Venture Investments as a Driver of Innovative Development of the Space Industry

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Дата публикации:
08 января 2022, 20:29
Секция 08. Экономика космической деятельности
This paper examines technological startups emerging in the field of space activities, briefly examines the state and modern structure of the venture capital market. The differences in the management of the public and private sectors in human space activities are analyzed. The role of innovative development of the space industry with the development of technological space startups in the country is outlined. Сoncluded that the modern world is entering a new era of space commercialization, focused on making a profit from the launch of satellites, space tourism, mining on asteroids, the development of space technologies for this purpose and the creation of extraterrestrial mining enterprises.
Ключевые слова:
startups, space industry, business sector, entrepreneurship, innovations
Основной текст труда

One of the fundamental foundations of the innovation environment is the formation of favorable conditions for private business. For a modern competitive economy, the most important thing is the development of innovative entrepreneurship [1], which will determine the speed of economic growth of the industry and the country as a whole. The concept of innovation and innovative business is inextricably linked with such a concept as venture capital — one of the varieties of direct investment, which is one of the main sources of capital for technology startups.Venture capital, being the largest type of investment among space startups, which account for 25% of total funding and have become increasingly important in recent years. 77% of investments in developing space activities are based on equity, with an increasing share being venture capitalists. Venture investors currently define the space industry as an industry with the potential for high profitability in the long term, and this has led to the fact that venture investments have become the most popular form of financing from developing space companies.
Venture capitalists adhere to a business model in which most of the startups they bet on will fail. Classical statistics on startups suggest that 9 out of 10 startups fail, but some recent studies say that only 1 out of 12 companies succeed [2]. Investors are ready to take such risks, because those startups that really succeed provide profits that exceed losses by an order of magnitude. A characteristic feature of such investments is that a significant part of the start-up space companies that have attracted investments over the past four or five years have not yet reported income, let alone profit.
Meanwhile, government agencies and foundations continue to provide support in the form of grants and awards, and they account for the largest number of investments in the developing space industry. These investments are usually driven by strategic interests and the interests of the economic development of the state. It is expected that special space funds created by governments such as Japan, the USA, Russia, etc., as well as competitions in support of innovations, will stimulate the growth of space infrastructure at the expense of domestic companies. Along with crowdfunding programs and accelerators/incubators, such methods allow for increased autonomy and control over the company for the founding teams. Accelerator funding can further help open the door to future venture capital/business angel opportunities as the business develops.
The model of centralized, state-controlled human space activity, which originated in the 1960s, has given way over the past two decades to a new model in which state initiatives in space increasingly share the stage with private priorities [3]. Centralized government-led space programs will inevitably focus on space activities that meet the interests of society, such as national security, basic science and national pride.
Unlike governments, the private sector tends to send people into space to pursue their personal interests, not the interests of the state, and then meet the demand they create. This is the vision driving companies like SpaceX, Blue Origins and Virgin Galactic.
In the first twenty years of its existence, SpaceX completely turned the rocket launch industry upside down, conquering 60% of the global commercial launch market and creating ever larger spacecraft designed to transport passengers not only to the International Space Station, but also to the proposed settlement on Mars. Virgin Galactic, the first space tourism company in history, whose shares are listed on the stock exchange and Blue Origin is known for its vertical take-off and landing rockets [4]. All these most famous startups make a huge contribution to the development of space technologies.
The modern world is entering a new era of space commercialization, focused on making a profit from the launch of satellites, space tourism, mining on asteroids, the development of space technologies for this purpose and the creation of extraterrestrial mining enterprises. Russia has a chance to enter this race, but for this it is already necessary to make efforts on the part of the state to attract venture investments and develop private space exploration. The country's technological potential is capable of ensuring its presence in space over the next few decades.

  1. Furman J., Porter M.E., Stern S. The determinants of national innovative capacity. Research Policy, 2002, vol. 31, pp. 899–933. DOI: 10.1016/S0048-7333(01)00152-4
  2. Otchet ot Startup Genome. StartupGenome. Available at: (accessed October 25, 2021).
  3. Era kommercheskogo kosmosa uzhe nastupila. HarvardBusinessReview. Available at: (accessed November 08, 2021).
  4. Istoriya Virgin Galactic. BSCExpress. Available at: (accessed November 13, 2021). (In Russ.).
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