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Playground, Seraphim and Root VCs talk funding trends at TC Sessions: Space • TechCrunch


It’s no secret that VC spending in 2022 did not take a page from the wild funding spree that was 2021. This year’s more measured approach has had a cooling effect — particularly on space-related startups.

In Q3 alone, investments in 79 space companies hit $3.4 billion — down 44% from Q3 2021. Still, some prognosticators report that while space investments continue to decline, some sectors are more resilient than others.

This is why we’re thrilled that Jory Bell, general partner at Playground Global; Mark Boggett, CEO and managing partner at Seraphim Capital; and Emily Henriksson, principal at Root Venture, will join us onstage for a panel discussion at TC Sessions: Space on December 6 in Los Angeles.

In a session called “Backing Big Bets in Uncertain Times,” these panelists will discuss the current mindset and priorities of investors who have previously backed space startups. We’re curious to get their take on whether sectors — like remote sensing, which provides critical information to both governments and enterprises during increasingly uncertain times — might be better insulated from macroeconomic trends like high interest rates and inflation.

And, if we are in for an extended economic downturn, what should startups expect from private space capital in 2023? We have questions, and these folks should provide valuable insights during a compelling discussion.

Jory Bell sourced some of Playground Global’s earliest investments, including Nervana Systems (acquired by Intel). His first three investments at the firm are now unicorns and one, Velo3D, went public last year.

Bell leads the firm’s investment efforts in deep tech areas, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, computational therapeutics, energy, genomics, materials, next-gen computing, quantum and synthetic biology. His investment portfolio includes Mangata Networks, Relativity Space and Strand Therapeutics to name a few.

Mark Boggett, a pioneer in space tech investment, co-founded the Seraphim Space Fund and invested in a portfolio that includes three companies that have achieved billion-dollar valuations. Previously, Boggett served as director at YFM Equity Partners, the firm behind the high-profile British Smaller Companies VCT 1 and 2.

Boggett also worked at Brewin Dolphin and Williams de Broë. He completed his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance, and he received a master’s in economics and finance from the University of Leeds.

Emily Henriksson is a principal at Root Ventures, a firm focused on investing in three areas: tools and infrastructure, low-cost robotics, and hardware and data science. Prior to joining Root, she worked as a propulsion engineer and designed flight hardware for the SpaceX Falcon and supervised vehicle build for schedule-critical missions.

Henriksson also worked on the Model 3 battery module team at Tesla. She holds MS and BS degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

TC Sessions: Space takes place on December 6 in Los Angeles. Buy your pass today, join us to learn about the latest space investment trends, see cutting-edge technology, and network for opportunities to help you build a better, stronger startup.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Space? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

 



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