Did the Space SPAC companies go public too soon?
For many companies that are currently in their R&D phase, why do they go public while they're building out their products, awaiting approval from regulators, etc.?

Is it because private investors aren't interested in remaining patient for a bit longer? Or is it because the founders wanted to capitalize on the high valuation that publicly traded startups are reaping?

During the SPAC boom, many space companies from $SPCE $MNTS $ASTR $SATL etc. all went public while being in their pre-revenue phase. All of them are currently generating losses.

The nature of these infant industries is that they need to take their time to develop a working product before they can start generating profits. And most Wall St. investors aren't fond of waiting for profits to come in. They base their decisions on each quarterly earnings release. If milestones are taking longer to reach, these investors lack patience and they'll sell tons of stock at once and depress the company's valuation. Having a lower valuation makes it more expensive to raise capital. And even if that's the cheapest way of raising capital, diluting existing shareholders will create more problems.

With the SPAC bubble, many startups took advantage of the opportunity being presented to them. Because of this, the founders got a huge windfall, the company is under more scrutiny, and the objectives of these companies have changed. The recent stock market sell-off is one reason why many innovative companies like SpaceX and Stripe choose to stay private. They would prefer to see their valuation endure less volatility and work with investors who have more patience for the products and services that the company is developing.

In the meantime, I'll remain skeptical about the many space companies that have gone public. I wish them the best and hope that they can find ways to raise more capital to facilitate their cash burn. If the stock market continues to decline and interest rates continue to surge, the tight credit markets could be a make-or-break moment for these space companies. Since these companies have a high risk of dilution, I see the huge stock market sell-off not providing much of a margin of safety for investors looking to buy the dip on those space companies.
Oliver's avatar
You’re missing $RKLB off your list. Its share price has suffered a similar fate to other space companies but I’ve still got faith because they actually launch rockets into space regularly and more importantly successfully
Dissecting the Markets's avatar
@odysseus I forgot about Rocket Lab! Thanks for reminding me!
Joey Hirendernath's avatar
They took advantage of easy money supply :)