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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Space startups garnered record investment last year, according to a new report.

Why it matters: The influx — despite the coronavirus pandemic — shows that investors are still interested in the growing industry and see relatively young companies as worthy of funding.

State of play: Space startups brought in about $7.6 billion in investment last year, breaking the 2019 record of $6.5 billion, according to a report from BryceTech.

  • 342 investors invested in 124 startups in 2020, with nine companies bringing in 80% of the total funding invested.
  • From 2000 to 2020, space startups drew $36.7 billion in investment, according to the report.

Between the lines: Much of the funding last year came from venture capital sources, but companies going public via special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are also a growing source of investment.

  • About 6% of the $7.6 billion actually came from public offerings, with that number expected to grow in the coming years.

The big picture: Initial data from the first two quarters of 2021 shows that the space industry is continuing to attract plenty of investment and attention.

  • A report released in July from Space Capital said $9.9 billion was invested in all space companies — not just startups — during the second quarter of 2021.
  • Most investment has gone to established companies in the sector, but early-stage rounds of investment have brought in about $1 billion this year, which signals healthy investment, according to Space Capital.

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2021 - Science

Weather and climate disasters have cost the U.S. over $100 billion in 2021

Piles of debris is all that's left of a restaurant after heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ida came through in Manville, New Jersey, on Sept. 7. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Weather and climate disasters in 2021 have killed 538 people in the U.S. and cost over $100 billion, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Why it matters: The first nine months of 2021 saw the largest number of billion-dollar disasters in a calendar year so far, with 2021 on pace for second behind 2020, per the report.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

14 mins ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.