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.
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.