Ilya Golubovich, a managing partner of the venture fund, and Michael Murray, a consultant for Planetary Resources, confirmed the report, according to the Moscow Times.
Planetary Resources may also use water-rich asteroids to supply orbital “filling stations” with fuel and water in order to make spaceflights less expensive, according to Golubovich, a Russian-born investor living in London and the son of Alexie Golubovich, the founder of Arbat Capital and a former top executive of defunct oil company Yukos.
The amount of the investment has not been disclosed, though it is said to be less than “tens of millions of dollars.” Golubovich added that the company would participate in Planetary Resources’ future investment rounds, the Moscow Times reports.
12BF Global Ventures is looking to invest up to 25 percent of its funds, or $50 million, on the space industry.
Eric Anderson, the founder of Planetary Resources, said that the cost of launching six spacecraft to an asteroid was approximately $25 to $30 million. State-financed asteroid missions amounted to $400 million.
Planetary Resources announced plans in April to launch exploration satellites in two years in order to start mining platinum group metals and collect water in the next 10 years.
An asteroid with a 500-meter diameter has an equivalent of the amount of platinum group metals produced over all of human history, according to Anderson. He added that platinum resources of one 50-meter asteroid could be worth $50 billion, the Moscow Times reports.