Finnish “space tourism startup” Space Nation (formerly Cohu Experience) is struggling to get traction. Their astronaut training app Space Nation Navigator – which is actually a collection of simple space-themed mobile games – saw little success with the community. Instead of the astronomic user counts which they promised to investors, it hovers around 40.000. And that may be a stretch.
In December 2017, Space Nation forecasted 4.000.000 for today. In reality, they reached 1% of this already down-written prognosis. Even when the app’s late launch is taken into account, it missed the milestone by -90%.
The projection above is taken from a presentation for Space Nation shareholders which was circulated some 9 months ago. The company was mugging for fresh money, again collected by Finland’s Privanet Securities Oy.
The material was not for the general public, but it’s interesting because it gives insights into a failed strategy. Download it here: spacenation-investors.pdf.
A takeover of NASA’s MISSION X campaign was planned for Q4 2017. That would have been a major coup: Mission X reaches out to >100.000 school children worldwide, which would be a perfect (though ethically suspect) marketing base.
It did not happen. The only thing Space Nation took over was the slogan. They plagiated the theme.
Especially annoying: With Mission X, kids actually do train. With the Space Nation app, it’s the opposite. Only the least intelligent churnalists could mistake scratching around on a smartphone screen for something related to real astronaut training.
The planned profit of 84 million Euro by May 2018 evaporated in the corrected forecast. Now the financial result was projected to -2 million. Taken into account the low user recruitment, the real number could be -4 to -6 million. The company hasn’t made their last balance public. This blog will, when the documents become available.
However, it’s 90 million less than promised to their crowdfunders and other investors.
Another investment round, that was officially announced for Spring 2017, was called off without further notice. Space Nation aimed to pocket another 2,8M from the american crowdfunding platform fundable.com. The 625.000 Euro raised in Finland (according to Privanet) could hardly fix anything. The company will need more funding soon.
The stocks issued for €13,67/share in Februar and December 2017 last traded in March at €8 in the Privanet propietary platform. Now they’re offered like foul fish, but nobody is buying them for as low as 4,99. Desperate shareholders now have to stick with Space Nation at any cost.
Only one thing may rescue the risky enterprise: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which is finally at the edge of commercial space flight. The space tourism pioneer could take Space Nation candidates on board – possibly in 2019. Space Nation could win a hard-fought over seat by promising Branson added publicity – but does Virgin need support from a finnish startup that has (quote) nothing than “an app and an idea”?
With the money already raised and the current fees, 20-30 people could go to space without the need for startup bullshit, Slush events, business models and merchandise.
Five years from now, when people think space, they will think Space Nation. (-a finnish entrepeneur)
ps. Like the earlight company Valkee Ltd, Space Nation is a client of finnish PR hazardeurs Netprofile Oy. Bingo!
pps. Valkee is no longer able to purchase such services, unlike Space Nation, which is midways in its Gaussian-shaped carreer.