Space SPAC stock AST SpaceMobile begins trading on the Nasdaq

An illustration of the SpaceCellular satellite tv for pc constellation.

AST SpaceCellular

Shares of satellite-to-smartphone broadband firm AST SpaceMobile started trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, with the firm the first amongst a flurry of current area corporations to shut its SPAC deal.

AST SpaceCellular trades underneath the ticker ASTS, with shares beforehand listed under the SPAC New Providence earlier than the merger.

A SPAC—or particular goal acquisition firm—is a shell firm that is designed to boost cash by way of an preliminary public providing for the goal of buying a non-public agency and taking it public.

The stock climbed as a lot as 5% in early trading on Wednesday, up from its earlier shut of $11.60 a share.

AST’s company headquarters and high-volume manufacturing facility in Midland, Texas

AST & Science

AST SpaceCellular, primarily based in Midland, Texas, is constructing a community of satellites, also referred to as a constellation, that’s designed to ship broadband from area on to shopper smartphones.

Existing satellite tv for pc networks require extra bodily gadgets to hook up with the service, akin to Iridium’s cell satellite tv for pc telephones or SpaceX’s Starlink person terminals. The satellite tv for pc communications market has develop into more and more crowded, nonetheless, with new providers from the likes of 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. Actually, we think that is a great thing they are happening, as they lower the cost of launch and they make space more affordable, basically, to the masses,” AST chairman and CEO Abel Avellan informed CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on Wednesday.

The firm, which raised about $120 million in non-public capital earlier than the SPAC deal, expects so as to add about $462 million in complete proceeds from the merger. The new capital will fund the firm’s improvement of its community, with AST planning to launch its subsequent demonstration satellite tv for pc BlueWalker 3 later this 12 months. Avellan stated AST expects to “soon” announce launch contracts with a number of rocket corporations to ship its satellites to orbit.

“It’s a long term opportunity … but it’s a very very large opportunity in a very large addressable market,” Avellan stated.

The shut of AST’s deal comes as the first amongst a current sequence of area SPACs. Including AST, seven space companies have announced SPAC mergers in the previous six months.

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