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Guest: Dylan Taylor; Topics: NewSpace & commercial space business, investment, market and opportunity review for 2019 and preview for 2020.
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We welcomed Dylan Taylor back to the show for a two segment 94 minute discussion focusing on NewSpace, commercial space, capital acquisition, markets, industry segments, and overall US economic influences from 2019 and going onward to 2020. Note that during the first and second segment break I provided the sponsor message shout out for our great sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring The Space Show for 2020, please email me at email@example.com.
We started our discussion talking about the Boeing Starliner problem in reaching the ISS and proper orbit after the early morning launch which went as planned. Dylan discussed the problem as it was known at the time of our program, plus we talked about 2019 Boeing challenges including the 737 Max. After talking about Boeing, we moved on to talking about the appearance and availability of NewSpace investment funds now on the market. This was a new development that to me seemed strong in 2019. Dylan did talk about this, about the availability of angel capital, entrepreneurial business incubators, the improvements in business plans, lower launch costs with reliability and reusability and more. He named many of the funds and investment opportunities, including those outside the US as he said the largest fund like this was in the UK, Seraphim Capital (https://seraphimcapital.co.uk). We took in several listener emails on this topic, mostly focusing on lowered launch costs and various NewSpace opportunities, reliability, reusability, and risk. Dylan also got questions about his own venture, Voyager Space Holding.
For the bulk of the first segment, we talked NewSpace industry segments, IPO's and how to do an IPO citing Virgin Galactic as one model available for becoming a public company. Acquisitions were mentioned plus he talked about his working with Jon Goff of Altius, competition within Voyager and many related topics. At times we used the 2019 information to jump ahead to predict or at least suggest what might happen in the industry or the specific segment for 2020. Toward the end of the first segment, Dylan provided us with an overview of the US economy, our national debt, taxes, interest rates, austerity versus inflation, recession, NewSpace potential resilience and more.
We turned to the second segment of the program, after our sponsor messages, to continue talking about the economy, mainstream, and disrupters for the future. Dylan put forth the case for space so make sure you hear what he had to say. He talked about there being possibly trillion dollar opportunities ahead, but he offered caution, especially as to how one might "play" it.
Another email listener wanted to know about a possible NewSpace company shakeout in 2020. Dylan had much to say about an industry shakeout, plus he provided a different way of viewing such changes within the industry. Don't miss his analysis. I asked Dylan if was able to pick winners and losers in terms of businesses, start-ups, and such. He said one cannot pick all winners. He talked about winning ingredients for a business including a team for management that can go through quality due diligence, show experience, even experience in a business failure or setback. He said good ideas were a dime a dozen so the team was what counted. He also said one needs to pick good sectors.
As we were nearing the end of the second segment, we took a listener email with questions about human spaceflight and commercial opportunities. Dylan had much to say on human spaceflight so don't miss it. The same for the next topic, space settlement. Before ending, we talked about the foreign component of the NewSpace industry. While some of this was mentioned earlier in the program, Dylan had much more to say this time, including calling out European companies, Japanese and others but he also pointed out significant cultural differences. Listen to what he had to say about cultural differences.
Before ending, a Seattle listener asked Dylan a question I always raise, that is, what part or percentage of the public should be signing onto a space project or policy for it to be viable. After responding to Linda's question, we evolved over to a discussion about Artemis, national security missions, China, NASA Administrator Bridenstine, and more. From here, Dylan summarized his key points from today's discussion and looked ahead to 2020 for us. This included possible shocks to the system due to the upcoming election, market uncertainty and what some candidates may or may not bring to the table regarding uncertainty. He noted that uncertainty was not something that the market or investors took kindly.
Please post your questions/comments on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dylan Taylor through me or through Voyager Space Holdings, http://voyagerspaceholdings.com.