Intuitive Machines to go public in SPAC deal

·2-min read

Intuitive Machines is going public. The company, which is developing lunar landers and other tech to enable exploration of the moon, said Friday it would list on the Nasdaq after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Intuitive Machines, which was founded over nine years ago and is based in Houston, will merge with Inflection Point Acquisition Corp. Once the merger is complete, the combined value of the company will be about $815 million.

Executives from both companies told investors during a call that Intuitive Machines is well-positioned in a sector that is becoming increasingly relevant to the United States’ national security interests. The company already has three missions to the moon lined up through contracts with NASA, under the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS). CLPS was designed to support private vendors conducting last-mile delivery of payloads to the moon. The IM-1 mission, which will see Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander deliver 100 kilograms to the moon’s surface, will head to space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 early next year.

On the point of financials, Intuitive Machines says it will have revenue north of $100 million this year and $291 million next year. The company’s chief financial officer, Erik Sallee, told investors during a call on the merger that they also have around $369 million in contracted bookings, with around $188 million in signed backlog.

“We are in a leading position in the development of lunar space — to be for the moon what steamships, toll roads and rail companies were to Earth economies,” Steve Altemus, CEO of Intuitive Machines, said. “Each successive mission will allow us to extend our advantage as we deliver satellites to lunar orbit, deliver systems to the lunar surface and collect critical scientific and engineering data.”

Looking ahead, Intuitive Machines aims to develop a larger lunar lander, “Nova-D,” to take 500-750 kilograms of payload to the moon.

Inflection Point has around $330 million of cash in trust, though some of those funds may be redeemed by shareholders. It has also secured $55 million in additional capital from a founder of Intuitive Machines and entities affiliated with the SPAC’s sponsor, as well as a $50 million equity facility from an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald.

SPACs have become a popular vehicle for companies to list on public markets, with major space players like Rocket Lab, BlackSky and Spire all completing deals with blank-check companies. Recent SPAC activity has cooled after many of these combined companies saw high shareholder redemption rates and shares plummet. As a result, some companies have started backing away from SPAC plans: this year, both Italian company D-Orbit and weather satellite analytics company Tomorrow.io cancelled their mergers.