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A SpaceX rocket launch timelapse. Photo: SpaceX

Space-focused startups raked in $5.7 billion in financing in 2019, far surpassing the $3.5 billion raised in 2018, according to a new report from Bryce Space and Technology.

Why it matters: The report and others like it show investors still see the industry — buoyed by investor interest and new international companies — as ripe for investment.

  • "I think this is certainly showing a very dynamic market — a lot of interest in the sector," Janice Starzyk, Bryce's vice president of commercial space, told Axios.

Details: SpaceX, Blue Origin, OneWeb and Virgin Galactic accounted for about 70% of the investment tracked in the report.

  • The report also shows companies outside of the U.S. are getting more investment attention than in years past, in part because of the emergence of Chinese companies breaking into the launch sector.
  • "Last year, the No. 2 company would be the U.K., but now China has really shot up and is taking over as a big growth engine," Starzyk said.

Between the lines: Starzyk advises those interested in investing in space to look for opportunities beyond rocket companies — for example, companies building ground segments or other, less sexy parts of the industry.

The big picture: There are still major questions about where the space industry and investment in it will go from here, including when companies might become profitable.

  • Last year also saw a number of high-profile exits from the industry — including Vector Space's bankruptcy — that are spurring fears there might be a slowdown for industry investment in the near future.

Go deeper: Investors are putting big money in small rocket companies

Go deeper

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.