Max Polyakov is a well-known international entrepreneur. He is working with his Silicon Valley-based investment firm, Noosphere Ventures, to build an integrated space business. Two years back, Noosphere Ventures founded EOSDA (Earth Observing Systems Data Analytics). Later, the entrepreneur got into the launch business by bringing Firefly Aerospace out of bankruptcy and pouring money into its development.
Some of the projects in the Noosphere portfolio include D-Orbit (orbital transfer vehicle provider) and SETS (electric propulsion systems). However, Firefly Aerospace, which mostly focuses on small satellite missions, is the company’s flagship investment. Firefly Aerospace, approaching its first orbital attempt, is looking for $350 million to accelerate development. At the same time, SPACs, which are special-purpose acquisition companies that offer businesses and firms the fastest way to public markets, attract the largest number of investors in the space industry.
At the same time, EOSDA plans to launch its first synthetic aperture radar satellite, or EOS SAR satellite, around 2022. Additionally, an optical spacecraft is also under development.
Because the company links different types of space businesses and brings them under a single roof, Noosphere Ventures is gaining the privilege for components under development. Readymade products are bundled together for more pocket-friendly prices for customers who are looking for integrated solutions.
With the rise of the COVID pandemic and SPACs changing business environment, how is Max Polyakov coping?
Has the Pandemic Impacted Partnerships with Space Companies?
According to Noosphere Ventures, it is true that the pandemic is responsible for the slow working of some companies. Some of them have even been forced to review their plans. But Polyakov is sure of the long-term health of his companies and how they are contributing to the space sector. The investment venture is moving ahead amid the pandemic, and they are trying to accomplish as many goals as possible.
Despite any short-term external challenges, the company believes that retaining a significant advantage is possible because of its understanding and expertise in the markets.
Has the Pandemic Hindered or Helped Noosphere’s Investment Strategy?
The Noosphere investment firm has confirmed that the pandemic has hit all industrial sectors, and the space industry is not an exception. However, the pandemic and the lockdown have not caused any sort of hindrance to their planning and strategies. The firm continues investing and developing each of the space companies under its wing, and its long-term prospects have not been diminished.
The investment firm still believes in its principle of vertical integration. This strategy will allow them to maintain control over data analysis, ground stations, earth observation, communications, and launch vehicles. Even if the COVID-19 situation continues, the company will still have a significant advantage over its competitors.
Is There More Competition for the Deals?
Redwire and Voyager are other investing companies that seem to be following the same strategies as Noosphere. The company has commented that it focuses on ensuring whether its current investments are successful, mainly because it is a new entrant to this sector. However, this does not mean they are not looking out for deals that can be advantageous for the customers as well as provide synergies for the business.
Since It Is Vertically Integrated, Firefly Aerospace Has Been Protected from Supply Problems Generated by the COVID-19. So, Why Did the First Launch Get Delayed?
Firefly will be launched by the end of this year. However, it is pretty normal for the first launches to get delayed as the teams are still working out the possible issues and refining the details. Despite rockets being launched for years already, they are still very complex machines. Hence, there may be expected delays. But Firefly and its partners are working day and night to reduce the delays.
Firefly Is Looking to Raise $350 to Help It Expand Its Services Faster. Is the Need for Growth the Response to the SPAC Activity?
Firefly is looking to raise more capital to increase its growth faster. However, this requirement is not related to SPAC activity. The commercialization and democratization of space usage attract a lot of funding for the short-term approach. On the contrary, the launch company is more focused on long-term success.
Does the Company Expect Investment from Venture Capital Strategic Companies or Other Sources?
For now, Polyakov’s projects are receiving calls from a lot of investors who are excited about the work they are getting done. However, the entrepreneur has made it clear to only partner with investment companies that share their passion and have a long-term approach. Additionally, they also should be able to invest their expertise and knowledge, apart from their money.
Has the Rise of SPACs Changed the Planning Strategies of Early-Stage Space Companies? Is This Change Healthy?
It is not surprising to see that capital is free-flowing into the space industry. Most space companies view SPACs as another investment option. There is a new trend almost every decade. Even one of the smartest people on Earth, Isaac Newton, invested in the most rewarding stock in England at that time — the South Sea Company, and it failed. However, these trends could spring some surprises for the space industry, not in a good way.
Some types of space companies will partner with SPACs. These SPACs might have high-quality C-level investors who bring their passion and expertise apart from their money. With these, it helps the space companies grow faster. However, this is just one positive side of the scenario, which seems very remote. This trend has been deemed unhealthy because companies with minimal intrinsic value often try to compete with very complex technologies and tend to overpromise by offering the products they cannot deliver. Therefore, you could easily witness an overcrowded market of projects that are not ready to be introduced to the market.
Polyakov firmly believes that the core business of the space companies needs to be viable; the products need to be delivered even before a company can go public. SPACs provide an excellent chance to accelerate the growth of such companies. But they need to have a fully developed product to sell.
How Can the Growing Importance on Corporate, Social, and Environmental Governance Boost EOSDA?
Companies need to be aware of their impact on the local communities and the natural environment. The plans need to be discussed in the finest detail to minimize these impacts. Additionally, the progress needs to be communicated to the stakeholders to reduce all possible damage.
This creates an excellent opportunity for companies like EOSDA to provide a superior solution. The imaging satellites developed by the company have a targeted revisit time of 2-3 days for all locations. Along with compression algorithms and modern data processing, this will add enormous benefit to a wide range of customers for monitoring their impact on Earth. Additionally, the number of required satellites can be reduced thanks to the development of advanced cameras, allowing them to offer competitive prices.
Most likely, companies like EOSDA will become very important for the global economy because they will provide substantial benefits for both humankind and modern businesses.
How Can the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) Help Extend Space Market to Companies That Are Not Traditionally Part of This Industry?
Max Polyakov believes that ESG is much more than a trend. It can be considered a permanent feature that is seen in companies by respective stakeholders. The principles held by Noosphere are rooted in their philosophy, which Volodymyr Vernadsky first introduced. Those are the predominance of knowledge in the further development of humanity.
The company agrees that it is vital to introduce the space industry to the new industrial sectors. EOSDA is known to offer tailored analytics of superior quality at pocket-friendly prices. Hence, the company is confident that its services will be accessed by more users that would otherwise not have engaged with the space industry.
Does the SPAC Trend Help EOSDA with Bringing Together Data Analytics, Ground Segments, Sensors, Satellites, and Launch Vehicles?
EOSDA has become the foundation laid for creating a vertically integrated space ecosystem. The point of this integration for all Max Polyakov’s companies and other players in the market is unity and cooperation.
The strategy of EOSDA is to create a project that will collect all the knowledge and data from space and Earth and ensure that the information is used to preserve the environment and nature of our planet. The mission of EOSDA is to prolong the safe existence of the planet, not raise quick monetary returns.