Dutch and Taiwanese VCs co-invest to bring Taiwanese supply chain into orbiting space factory

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


Netherlands-based Space Infrastructures Ventures (SIV) and Taiwan-based Infinio Capital have jointly invested to set up "Orbital Outpost Asia" in Taiwan, dedicated to the development of advanced array antennas, heat management systems in space stations, and virtual reality tools for space education.

Orbital Outpost Asia is a part of the Silicon Valley-based startup Orbital Outpost X, formerly known as Space Village, dedicated to the construction of a modular, privately owned space station in low earth orbit (LEO). The space station will provide an operational assembly facility for "integration of large space elements." Orbital Outpost X is also one of the eight portfolio companies under SIV. On May 9, the startup received a US$5 million loan from SIV which will become an equity investment in its Series A round.

Through its office in Taiwan, also its first outpost in Asia-Pacific, the company will seek local R&D and manufacturing partners, introducing them into the European space supply chain at the same time.

SIV focuses on companies at seed, early funding and Series A stage, especially those related to the emerging low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite market. According to SIV, it invests at various levels of shareholding participation, though the majority of companies in its portfolio are held at minority stakes.

Apart from Taiwan, SIV has operations in the US, Italy, the UK, and Spain, and its portfolio includes companies specialized in various space sectors, such as antenna development and testing, satellite ground systems, space real estate, and nuclear fusion.

According to Infinio Capital, Taiwan's electronics manufacturing prowess and geographic location makes it attractive for those in the space industry, and it looks to link up Taiwan with the global space supply chain via technology transfers, proof of concepts and getting international players to set up operations in Taiwan.