Earth & Beyond launches new $125 million fund to invest in Israeli space tech
Israeli fund eyes investments in early-stage startups in areas of semiconductors, robotics, sensors, smart farms, quantum computing, solar power and cybersecurity
Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.
Earth & Beyond Ventures, a new Israeli early-stage venture fund, has raised $125 million to invest in the country’s emerging commercial space ecosystem with a focus on aerospace and satellite engineering startups.
The new fund said it has nabbed commitments from several investors, including global manufacturer and NASA supplier Corning Inc., Japanese electronics giant Kyocera Corp, manufacturer of electronic connectivity components Samtec, Inc., and Israeli satellite communication services and solutions provider Spacecom. The group is also backed by the Israel Innovation Authority.
The fund’s co-founders and general partners include Daniel Recanati, founder of private investment firm Rhodium; Doron Zauer, founder of investment advisory firm Initium; Dr. Israel Biran; and Ofer Asif from Spacecom.
In light of the growing global interest in space exploration and the growth of the new space industry, the fund is looking to invest $500,000 to $2 million in local seed and pre-seed stage startups engaged in technologies such as semiconductors, robotics, new materials, sensors, smart farms, quantum computing, solar power, cybersecurity, and alternative proteins.
“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,” said Earth & Beyond Ventures CEO Baruch Schori. “Together with our investors and partners in the ecosystem, our job… 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.”
Israel is already home to a number of promising space tech startups including Helios, which is developing technology that can produce oxygen needed for fuel from lunar soil, and Ramon.Space, a company building supercomputing systems for the space sector.
Total annual investment in the commercial space sector grew from $300 million in 2012 to more than $10 billion in 2021, according to a McKinsey report cited by Earth & Beyond. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have both estimated that the Space 2.0 market could generate over $1 trillion in revenue by 2040, the fund said.
Earth & Beyond’s advisory board includes 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 goals, Earth & Beyond Ventures is teaming up with international and local strategic partners to build up the Israeli space-technology ecosystem by supporting it through its mentor and professional adviser network, the fund said.