Shares of satellite-to-smartphone broadband company AST SpaceMobile began trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, with the company the first among a flurry of recent space companies to close its SPAC deal.
AST SpaceMobile trades under the ticker ASTS, with shares previously listed under the SPAC New Providence before the merger.
A SPAC—or special purpose acquisition company—is a shell company that’s designed to raise money through an initial public offering for the purpose of acquiring a private firm and taking it public.
The stock climbed as much as 5% in early trading on Wednesday, up from its previous close of $11.60 a share.
AST SpaceMobile, based in Midland, Texas, is building a network of satellites, also known as a constellation, that is designed to deliver broadband from space directly to consumer smartphones.
Existing satellite networks require additional physical devices to connect to the service, such as Iridium’s mobile satellite phones or SpaceX’s Starlink user terminals.
The company, which raised about $120 million in private capital before the SPAC deal, expects to add about $462 million in total proceeds from the merger. The new capital will fund the company’s development of its network, with AST planning to launch its next demonstration satellite BlueWalker 3 later this year.
The close of AST’s deal comes as the first among a recent series of space SPACs. Including AST, seven space companies have announced SPAC mergers in the past six months.