Serena Williams-backed SPAC to take printing firm Velo3D public at $1.6 billion valuation

(Reuters) -Velo3D Inc, a 3D printing technology firm, will merge with Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp, backed by tennis star Serena Williams, in a deal that values the combined entity at $1.6 billion, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) includes $155 million from Baron Capital Group and Hedosophia and other private investors, confirming an earlier report here by Reuters, and will fetch $500 million in proceeds for the combined company.

Silicon Valley-based Velo3D was founded in 2015 and supplies hardware and software in 3D printing technology to industrial clients, including aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

The company has previously raised $138 million from investors including venture capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners and Khosla Ventures.

Other 3D printing-focused SPAC deals announced in recent months include Markforged and Desktop Metal Inc. SPACs are shell firms that allow companies to go public with less regulatory scrutiny than a traditional initial public offering.

Jaws Spitfire was launched last year by Starwood Capital Group chairman Barry Sternlicht and raised $300 million in an initial public offering in December, the same month when Williams joined its board of directors.

After the merger is completed, the combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “VLD”.

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