The world’s first venture capital fund to be focused on the space industry is plotting a rocket-fuelled launch onto the London stock market amid record levels of funding being ploughed into the sector.
Sky News has learnt that an arm of Seraphim Capital is working with bankers on plans for a public share sale that could raise in the region of £250m.
City sources said on Friday that Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan were working with Seraphim on its initial public offering (IPO), the details of which could be confirmed within the next few weeks.
Seraphim has a portfolio of nearly 20 companies, with current holdings including a stake in Arqit, a British-based quantum encryption company which last month announced a $1.4bn merger with a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Other companies in the portfolio include PlanetWatchers, a satellite data analytics provider; Altitude Angel, a builder of next-generation cloud services; and AST, which claims to be the only space-based cellular broadband network accessible to conventional smartphones.
At least three of the businesses backed by Seraphim’s space fund have become ‘unicorns’, meaning they have attained valuations of at least $1bn.
The fund was founded in 2016 by Mark Boggett, its chief executive, alongside James Bruegger and Rob Desborough.
One investor said the timing of their plan to take it public was shrewd because of the soaring level of interest in backing spacetech companies.
Sky News revealed last month that Relativity Space was close to concluding a funding round worth hundreds of millions of pounds, while the UK government has signalled its interest in the sector by investing in OneWeb, the low-Earth orbit satellite group.
Seraphim’s early-stage backers included the British Business Bank, the European plane-maker Airbus and the European Space Agency.
A spokeswoman for Seraphim Capital declined to comment.
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