Commercial space companies are increasingly seeking out paths to the public markets, and mergers with special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs) are a popular mechanism for doing so. This year at the all-virtual TechCrunch Sessions: Space event on December 14-15, we’ll hear from key senior executives at Astra, Rocket Lab and Redwire about the SPAC process and what the public markets unlock for their respective companies.
Astra CFO Kelyn Brannon has ample experience leading companies through IPOs, and the was also the first chief accounting officer and head of finance at Amazon.com. Brannon helped guide Astra though its public debut via merger with SPAC Holicity at the end of June, and the startup has since seen its fortunes rise on big successes like its milestone first orbital launch, which took place this past weekend.
Redwire President and COO Andrew Rush serves as a member of the NASA Advisory Council, and was previously the president and CEO of Made in Space, the in-space manufacturing company that Redwire acquired last year. He’s in charge of the company’s overall business portfolio, long-term planning and strategic investments, and is the perfect person to ask about Redwire’s merger with Genesis Park Acquisition Corporation and NYSE debut in September.
Rocket Lab CFO Adam Spice joined the company in 2018, and has held a number of financial executive roles at companies across the tech industry, including stints at Broadcom, Symwave Corporation and Intel, all key chipmaking companies. Spice ushered Rocket Lab through its public debut on the Nasdaq in August via a merger with Vector Acquisition.
SPACs have uncorked longstanding pressure in the private space startup market for public market exit events, but they’ve also introduced companies in this relatively nascent market to the vagaries of public investors. We’ll hear from all of these companies who’ve taken this path this year what that’s meant for them and their businesses.