “Storm Area 51, They can’t stop all of us.” The idea went viral, spurring countless memes, and nearly 2 million digital commitments to storming the secret Nevada Air Force base.
Although the joke lost steam running up to the event and only 150 people showed up, two concerts were created around the event. Countless merchandise was sold. Bud Light even created a special edition that can in light of the event.
Investing in Space on Side Street
This is where Side Street will operate with regard to investing in space for the time being. Side Street will find quirky ways to commoditize space exploration.
Side-Street-Worthy Business Ideas: