The car manufacturer is investing $75 mln in a German space company.
Porsche SE, the owner of the Volkswagen group, has announced plans to invest $75 mln in Isar Aerospace, a startup aiming at rivaling Blue Origin and SpaceX.
The German enterprise has scheduled its first flights for the year to come. It is going to compete with billionaire-owned firms in the sphere of small and medium satellites.
Porsche is backed by HV Capital and Swiss bank Lombard Odier. The total amount of investments has been set at $165 mln including other investors. Porsche seeks to get "a low single-digit percentage stake."
The money raised would be invested in testing and launching rockets, as well as erecting necessary infrastructure.
Commercial demand for small satellites is likely to rise considerably in the near future since companies in various industries steadily put more trust in satellites to run their software.
Isar Aerospace has said in a statement the startup believes that space will be a dominant platform for most industries including automobile production. Manufacturers can profit from data encryption and storage, state-of-the-art applications, and the means to comply with fighting climate change.
The enterprise predicts that the space market will grow to $35 bln by 2027. It adds that a third of this capital will be in small and medium satellites.
Porsche SE’s move is quite surprising. The company which owns brands like Audi and Skoda did not invest solid sums of money in projects like this.
"We are convinced that cost-efficient and flexible access to space will be an enabler of innovation in many industry sectors," Porsche SE executive in charge of investment management Lutz Meschke said in a statement.