NewSpace People Interview with Space Ventures Investors

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What Is the Background of Space Ventures Investors's Top Management?

As Managing Director and Co-founder of a business that is making space investing more accessible, the background in my life that helped me most in my current role has been:

A. Real world experience. I grew up in a B2C & B2B retail and industrial business. By the age of 19 I could use all sorts of power tools, drive a forklift, and build industrial storage solutions. I also knew the dangers of this kind of environment (I have a scar to prove it), and learnt how to determine what is structurally possible, and what is not. I apply this thinking to any space start-up I come in contact with.

B. Marketing. I studied Graphic Design and worked in predominantly marketing and communication in my 20s. The persuasive techniques that consumerism uses to entice people to part with their money has not been used for anything space related. I started to wonder how Sci-Fi of the late 20th century would pan out and how you would sell it to people. But first I had to go through…

C. Financial Services. In my 30s I worked in the back-office of investment banks. My graphic skills were applied to high-end financial products. The key take away for me was that the process of raising money is complex, but it happens every day, and can be applied to raising finance for space companies.

What Is Space Ventures Investors's Core Product or Service?

Currently we are shaping our product and services to the demands of our customers and clients. Our customers are people and companies who want to invest in space. As investors (from individuals to wealthy individuals and companies) they have varying levels of risk tolerance and expectations. Our clients are space start-ups that want to raise finance.

Right now we are finalising what financial products to offer that suits both customer and client. Our service is pretty much everything between.

As a by-product of the whole process, we may even offer a value chain of selected space start-ups bundled together in one investing product that offers a niche space service or product.

What Is Space Ventures Investors's Unique Proposition to Their Market Sector?

The USP are the staff. Kevin Mac Gowan the other Co-founder, and this goes for newcomers as well, met me / us in the middle of the concept of “who is going to sell space to the masses?” and from there we decided that we all would. And that’s what we do. We each have different skill sets, are from different generations, from different countries (Germany, France, UK, USA, Ireland, Australia), and this means we can approach the creation and marketing of space investing products from different points of view, and of course regulatory perspectives.

How Does Space Ventures Investors Disrupt the Competitive Environment of Its Market with Its Product/Service?

We don’t really disrupt anything yet because we are a new industry, or a mashing of investing and start-ups that just happens to be under the ‘space’ umbrella. But what really interests us is how we can find the right shareholders (e.g. investors who actually understand what they are investing in) for new space start-ups that will be making disruptive space products or data applications. I personally don’t mind being not disruptive, but if we as a company are responsible for launching some space entrepreneurs who make something wildly disruptive, then we’ve done our job.

What Are Space Ventures Investors's Growth Objectives over the next 5 Years?

In a 5 year time scale our objective is that with existing and new space investors onboard we have over €20 million invested in a portfolio of space start-ups, aerospace / space stocks, and ambitious space companies, including space resources where the business plans are practical.

Another objective is that our own Space CrowdFund has a niche customer base of space investors and entrepreneurs who can test their concepts and business models and build functioning space businesses.

To achieve our growth objectives, planning is everything, and being positioned for new opportunities, like when the cost of launch goes down another level, that will unleash the next wave of space entrepreneurs; They will need seed capital, and with our network of space investors, we can be the match makers. That is our growth story.

What Competitive Changes Does Space Ventures Investors Envisage Within Key Markets over the next 5 Years?

There’s three parts to the answer.

1. The biggest potential change in the next 5 years will be all the macro-economic dilemmas we will see in the next 1, 2, and 5 years; The investing appetite of the general public will be put to the test when the adverse affects of global monetary policy eventually subside and we enter a recession, or policy reacts again and we have an economy racing ahead of itself. If there is another financial “Black Swan” event some space investors will run for the hills. On the other hand, US and ESA space policy may be more pro-active at the behest of their governments / elected leaders, e.g. to dig an economy out of a depression you commission infrastructure projects, why not make space great again; make a Moon Base, a Mars Base. Make a Space Elevator. Anything is better than nothing because the investment will trickle down which will “pull up” well positioned space companies.

2. If you are reading this in English be warned: Russia, China and India are just as ambitious, and many generations have not enjoyed the fruits of the dot-com era. So, they are hungry, educated, and have rockets. And, their economies and investing behaviour may be more agile and flexible than that of the West.

3. For Space Ventures Investors the biggest competitive change is the challenge to turn the theme of space investing around 180 degrees. Example: Your neighbour is on Facebook, he can buy shares in Facebook (although I wouldn’t recommend it). Your neighbour uses his smartphone for navigation every day but trying to convince him to invest in a satellite constellation using the latest technology (to replace GPS or create a global internet player) is a hard-sell. The challenge is investor education: Yes you can invest in space. When investor sentiment changes, then we will have a bull market for space investments and space investors.

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