The space revolution is underway. The excitement in the industry is palpable, and new staggering achievements are being accomplished at almost a daily rate. There is also a rapidly increasing tempo of new company announcements, new players who want to serve existing space markets or create new ones. New space companies are creating significant value, but how can anyone see through the hype to know which companies will be successful?
For someone who wants to invest in these companies, it can be quite a dizzying experience. After all, we are literally at the border between science fiction and business, where investors are sometimes “going where no investor has gone before.” How can an investor know which companies are actually real? Which companies have technology that works, experienced leadership teams, and enough financing to see their plans through? There is a significant gap in publicly available data about the space startup sector, and even less information about the game-changing companies that SpaceFund is watching. It is our goal to close this gap with the SpaceFund Reality rating and other ongoing research and publication initiatives.
The Solution – SpaceFund Reality Rating
The SpaceFund Reality rating (SFR) is an effort to provide critical, intelligent, and non-biased information about the status of the growing space industry, and to make as much of this data available to the public as possible. The SFR rating is designed to be a general guide, and is not intended as a critique or endorsement of any one company. Rather, it is our hope that by providing this rating we can support the research and diligence of those who may invest in, partner with, or purchase products or services from these companies. We also hope the SFR rating will serve to promote the highest standards for space companies, helping them identify opportunities for improvement while simultaneously creating a strong market within which they can function. We also believe the SFR rating can become a way to identify gaps in the space supply chain, by detailing not only how many or how few entrants there are in specific sectors, but also the progress and viability of those companies.
Here at SpaceFund, our analysts and experts are tracking all space startup companies that have been publicly announced, as well as many that are still in stealth mode. Utilizing a number of indicators, and based on publicly available information as well as expert insights, the SpaceFund team has rated each of these companies on a series of ‘reality’ factors that feed into an overall score, on a scale of 0 – 9. On the SFR rating scale, a score of 0 represents very early stage companies with little to no financing, limited teams, and no proof of concept for their technology. Meanwhile, a score of 9 represents a well-financed company with proven technology, established product-market fit, and a well-rounded team.
It is important to note that the commercial space industry is still young. As such, most of the companies rated with the SFR will be in various early stages of development. In some cases, and in some sectors, many of the companies will just be getting started and will be introduced in a low rating category (0 – 3). As such, a low rating may simply mean the company is early in its’ development cycle and not at all be a reflection of the company’s long-term viability. However, as these companies grow and change over time, we will update their ratings accordingly, tracking company maturity and success.
A Note to Space Startups: SpaceFund exists to support startups. You are our passion. So we understand the nature of taking an idea from nothing to something. If you think your SpaceFund Reality rating needs updating, please reach out to us with more information so we can accurately reflect your current status. Also, if you are not yet listed in the database, and would like to be, send us your information and we will be happy to add you.
What the SpaceFund Reality Rating is Not
The SFR rating is meant only as a guide, and should not be used as the sole basis of any business, investment, or partnership decision. By posting this information, SpaceFund does not accept responsibility for any decisions resulting from these ratings, nor do we accept responsibility for the correctness or factual nature of any information gathered from any source regarding any company or individual listed in the ratings. SpaceFund does not claim to have complete information or imply that we have access to private or confidential information on any company, project, or individual listed or identified. We have not and will not accept any remuneration from any company listed in the rating, however, SpaceFund reserves the right at any point in time, using this information and other private diligence or intelligence, to invest in or negotiate partnerships with any company listed.
The formula by which SpaceFund rates the ‘reality’ of any company is proprietary and is available only to SpaceFund investors, advisors, and management. The structure of the formula is based on our detailed understanding of the field, and similar criteria to those we use in our own diligence and evaluations of a company’s investability. The formula focuses primarily on the factors that are most important for a startup company’s success, such as technology, team, and funding. The SFR ratings databases are living documents, and will change as new information is provided. It is our intention to review and update the ratings periodically. We hope to provide an ever-expanding and more in-depth set of information and analysis over time and reserve the right to change, update, or edit our formulas based on changes in market conditions, new sources of information, or new market entrants.
SpaceFund Sectors of Interest
SpaceFund is interested in a number of sectors of the space economy, specifically Transportation, Communication, Human Factors, Supplies, and Energy. In the coming months we will post SFR ratings for companies from all of these sectors, providing a robust overview of the state of frontier-enabling companies across the industry.
Launch: The First SpaceFund Reality Rating Database
In this post, we begin the publishing of our SpaceFund Reality ratings with a sub-sector of the Transportation sector, specifically transportation between Earth and Space, commonly referred to as the launch industry. Within the Transportation sector, other sub-sectors include In-Space Transportation (tugs, in-space propulsion systems, custom 3rd stages, fuel depots, etc.), Planetary Surface <-> Space (Lunar landers, space elevators for use on the Moon or Mars, etc.), and Planetary On-Surface Transportation (robotic and human-supporting rovers). However, the launch sub-sector is by far the most advanced of any of the SpaceFund sectors of interest, with over 100 companies competing for a relatively limited market. For this reason, we decided to publish SFR ratings for the launch industry first.
Below is a detailed database of over 100 launch companies from all over the world. These companies and their launch vehicles are in various stages of development, with some (such as SpaceX, RocketLab, and ULA) already in regular operation, while many new companies don’t yet have financing or hardware. Each company has been assigned an SFR rating based on our analysis, publicly available data, and expert insights. We’ve also provided a considerable amount of additional data gathered during our research. To our knowledge, this is the first such comprehensive database of launch companies to provide thorough, unbiased, and detailed information in a fully interactive and downloadable format, for public consumption.
