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CEO of German space laser company Mynaric talks about Nasdaq IPO and growth plans

Visualization of the company’s laser communication system on satellites in orbit.

Mynaric

German communications company Mynaric, which was listed on the Nasdaq last week, and CEO Bulent Altan, a former SpaceX chief, told CNBC about the company’s US debut and plans for further growth.

The company raised $ 75.9 million in an initial public offering at $ 16.50 per share. The stock has rallied slightly since then, to close at $ 18.19 a share on Thursday.

Mynaric manufactures optical communication terminals – devices that use a laser to send data from one point to another. Altan explained that Mynaric’s target market is companies building satellite constellations, including for broadband, Earth imaging, and more.

“This is not just a space game; it’s almost a pure constellation game,” Altan said, stressing that most satellite companies are not public and cited Starlink SpaceX as a prime example of a group led by a firm that could one day go public. but haven’t done it yet.

Optical communication terminal CONDOR Mk3 of the company.

Mynaric

The company has yet to send a full-fledged laser terminal into space, but it has successfully flight-tested the aircraft. Mynaric hopes to hold a demonstration in space in the second quarter of next year, but Altan noted that the schedule is “flexible” and depends on the company’s customers.

According to Altan, Mynaric decided to list on the Nasdaq because “you have an investor base in the US that understands the space market and has been working on it for a long time.”

“The entire space industry is coming to Europe, but in the US it has taken hold,” he said.

Altan, who spent more than a decade at SpaceX, most recently as vice president of satellite mission support, said Elon Musk’s company was not a customer of Mynaric. SpaceX is “very vertically integrated,” Altan said, and the laser communications technology used by Starlink satellites is different from Mynaric’s, making it less likely to develop customer relationships.

“I think it would be better for us to be a technology partner,” Altan said of SpaceX. Earlier this fall, the company appointed former SpaceX vice president Hans Koenigsmann to Mynaric’s supervisory board.

Another reason for listing Mynaric was that its “customer base is now very US-centric,” Altan said, including companies such as Northrop Grumman and imaging startup Capella.

“The government is buying so many laser communication terminals right now indirectly by purchasing a large number of satellites with laser communication capabilities,” Altan said.

At the moment, Mynaric is well capitalized and has no “immediate need” to raise additional funds, he said. It has a facility that can build up to 400 laser terminals per year, but Mynaric plans to increase that number to 2,000 per year.

“The underlying technology is really focused on mass production,” Altan said.


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