A new report says space travel startups have raised a staggering $1.9 billion since 2014. Venture capital database CB Insights released the report, titled “Future of Frontier Tech,” which also says that drone startups have raised $285 million since 2014 and virtual/augmented reality companies $1 billion.
While the report says SpaceX has dominated space startup funding, other players such as Google (through its purchase of satellite firm Skybox) and Planet Labs (through its acquisition of geospatial product RapidEye), as well as the $63.5 million IPO of Urthecast (which places publicly accessible cameras on the International Space Station), are responsible for much of the $1.9 billion figure.
In the larger “frontier tech” space, which CB Insights defines as “technology related to drones, space, augmented reality, and virtual reality,” Google, Qualcomm, Airware, and Bosch are the biggest players in investment and acquisitions. Because of NASA’s decision to embrace private space travel, investment in the field has been booming. Much of the investment is also due to the growth of micro-satellites–tiny, low-cost satellites that can be launched by ordinary companies and even high school students.