The public auction on the assets of Firefly Space Systems planned for Thursday is being conducted by an Ukrainian serial entrepreneur who made his fortune running online dating sites but more recently has turned his attention toward space ventures.
Maxym Polyakov, 38, is president of EOS Launcher, Inc.,which will be conducting the auction. The company was registered in Delaware on Jan. 27, but it is run out of Polyakov’s offices in Menlo Park, Calif.
According to Polyakov’s Linkedin profile, EOS stands for Earth Observing System. The venture, which begun in January 2016, is focused on a range of space activities.
Along with our partners we provide the full circle of space-related services in-house:
1) launch vehicles designed and manufactured by EOS to deliver payloads;
2) modern satellite platforms to carry out scientific and commercial tasks in desired orbit;
3) network of private terrestrial satellite stations for tracking the satellites and data retrieving;
4) proprietary satellite data, processed through our unique analytical engine.
We believe big data and AI to be the Next Digital Disruption. Facing the Data Tsunami of 100 terabytes plus every day capturing data to identify trends or patterns is critically useful for economy. But extracting MEANING to find the SOLUTION is priceless.
Polyakov is CEO and managing partner of Noosphere Ventures, which began exploring opportunities in Ukraine’s space industry several years ago. An article published by Ukraine Digital News in November 2014 outlined the company’s efforts working with Polyakov’s alma mater, Dnepropetrovsk National University.
Mark Watt, a partner in the American-Ukrainian asset management firm Noosphere – which has just invested in commerce platform Prosto.ua – said the search for such projects is mainly conducted in universities. “The criteria, as with most startups, is viability, scalability, the commercial element and the team,” he said.
Currently, Noosphere aims to evaluate whether or not it is possible for Ukraine to catch up after 20 years when the space industry was not given due attention by the government or investors.
The company is working with Dnepropetrovsk National University, where it opened a School of Engineering. A Space Research and Technology Laboratory is opening soon as well.
Noosphere has been considering proposals for investment in projects involving plasma engines and minisputniks. “But so far it is too soon to say anything specific. We have just started,” Watt said, adding that much will depend on the future situation in Ukraine and its social, political and legislative microclimate.
Ukraine inherited a substantial space industry after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Companies have worked closely with Russia and western partners on a number of programs, including the Zenit, Dnepr and Antares launch vehicles.
Relations with Russia have suffered in recent years follow Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its occupation of eastern Ukraine. The rupture in relations have hurt collaboration on the Zenit and Denpr programs.
Polyakov originally made his fortune in online dating. He was a co-Founder of Cupid Plc, serving as its COO and executive director. He was previously CEO of Easy Date Holdings Ltd.