Momentus is going public in SPAC merger: What to know

Momentus, the space infrastructure startup that offers so-called last-mile delivery services through partnerships with companies like SpaceX, is heading for the public markets.

The three-year-old firm said this morning it will merge with Stable Road Capital, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The merged entity will have an approximate valuation of $1.2 billion and will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MNTS. The deal is expected to be finalized sometime next year.

Momentus was recently named one of Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies for its water-based propulsion system, which helps move satellites and cargo in space.

Momentus is one of a growing number of startups to announce it will go public by merging with a SPAC, also known as a blank-check company. Just yesterday, health insurer Clover Health announced it would go public by merging with a SPAC led by Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya. Personal care brand Hims said last week it would choose a similar route.

According to MarketWatch, 2020 has been a record year for SPAC mergers, with more than 80 announced as of September. While they’ve become a popular pared-down alternative to the traditional IPO process, a recent report from Renaissance Capital found they often result in lower returns, and critics claim they could allow companies to skirt regulatory safeguards. Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently vowed more scrutiny of the process.

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