Earth & Beyond
Earth & Beyond Ventures to Invest $125M in Israeli DeepTech and Space Startups
New fund planning to leverage Israel’s expertise in deep-tech, aerospace, and satellite engineering in the growing global “New Space” market.
TEL AVIV, 9 February 2023 -- Earth & Beyond Ventures, a new early-stage venture fund backed by global technology, manufacturing, and space industry conglomerates has launched with commitments of $125 million to leverage Israel’s expertise in DeepTech, aerospace, and satellite engineering in a bid to boost Israel’s emerging commercial space ecosystem. It is the first fund of its kind in Israel to focus specifically on supporting deep technology innovations with dual purpose space and terrestrial applications.
Corning Inc. (GLW) a global materials and manufacturing giant and a 50-year supplier of materials and products to NASA, is one of a prestigious group of corporations backing the new fund, which also includes Japanese electronics giant Kyocera Corp (KYOCY.PK), global manufacturer of electronic connectivity components Samtec, Inc. and Spacecom (SCC.TA), the Israeli satellite communication services and solutions provider. The fund’s general partners include Daniel Recanati (founder of Rhodium), Doron Zauer, Dr. Israel Biran, and Ofer Asif (on behalf of Spacecom). The group is also backed by the Israel Innovation Authority.
The fund’s launch comes at a time of rapid growth in the "New Space" industry, also known as the commercial or private space industry, which is dominated by the private sector and entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, unlike the traditional space industry, which has been primarily government-funded and focused on space exploration, communication, and defense. Between 2012 and 2021, total annual investment in the commercial space sector grew from $300 million to more than $10 billion, according to McKinsey. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have both estimated Space 2.0 could generate over $1 trillion in revenue by 2040.
Growth in the sector is being driven by a combination of factors, including advances in technology, a growing demand for space-based services, and a shift towards a more market-driven approach to space activities. Another factor is NASA’s renewed moon missions, which it sees as a starting point toward more ambitious targets, like getting humans to Mars. China, India, and the European Space Agency also have strong space programs, while other spacefaring nations such as the UK, France, Italy, Japan, and South Korea maintain ambitious plans for space.
New Space’s immediate market is focused on getting assets into space that can provide services to Earth, including things like enhanced earth observation, space-based data storage and processing, improved materials for lighter satellites, in-space manufacturing, and drug discovery in microgravity.
With a renewed global interest in space exploration and commercialization, technologies that Israelis develop in everything from semiconductors, robotics, new materials, sensors, smart farms, quantum computing, solar power, cyber security, and alternative proteins, could become crucial for enabling the use of and access to space in the near and long term, including eventual Moon and Mars colonization. In the short term the same technologies will address huge markets on earth and will provide solutions for the most pressing problems in climate, energy, materials, computing and more. It is in these commercially focused dual earth and space technologies that Earth & Beyond Ventures will be investing, with check sizes of between $0.5 million to $2 million for Seed and Pre-Seed companies.
“Israel's achievements in the development of innovative technologies are world-renowned, but many don’t realize that Israel was one of the first countries to design, build and launch its own satellite, a feat which requires tremendous cross-disciplinary expertise and know-how. Together with our investors and partners in the ecosystem, our job at Earth & Beyond Ventures is to identify and support the deep technologies and ideas that can become powerful applications not just here on earth, but in space as well," said Earth & Beyond Ventures CEO Baruch Schori.
Kyocera’s investment in the fund is particularly noteworthy as the multibillion-dollar company, one of the world’s leading electronic component and ceramic manufacturers with applications across automotive, mobile devices, advanced sensors, solar panels, and more, is also a strategic supplier to the space industry, with components in telescopes, space probes, and satellites. "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Earth & Beyond Ventures to explore new business opportunities together in the Israeli space tech market, which we consider having high future growth potential. Kyocera Group has contributed to spacetech through a wide range of products, and I am looking forward to seeing many more contributions coming from this strategic investment in Israel and in Earth & Beyond Ventures," said Koichi Kano, Director & Managing Executive Officer, Kyocera Corporation.
Earth & Beyond’s advisory board is packed with aerospace and tech luminaries, including former Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) CEO Yossi Weiss, The Technion --Israel Institute of Technology’s Space Research Institute head Prof. Ehud Bachar, and former Science Minister Yizhar Shay. In addition to its investment activities, Earth & Beyond Ventures is working together with international and local strategic partners to build up the Israeli space-technology ecosystem, supporting it through its broad mentor and professional adviser network.