At last, investors can soon buy shares in a space-travel company. Richard Branson is the first-mover. The billionaire is opening up Virgin Galactic to outside investment in an upcoming IPO. The deal is expected to happen before year-end, keeping the IPO ball rolling in 2019.
It is a boon for all of private-sector space travel – not only Richard Branson’s company – as it thrusts other players including SpaceX and Blue Origin further into the spotlight. It might similarly set off a wave of IPOs in the space-travel industry, though Elon Musk probably has reservations about bringing a second company to market where he would be under greater scrutiny by the U.S. SEC.
Branson, who is not the least bit afraid to share the spotlight, told CNBC:
“It’s a very, very, very exciting time for space with Virgin Galactic, with what Elon’s doing, what Jeff Bezos is doing, with what Boeing are doing. And the investment community is beginning to take a lot of interest in it….We believe it will be one of the big new industries of the future.”
Having demonstrated the repeatability our full flight profile with two crewed spaceflights, we had an opportunity to rethink our investment plans. @virgingalactic is now on track to become the first ever publicly listed human spaceflight company https://t.co/mk5dCNKulq pic.twitter.com/R1Ib7i2tL9
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 9, 2019
Wall Street and Space Travel
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have both brought companies public before – Tesla and Amazon. It’s within the realm of possibility that they would do it again. Now that Branson is doing it, he’s going to up the ante and we’re going to begin seeing more Wall Street reports on space tourism.