Crowd safety company Evolv Technology is merging with a special acquisition company (Spac) to go public in a deal that values the firm at $1.7bn.
Evolv will merge with NewHold Investment Corp and the combined company expects to receive approximately $470m in gross proceeds.
Following the closing of the transaction the company will be led by Evolv boss Peter George and NewHold chief executive Kevin Charlton will join the board.
As well as the support of Bill Gates Evolv is also backed by venture capital firm General Catalyst. Evolv claims its platform eliminates the need for devices like metal detectors and physical security checks and is already used at top venues like New York’s Lincoln Center.
Last year the firm started using its technology to check people’s temperature which was in high demand as businesses start to reopen following lockdowns.
“Evolv Technology was built with a mission to make people safer in their everyday lives… Our merger with NewHold will provide the capital to build upon our expansive vision for human security,” George said.
Spacs have enjoyed popularity in the US and nearly 180 vehicles have been filed in New York alone this year. After IPO activity came to a near standstill at the start of the pandemic last year, Spacs were seen as a quicker and more predictable way to go public.
Spacs raise capital through a public listing with the purpose of acquiring an existing company.
A government-backed review into London’s stock market rules published last week recommended a Spac rules to be relaxed. Currently blank-cheque vehicles in London have to suspend trading when a deal is announced.