Virgin Galactic has become the first space-tourism enterprise to go public following its trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The listing saw the company’s shares jump 5.1% on its first–day trading on Monday 28 October.
The 5.1% jump comes after the firm’s shares rose 11% on Friday upon news that a merger had taken place with a currently trading shell investment company, Social Capital Hedosophia – owned by Sri Lanka-born Chamath Palihapitiya.
The founder of Social Capital’s Hedosophia will contribute $100 million to the venture and become Virgin Galactic’s chairman.
According to Virgin Galactic, the public offering, which involves approximately 40% of total stock, values the company at $2.4 billion. The remainder of the company is owned by Branson and backers from Abu Dhabi.
This critical funding for the future of the company further highlights its participation in what is being referred to as the “new space race”, which includes Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.