Two Space Industry Companies Are Ready for Blastoff

Rocket Lab and Spire Global Plan to Go Public Via SPAC Mergers

Yesterday, two space venture companies announced plans to go public via mergers with SPACs. One is Rocket Lab, a company building small rockets to launch satellites. The other is Spire Global, a company which develops satellites.

Several other space-related companies have announced plans to go public in this way, such as BlackSky, which specializes in satellite imagery, and rocket builder Astra. Virgin Galactic (SPCE), Richard Branson’s space flight company, went public through an SPAC deal in 2019.

Merging With NavSight and Vector Acquisition

Spire Global is joining forces with the SPAC NavSight Holdings (NSH). Spire builds satellites which can forecast weather, track ships and airplanes, and perform other tasks. The satellites are small and relatively inexpensive. With its new funding, Spire plans to grow its sales team in order to reach new markets around the world. It also hopes to make acquisitions in the software and data analysis sphere.

Rocket Lab is going public through a merger with Vector Acquisition (VACQ) in a deal that gives the rocket maker a $4.1 billion enterprise valuation. Rocket Lab is the top company building compact rockets to launch satellites. Its current rocket, Electron, has launched into orbit 18 times. It is in the process of developing a second, larger rocket called Neutron.

How a SPAC Works

A SPAC, also known as a special purpose acquisition company or a blank-check company, is formed to raise money through an IPO in order to acquire an existing company. A SPAC has no commercial operations of its own.

There has been an increase in SPACs being used for companies to make their public debuts. SPACs raised over $82 billion in 2020—a record high and a sixfold increase compared to 2019.

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