How to Use This Table
Sort: You can sort by any column in the table by clicking on the column heading to sort A-Z; click again to sort Z-A.
Search: To search within the entire table, simply type your query into the search area at the top right of the table. If you’d like to search within a specific column, use the search box at the bottom of that column.
Download: You can download this table as an Excel or CSV file by using the icons at the top of the table. You can also print the table.
Screen Size: The database is too big to fit on most screens, so you’ll need to use the scroll bar at the bottom of your screen to scroll right to see additional columns, and continuing scrolling down to see all 100+ companies.
Important Note (Alpha Sort Columns vs Numeric Sort Columns): The Payload, Launch Cost, and Price columns are set to sort numerically. Due to the nature of this table format, and to ensure that the columns sort properly, a numeric character must be included in each cell, so any figure listed as a “0” is simply a placeholder for unavailable data. So, for example, if a company is listed to have a launch cost of “0” this simply means that this information is not publicly available and the “0” acts as a replacement for “N/A”.
The Funding column is set to sort alphabetically. Since this column contains alphabetic characters in many cells, this column will sort alphabetically, not numerically and so the “-” character has been used to represent unavailable data. All other columns in the table will also sort alphabetically.
Important Note (Companies not Vehicles): This database, and the SpaceFund Reality ratings, are based on COMPANIES, not launch vehicles. In the case where a single company has more than one launch vehicle, the data listed is for their largest vehicle. For more information on the different vehicles being manufactured and their corresponding data, please see the individual companies’ websites.
How to Provide Updated Data
Have we missed your company? Do you feel that your company should have a different rating? Is the listed data inaccurate or outdated? Do you see missing data for your company? The best way to update your information in this database is to reach out to us directly to provide additional information about your technology, management team, funding history, and company progress. We are also eager to learn about any additional data sources that can help us in our ongoing research, so please feel free to share any resources you know of with our team.
Updates will be published on approximately a monthly basis. The most recent update was January 21, 2019, with 4 new additions bringing the total number of companies in the database to 116. Please see below the table for a more detailed change log. The next update is scheduled to occur no later than March 1, 2019.
SpaceFund Reality (SFR) Rating
|wdt_ID||Company||SFR||Payload (kg)||Launch Cost ($M)||Price ($/kg)||Funding ($M)||Launch Class||Orbit Altitude||Tech Type||Country||HQ Location||Description|
|1||Avio/Arianespace||9||20,000||170.000||8,500||Public||Medium, Heavy||LEO||Rocket||Italy||Colleferro, RM||Vega & Ariane launch vehicles|
|2||Northrop Grumman||9||8,000||80.000||10,000||Public||Small, Medium||LEO||Rocket||USA||Falls Church, VA||Designs, manufactures, and operates launch vehicles, propulsion systems, and satellites and related components|
|3||Rocket Lab||9||225||4.900||21,778||257.31||Small||LEO||Rocket||USA||Huntington Beach, CA||The first rocket company and launch site for cubesat payloads in New Zealand|
|4||SpaceX||9||63,800||90.000||1,411||2740||Heavy, Super Heavy||LEO||Rocket||USA||Hawthorne, CA||SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft|
|5||United Launch Alliance||9||17,800||99.000||5,562||Joint Venture||Medium, Heavy||LEO||Rocket||USA||Centennial, CO||A joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, ULA produces the Vulcan, Atlas and Delta launch vehicle families|
|6||Blue Origin||9||45,000||0.000||0||-||Small, Heavy||LEO||Rocket||USA||Kent, WA||Lowering the cost of access to space with reusable launch vehicles|
|7||Sierra Nevada||8||5,000||0.000||0||-||Medium||LEO||Spaceplane||USA||Sparks, NV||Dream Chaser space plane for space station resupply missions|
|8||Stratolaunch||8||1,000||0.000||0||-||Small||LEO||Plane, Rocket||USA||Seattle, WA||The Stratolaunch aircraft can hold up to three Pegasus rockets, which can each deliver payloads to different orbits and inclinations|
|9||Swedish Space Corp||9||2,000||0.000||0||-||Small||Suborbital||Balloon, Rocket||Sweden||Solna||SSC designs sounding rocket vehicles, stratospheric balloon systems, and payloads|
|10||Virgin Orbit/VOX Space||8||500||12.000||24,000||-||Small||LEO||Plane, Rocket||USA||Long Beach, CA||The small payload orbital launch sister company to Virgin Galactic|
|Company||SFR||Payload (kg)||Launch Cost ($M)||Price ($/kg)||Funding ($M)||Launch Class||Orbit Altitude||Tech Type||Country||HQ Location||Description|
Update #1. January 21, 2019.
- American Revolutionary Space Systems
- L.E.O. Aerospacelines
- ABL Space Systems (3 → 5)
- Firefly Aerospace (5 → 7)
- Stofiel Aerospace (2 → 4)
- Sugarhouse Aerospace (1 → 3)
- Vogue Aerospace (0 → 2)
- ABL Space Systems
- Agnikul Cosmos
- LEO Aerospace
- Rocket Crafters
- Vogue Aerospace