Misc: Jeff Bezos brings major resources to space development + “Golden Age” of space investment + Moon Express under stress

September 14, 2018
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NewSpace Watch
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Investment
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September 14, 2018

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas expects Jeff Bezos’s resources and commitment to make a big impact on space development: Analyst sees Jeff Bezos as ’emerging force’ in global space industry – GeekWire

Jonas writes that investors may want to pay far more attention to Bezos’ space efforts, which the billionaire has said is the “most important work that I’m doing.”

One reason has to do with Bezos’ growing fortune, which is now estimated at roughly $160 billion. Jonas notes that’s “equal to around 16 years’ worth of NASA expenditure on space exploration.” (The calculation is based on the assumption that about half of NASA’s annual $20 billion budget is spent on space exploration and operations, with the rest going to aerospace, education, science and other administrative items.)

The other reason has to do with Bezos’ oft-stated passion for and commitment to space exploration. The 54-year-old has said he’s been a space geek since he watched the Apollo 11 moon landing at the age of 5. In a series of GeekWire interviews, he has advocated returning humans to the moon, “this time to stay,” and he lightheartedly owned up to the claim that he founded Amazon to make enough money for his space ambitions.

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A panel of VC investors sees the current era in commercial space as special: “Golden period” for space startup investment continues – SpaceNews.com

“It’s really difficult to identify a top-tier VC that hasn’t yet made a space investment,” he said. “That’s very different to what it looked like 18 months ago.”

Other venture capitalists see little sign of investment slowing down. “It’s been a very, very good year with investment,” said Mike Collett, founder and managing partner of Promus Ventures. “I don’t see any reason why it would stop.” He said later in the panel that he expected “some very large rounds” to be announced in the next several months, but did not specify the companies or market sectors.

“This is going to be looked back on as a golden period, from my standpoint, in terms of dollars flowing into the sector,” said Will Porteous, general partner and chief operating officer of RRE Ventures. “I don’t see it slowing down. I see the flows continuing. And, frankly, it’s a pleasant surprise.”

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However, not every space venture will find the investment it needs to succeed. For example, things don’t look very promising for Moon Express with their own law firm suing them – Joe Solarsystem on Twitter:

“The end is near for MoonEx. Law firm that defended them in first lawsuit against IM has now won default judgement against them in Delaware for $634k. They wanted to get their judgement in before the IM appeal is lost, figuring they’d get paid first. [N18C-07-112 – KLEHR HARRISON HARVEY BRANZBURG LLP VS MOON EXPRESS – Docket Report Results]

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