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Generation Space launches startup accelerator in U.S

(Reuters) -British space investment firm Seraphim Space said on Monday its unit, Generation Space, would provide 12 early-stage U.S. startups with a potential to access funding of more than $150 million in total through a new accelerator program.

The 12-week accelerator will focus on startups working in sectors ranging from climate technology and defense to communications and mobility.

Startup accelerators support early-stage companies through education, mentorship and financing. Examples include Y Combinator, which helped launch companies such as vacation rental firm Airbnb and social media platform Reddit.

Generation Space will look to replicate the European Seraphim Space accelerator, in which over $240 million in equity funding has been raised from 90 venture capital firms since 2018.

The space industry is grappling with a slowdown in funding due to rising fears about the economy. Investment in space startups more than halved last year after a record 2021.

Seraphim Space still sees some positive signs. It said seed deals were up about 50% in 2022, a sign of investor interest in early-stage startups despite the sagging economy.

The venture capital firm has helped launch $1.2 billion worth satellite communications firm AST SpaceMobile Inc and data and analytics company Spire Global, which has a market valuation of nearly $200 million.

Northern Sky Research last year predicted the global space industry would rake in revenue of $1.25 trillion by 2030, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 6.25%.

Macroeconomic fears have prompted space companies to prioritize proven business models, revenue and government contracts, VC firm Space Capital wrote in a report last month.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)