An illustration of the SpaceMobile satellite constellation.
The shares of satellite smartphone broadband company AST SpaceMobile were traded on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. The company was the first among the youngest aerospace companies to close its SPAC deal.
AST SpaceMobile trades under the ticker ASTS, with shares previously listed under SPAC New Providence prior to the merger.
A SPAC – or Special Purpose Acquisition Company – is a shell company that aims to raise money through an IPO in order to acquire a private company and take it public.
The stock closed 1.8% at $ 11.81 per share on Wednesday after rising 7% in midday trading.
AST corporate headquarters and high volume manufacturing facility in Midland, Texas
AST & Science
AST SpaceMobile, based in Midland, Texas, is building a network of satellites, also known as a constellation, designed to deliver broadband from space directly to consumer smartphones.
Existing satellite networks require additional physical devices to connect to the service, such as B. Iridium’s mobile satellite telephones or SpaceX’s Starlink user terminals. However, the satellite communications market is increasingly crowded with new services like OneWeb, Telesat, and Lockheed Martin’s recent partnership with space-based 5G startup Omnispace.
“We don’t see the other satellite [low Earth Orbit] Constellations like Starlink as a competitor. In fact, we think that’s a great thing as it cuts startup costs and makes the space more affordable for the masses, “AST chairman and CEO Abel Avellan told CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on Wednesday.
The company, which raised approximately $ 120 million in private capital prior to the SPAC deal, expects total proceeds from the merger of approximately $ 462 million. The new capital will finance the development of the company’s network. AST plans to launch the next BlueWalker 3 demonstration satellite later this year. Avellan said AST expects to announce launch contracts “soon” with several rocket companies to deliver its satellites into orbit.
“It’s a long-term opportunity … but it’s a very, very big opportunity in a very large addressable market,” Avellan said.
The completion of the AST deal is the first in a recent series of space SPACs. Seven space companies, including AST, have announced SPAC mergers in the past six months.