LBA, one of the UK’s leading private investment groups and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) that establishes a joint commitment to cultivating successful new businesses in the UK that exploit space capabilities. LBA was recently acquired by City of London based Newable Limited.
The activities will be undertaken within the framework of ESA Business Applications (formerly Integrated Applications Programme). This is dedicated to the development, implementation and pilot operations of space-enabled applications that will lead to innovative, sustainable services.
Under the terms of the agreement, LBA seeks to co-fund promising projects that have been allocated financial support by ESA Business Applications.
The agreement with LBA follows up the earlier announcement of the new £70m venture capital fund, Seraphim Space, which was launched in 2016 to harness the finance, expertise, and market access of a range of leading space companies and institutions in order to accelerate business growth and new market opportunities for space-enabled services.
LBA, with its unique partnership with Seraphim, has designed and developed UK Space Tech Angels (UKSTA), an investment programme focused on UK space-related technology companies from seed to Pre-Series A investment stage. The focal point is predominately on downstream technology such as Earth Observation, Satellite communication, Navigation and Cybersecurity, but also on some non capital-intensive technologies such as Hardware (Sensors, Energy) and Transportation (UAVs, Transportation Management, Automated Vehicles). Space technologies and data are used in our daily life and in all industrial sectors, from farming, to FinTech, education, logistics and more.
“An obstacle for many startups wanting to access public grant support is the need to match this investment with their own funds, to complete the financing of their development project,” says . “The London Business Angels agreement will help alleviate this early financial bottleneck.” “The commitment of London Business Angels nicely complements the Seraphim Space venture fund which invests at a later stage, taking promising activities to scale,” he adds.
Anthony Clarke, LBA Managing Director comments, “Since its launch in December 2016, UKSTA has already gained significant momentum in the market and our angel investors and funds have already funded a number of potentially high growth early stage space tech businesses. Through this collaboration with ESA Business Applications and UKSTA, its relationship with Seraphim Capital and its access to Newable’s wide range of SME focussed support services, we are uniquely well placed to foster the next wave of early stage space tech innovation and to harness better links across the UK’s space tech eco-system.“