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llustration:Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Electric scooter company Bird on Wednesday agreed to go public via a SPAC, at an implied value of around $2.3 billion.

Between the lines: This is a lower valuation than what Bird got in the private markets before the pandemic, but could help set it up to benefit from a rider rebound as cities reopen.

Details: Bird is being acquired by Switchback II, a SPAC that was originally formed to buy an energy company.

  • The deal includes a $160 million "PIPE" investment led by existing Bird investor Fidelity, plus a $40 million asset financing facility from Apollo Investment Corp. and MidCap Financial Trust.
  • Bird had raised nearly $1 billion in private funding, including a previously-undisclosed $208 million infusion last month from Bracket Capital, Sequoia Capital and Valor Equity Partners.

The big picture: SPACs are back, after a brief time-out as the SEC required sponsors to sort out certain accounting issues. In addition to Bird, there have been large deals this week for such companies as Ginkgo Bioworks and Wynn Resorts.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
May 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

Ginkgo Bioworks CEO wants to build the Amazon Web Services of biotech

Ginkgo Bioworks CEO Jason Kelly at the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2019. Photo: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Boston-based synthetic biology leader Ginkgo Bioworks will go public via the SPAC company Soaring Eagle Acquisition.

Why it matters: The deal — one of the biggest yet in the SPAC space — values Ginkgo at an implied $15 billion, and will channel funding into CEO Jason Kelly's plans to turn the company into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of synthetic biology.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
May 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

SoftBank and StubHub vets form new SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Jeffrey Housenbold, who recently stepped down as a managing partner of SoftBank Vision Fund, has formed a new SPAC with Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who was president of ticket resale firm StubHub until it was acquired last year by Viagogo.

Why it matters: The death of SPACs has been greatly exaggerated.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

NTSB probes crash that killed 10 in Alabama as storm lashes Southeast

Flash-flooding in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it's investigating a fiery multi-vehicle weekend crash in Alabama that killed 10 people, including nine children, as storms swept the Southeast.

The big picture: Saturday's crash on Interstate 65, south of Montgomery, occurred amid a tropical depression that left 13 people dead in Alabama as it triggered flash floods and spawned tornadoes that razed "dozens of homes," per AP.