Jeremy Teboul

Jeremy Teboul – Deep Tech Investing: Betting on the Final Frontier

Born in the breathtaking French Riviera, Jeremy Teboul is a Venture Capital Investor at Promus Ventures, a visionary and tenacious founding team that invests in early-stage DeepTech companies.

Jeremy Teboul
Jeremy Teboul

When and why did you join Promus Ventures?

I joined Promus Ventures as an investor in 2021 when we had just done the final close of our first European fund, a €120M space-focused fund domiciled in Luxembourg.

I never thought of becoming a VC, but since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed working on solving hard problems. While studying mathematics at NYU, when I wasn’t sweating on differential equations in front of a chalkboard, I spent my evenings and weekends building products with founders of early-stage startups on campus looking to solve real world problems. 

A few years later and after going to business school, when I found out that Promus Ventures, an experienced deep tech manager with presence in both the US and Europe, was looking to expand its team, I saw an opportunity to have a real impact on the growth of the European space sector while continuing to do what drives me, which is supporting early stage founders working on the hardest problems.

Promus Ventures has a very interesting page on their website, called DeepTech Growth Index. Understanding the performance indicators, it is clear to see why savvy investors are turning their heads towards these types of portfolios.

What is your best advice for an investor who is new to space-tech?

The best way to get started is to surround yourself with stakeholders that understand the sector. 

Just like any other deep tech topic, the barriers to entry for investors wanting to invest in space are quite high, as space is a rather complex technical field. Not only do you need access to technical expertise and capital, but you also need to understand the specific challenges that apply when financing upstream and downstream space companies, scaling dual-use business models, exit mechanisms etc.

Having a generalist lens will most likely not cut it, so it’s important to surround yourself and your portfolio companies with the right network such as technical universities, corporates, governments, space agencies, accelerators, that can have a large impact on the success of young European space companies.

Is space tech more cash-sensitive than other industries?

Space is generally more capital-intensive than most sectors for the upstream part. Though, if you look at the downstream sector, there are many companies in Europe today building software on top of existing publicly funded space infrastructure, that focus on the fusion and insights delivery from geospatial data to traditional industries (like mining, agriculture, logistics, infrastructure). 

It turns out these are as ‘capex light’ as any other B2B SaaS business. Sales cycles might also be longer when addressing dual use applications and this can translate to a higher capital need, but the reward can be higher too.

Karl Karlson (Sway Ventures) and Jeremy Teboul at the ELEVATE Space & Sustainability Conference
Karl Karlson (Sway Ventures) and Jeremy Teboul at the ELEVATE Space & Sustainability Conference

What is the average time for a good exit?

It’s hard to generalize given the low number of liquidity events happening in the industry, especially nowadays, and how fast the sector is changing. A company selling geospatial data will not have the same growth journey as one building rovers for space exploration. The wave of SPACs in 2021 had, in theory, reduced this number lower than where it should have been, but that trend is over now, and public markets have sent a clear message that ‘faster’ exit does not mean ‘better one’.

Exits take time but there are workarounds: SpaceX being a good example where partial exit for early-stage investors and early employees happens every once in a while through the secondary market, while the company remains private.

Jeremy Teboul

Do you think that space tourism helps to accelerate the industry?

Space tourism and human spaceflight is a way to showcase some of the capabilities enabled by space technology and helps to some extent attract more capital to the industry. 

But the space sector is so much more than that: Space has the potential to enable trillions in economic value across traditional sectors such as agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, mining – as it already does with GPS. I see space as a technology that can drastically improve the way we live and do business on Earth.

Jeremy, you grew up in Antibes, a resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera. Do you think the HNWIs of the South of France and Monaco are interested in space-tech investment?

South of France and Monaco are already involved in the space economy today. Some of Europe’s top talent in engineering, robotics, and aerospace, sits in universities and innovation hubs at corporates in Sophia Antipolis, Cannes, and across the French Riviera. Monaco also plays a role given the principality’s efforts in building a thriving tech ecosystem. Whether this is enough to fuel interest of HNWIs to invest in space tech remains to be seen.

Jeremy Teboul at the ELEVATE Space & Sustainability Conference
Jeremy Teboul at the ELEVATE Space & Sustainability Conference

Do you think ELEVATE can help people to understand better space technology and sustainability?

Absolutely! Thank you for organizing such a beautiful event! I really enjoyed the conference and the panel, and I thought the questions were very engaging! I hope the audience enjoyed it too and feedback was good!


Read the full and illustrated interview in the Winter 2023 edition of the Living in Monaco, the Monaco Residents’ Magazine.


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