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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Desktop Metal, a Burlington, Massachussetts-based maker of 3D metal printing systems, agreed to go public via a reverse merger with Trine Acquisition, a SPAC formed last year by veteran telecom investor Leo Hindery. It would give Desktop Metal an initial market value of around $2.5 billion.

Why it matters: This was the result of a formal, bank-led auction among SPACs, CEO Ric Fulop tells Axios, without Desktop Metal also running a parallel IPO or private equity process. That's unusual, but likely to become more common as SPACs proliferate.

  • Trine will contribute $300 million via the merger, while Desktop Metal also secured $275 million via a $10 per share PIPE from Miller Value Partners, XN, Baron Capital Group, Chamath Palihapitiya, JB Straubel, and HPS Investment Partners.
  • Desktop Metal raised around $450 million in VC funding, most recently in early 2019 at a $1.5 billion valuation. Backers include Lux Capital, Ford, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, Koch Disruptive Technologies, GV, and GE Ventures.

The bottom line: "While the earlier boom in 3D printing focused on consumer printers that could spew out trinkets, today’s focus is industrial uses like automotive and aerospace where designs that could only be produced on such printers create more efficient parts with less weight," per Forbes.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya bets big on Medicare Advantage provider

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Conventional investor wisdom is to steer clear of next month's election, due to its inherent uncertainty and consequential volatility. But, this morning, Chamath Palihapitiya bet big on a company whose fortunes may be significantly impacted by the presidential victor.

Driving the news: Clover Health, a tech-enabled provider of Medicare Advantage plans, agreed to go public via a reverse merger with a Palihapitiya-led SPAC called Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings III (NYSE: IPOC).

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Space cargo company Momentus going public via SPAC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Space cargo delivery startup Momentus has agreed to go public via a reverse merger that would value the company at just over $1.5 billion, Axios has learned from a source familiar with the situation.

Details: The company would become listed on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MNTS, and would secure a simultaneous $175 million investment from Capital Group, D.E. Shaw, Lerner Enterprises, Tribe Capital, and Axon Capital.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.