Will going public grand the legal status for Mikhail Kokorich in the United States, which he cannot get for over six years already?
Is Momentus Space Going Public to Legitimize Its Owner in the US?
What could be the reason for a three-year-old space startup to go public and raise some money instead of collecting funding during the usual investment stage? Is it the success of a similar venture that happened before? Willingness to get even more money for their goals? Or is it an opportunity to earn more trust and gain more financial support by attracting numerous investors?
All the reasoning makes a strong case, but what is the basis for this particular situation — Momentus Space going public soon? Especially considering their willingness to complete an IPO through a blank check type of a company, which is often used by companies that would not handle a traditional IPO otherwise.
About Momentus Space
Momentus Space startup was created in 2017 in California by a Russian expat Mikhail Kokorich. The company develops an innovative approach to engine development; in particular, they have come up with a water propulsion system. It is more ecological than traditional engine systems. Besides, it would allow using water resources from space to move to farther destinations. Overall, they have a plan to become a “last-mile” solution for launching companies and enable more efficient use of resources. However, the experts should check some particular details scrupulously before making an investment decision.
Mikhail Kokorich and Russian Connections
The most important thing to know about Momentus Space going public is the figure of its owner and CEO. Having come to the US from Russia after some of his companies got into trouble with the government in his home country, he decided to become a part of American space business. Canopus System was the first American-based company in partnership with Thomas Svitek. Yet, it ended with Kokorich taking all the IP rights and know-how, leaving Svitek outside, and launching another company. Then there was Astro Digital, and its story is not transparent either. Now the court dealing against Momentus CEO and some of his partners on the matter of dishonesty is in process, and its outcomes are unknown yet.
But there is even more to it than unfair play. In Astro Digital, Kokorich had to leave the company as he did not have the right to engage with “dual-use” technologies (most technologies in the space sector can be used both for military and peaceful goals). Now, several years later, the Russian expat still has no permission to work with those technologies.
The above fact is clearly indicated in the company’s prospectus as a risk factor. However, as for the company’s management, they don’t consider it to be a large problem. On the one hand, top management doesn’t have to dive deep into the technological issues. On the other hand, the situation is still unclear with the company’s chief, who offers ideas for the development of Momentus technologies but cannot have access to those inventions.
Meanwhile, one could conclude that going public would assist Kokorich in gaining a stronger status in the US. As a CEO of a publicly-traded company, he might once again seek permission to work with American secret technologies. Besides, publicity means transparency and more opportunities, both in terms of contracts and financial support, which the company might be lacking at the moment.
With all that in mind, it will be soon clear whether Momentus is planning going public for its own sake or to help its CEO. Yet, one thing we know for sure — investors should stay cautious and consider all the pros and cons before making a decision.