The investment trust of space startup financier Seraphim Capital debuted on the London Stock Exchange on July 14, raising around $250 million for bigger international acquisitions. According to Seraphim Capital Chief Executive Officer Mark Boggett, the listing offers the company “the firepower to become truly significant in this industry.” Seraphim Space Investment Trust, which now trades under the symbol SSIT.L, takes over Seraphim Capital’s investments in 15 of Seraphim Capital’s 19 space technology companies.
The other four — satellite data expert Spire Global, quantum encryption provider Arqit, Iceye, an Earth-imaging operator, and space logistics firm D-orbit — will be acquired once each firm’s separate, continuing fundraising activities are completed this year. Boggett stated that Seraphim would first focus on expanding its existing portfolio, which includes holdings in 27 startups through the Seraphim Space Camp Accelerator in addition to 19, which are under Seraphim Capital.
“We plan to double, triple, or perhaps even quadruple down on the positions in those areas where we have the most conviction,” he said. Seraphim is also keeping an eye on new chances of being unable to invest due to financial difficulties in the past. In other situations, Seraphim is reevaluating ventures that have surmounted the technical and commercial risks that caused Boggett and his partners to pass on early fundraising rounds.
“These are the companies we intend to add to our portfolio – and at the rate that will surprise some,” Boggett said. Even though the newly listed SSIT.L trust can venture into both private and public companies, Seraphim Capital has pledged to only invest in publicly traded space companies that it purchased while they were still private. Seraphim Capital, according to Boggett, can use the investor’s due diligence on a private firm to provide it an “information edge” if it goes public. Seraphim Space Investment Trust believes that the U.K.’s Investment Trust stated that vehicle arrangement allows it to hold onto its best-performing enterprises for decades, which is also a crucial advantage.
The value of the public fund is determined by the total success of its portfolio firms, which means investors can profit by selling their shares rather than the Seraphim Capital returning profits from an exit. Investors used to put pressure on Seraphim Capital to market a space firm as soon as it attained a high valuation so that they might profit.
When AST SpaceMobile, a space-centered cellular network startup in which Seraphim Capital held an interest before moving it to the trust, went public earlier this year by combining with a SPA (particular purpose acquisition) company, it was valued at more than $1 billion. As they go through their own SPAC acquisitions, Spire and Arqit have valuations north of $1 billion, a trend in the space business that is pushing numerous early-stage firms to the public market.