Milan-based investment firm Primomiglio has launched the first Italian VC fund focused on space investments, dubbed ‘Primo Space’, with a first close at €58 million and a target size of €80 million.

According to the firm, Italy is the second-largest contributor to the European Space Agency and one of the top ten nations globally in the space sector, active across all areas of the market.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and CDP Venture Capital have teamed up as cornerstone investors in the fresh fund, which was developed with the support of the Italian Space Agency. Other backers include Compagnia di Sanpaolo, Luigi Rossi Luciani and Banca Sella.

The VC firm says the new fund will target companies (startups, spinoffs and SMEs) working in the “upstream” segment — meaning technology that builds space infrastructure, including electronics, robots and satellites — as well as in the “downstream” segment – earth-based applications enabled by space technology, particularly satellite networks, such as communications, cryptography, geolocation and earth observation.

The EIF’s €30 million commitment in the fund is part of the Investment Plan for Europe, and is supported by the new InnovFin Space Equity Pilot and the European Commission’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.

EIF CEO Alain Godard said: “The fund is the first investment executed under the new InnovFin Equity Space initiative, and will contribute to the creation of a new player dedicated to the aerospace sector, one of the priority focus areas of the European Union.”

Gianluca Dettori, the Chairman of Primomiglio, commented on what the new fund means for the firm:

“It completes a development of two years and enables us to expand the investment spectrum of our firm, bringing on board a new management team focused on venture and technology innovation.”

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