The deep tech revolution creating a new class of wealth


Deep space expert Scott Amyx is heading to Australia next month to talk space tech and the $US1 trillion market opportunity.
Scott Amyx, space maverick and managing partner, Astor Perkins | Image source: supplied

“Space maverick” Scott Amyx’s skills are niche – so niche that only a handful of people in the world possess his depth of knowledge about deep tech. In layperson’s terms, he’s a leader in the deep tech VC market, investing in complex scientific ideas and space technology that will one day change the world as we know it. 

Amyx – managing partner at US-based VC fund Astor Perkins – says deep space is a trillion-dollar global market opportunity. He will travel to Australia next month to talk about all things space tech and how it might impact Australia’s $80 billion agriculture at AgriFuture’s national agriculture conference, evokeAG 2023.

“People may ask: ‘why the heck are we going into space, period?’ I think the short answer is that it really is a trillion-dollar opportunity”

Scott Amyx, managing partner Astor Perkins

Amyx – a Forbes Business Council Member and TEDx speaker – believes that deep tech will create the next industrial revolution, leading to profound changes in how we live and work and creating a new class of mega-wealth. SpaceX alone, for example, has a market valuation of $US140 billion ($198.8 billion) – that figure is predicted to substantially increase when the company goes public. 

“When we look at… the digital revolution that kind of spanned 2000s until recently  — we think that what we’re looking at now [with deep space] is probably going to eclipse all of that combined,” Amyx says. 

“We are very much at the precipitous of being a one-planet species to being an interplanetary species. We’re going to build habitats [on other planets], and the long-term plan is to have a habitat on the moon, as well as on Mars and other planets.”

As previous industrial revolutions created billionaire tycoons like the Rockefellers, Amyx predicts that the deep space revolution will see a new class of entrepreneurs – only this time, they will be trillionaires. 

“For the first time, we’re going to see mega industries [with players] like SpaceX and Starlink, where we’re going to create trillionaires not billionaires. Elon Musk will be just one of a few”

Scott Amyx, managing partner Astor Perkins

Amyx says while 95 per cent of VCs “pile money into the same thing”, such as Web3, crypto, SAS and FinTech, deep space is a potentially massive market for innovation that very few VC experts understand. Astor Perkins’s recent deep tech investments include D-Orbit, Metawave and Lunar Station.

“We are focused on backing mavericks and solving some of the hardest problems facing humanity on earth and in space. And specifically, we look at areas of climate change mitigation…longevity, human survival, and deep space.”

Amyx says an economic downturn and widespread staff layoffs in tech will potentially make way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. He says discussions around law changes in the US around banning non-competes and non-disclosure agreements among redundant employees could also potentially spur “the next wave of entrepreneurs”. 

“If you look at past recessionary periods where things were dismal…the businesses that emerged out of that, they actually became not only unicorns, but there were industry-defining and new categories.” 

When it comes to space travel and tourism, Amyx says history can lend a clue to where the real money will be made by the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

“When people came to California during the gold rush, it wasn’t the people that were mining for gold that became rich. It was actually the merchants. The same goes for the moon,” he says.

Could deep tech transform Australian agriculture? 

The opportunities are vast regarding space tech’s potential role in the $80 billion Australian agriculture industry. Currently, satellites the size of bread tins are orbiting the earth, sending back images so clear that farmers can watch their crops being watered and their livestock grazing in real time. 

Once limited to the defence industry and intelligence agencies – on-farm space tech is allowing innovations in high-resolution satellite imagery, AI and machine learning to make more informed decisions around areas such as pests and diseases, livestock grazing and declining soil quality. In countries like Australia, satellite imagery can contribute to data analytics to form part of bushfire and flood mitigation plans. 

“When you have data using sensors…drones, aerials and satellite imagery which is becoming cheaper…you can use this in a much more empirical way. You do not have to guess, and I think that’s what farmers are looking for, ultimately. They have a finite set of physical assets that they want to make sure they are getting the most leverage and amplification from – so they’re very smart, but also very lean.” 

One of the main areas of change involving space tech will be climate change, Amyx says. 

“Many people look at climate change as a cost centre. We look at it as an opportunity to create brand-new industries that do not exist. We think it’s going to create wealth. We think it’s going to create massive transformation.”

Climate change, increasing pressure on supply chains, and a growing population are issues up for discussion at evokeAG 2023, AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey says.

“There is an increasing sense of urgency around how we engage in global conversations, mitigate risk to our supply chain and challenge the conventions of what we grow, how we grow, and what we eat.

“Space and space technology presents several opportunities to challenge these conventions and our food systems,” Harvey says.