THE ESA Investor Network supporting space startups: The story of SPAICE

THE ESA Investor Network supporting space startups – the story of SPAICE

THE ESA Investor Network supporting space startups – the story of SPAICE For the European space industry, maintaining strong investor relationships is essential for expansion, establishing connections and recommendations. Community building, credibility, knowledge exchange, and effective communication are crucial, particularly in an industry where word-of-mouth plays a significant role in attracting capital. To address this need, the European Space Agency (ESA) established the ESA Investor Network, facilitating connections among startups, investors, and ESA programmes. The network now comprises more than 50 members, ranging from Venture Capital funds to banks, including institutional and corporate investors. The Investor Network aims to support investors in investing in the space sector. Members receive valuable advice and support on various matters, including information on space market assessments. It also offers strategic and technical due diligence, as well as access to a monthly deal flow curated by the Ventures and Financing Office. Additionally, the network provides access to ESA’s strategic activities such as SpaceTech platform and Helios Space Index.

Recently, SPAICE, a UK startup from the ESA Business Incubators, started its financing journey with the network’s support. SPAICE has developed a suite of AI-powered solutions to bring autonomy to space logistics, enabling in-orbit satellite life extension services. Their scalable, data-driven technology is applicable to terrestrial, underwater, and aerial dual-use applications. SPAICE solutions offer significant advantages over current servicing technology, which is limited by manual operations and prohibitive costs. Their solutions can enhance satellite lifespans by 50%, boost revenue generation by 50%, and reduce collision risks by 20% at competitive prices, democratizing logistics services for satellites in any orbit. Their universal AI-powered solution is agnostic to any target satellite and capable of performing various robotic operations, including upgrading, maintaining, and inspecting satellites, cargo transportation, assembling space structures, and actively removing debris. SPAICE’s technology can scale to other verticals where autonomous navigation and robotics capabilities are crucial, including lunar landing and rover navigation, underwater inspection, and maintenance operations. SPAICE plans its first in-orbit demonstration in Q4 2025/Q1 2026, positioning them as the first company to deploy a general intelligent space solution, overcoming significant barriers related to AI use in space. The startup is currently closing SAFEs up to £1M, as well as securing contracts and grants, with plans to close a £2.5M equity round later on. In 2024, with the assistance of the ESA Investor Network, SPAICE initiated discussions with numerous interested investors, including Primo Ventures and OTB Ventures. By bridging connections among startups, investors, and ESA programs, the ESA Investor Network fuels innovation, fosters growth, and drives the future of space technology. Success stories like SPAICE highlight the network’s central role in shaping the space economy.

Discover more about the ESA investor network and its contribution to space exploration and technology.

🚀If you are a SpaceTech Company looking for funding you can apply for investment grants and other support here:

💰If you are an investor interested in joining the ESA investor network you can register here:


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