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Mark Lennihan / AP

There's a new upcoming IPO on the docket. But in an unusual twist, it's from a pair of venture capital firms—Social Capital and Hedosophia—according to an SEC filing. It plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "IPOA.U."

What it is: Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. is essentially a shell company that will go public and raise funds with the goal of acquiring or merging with a private company (which hasn't been selected yet). This transaction will allow the latter to skip over the arduous process of an IPO while also enjoying the benefits of being a publicly traded company. The company will also benefit from the capital injection of merging with this entity. Social Capital declined to comment.

  • It's what's known as a "blank check" company, meaning investors are betting on the team without knowing what they intend to buy. It's not super common, but not unheard of. More than a decade ago, three former Apple executives raised a bundle for a blank check company, but investors ended up losing most of their money.
  • Notably, the filing points out the growing number of "unicorns"—privates company valued at over $1 billion—relative to public companies of the same size (roughly150 to 200), suggesting the entity is likely to target a unicorn for its acquisition or merger.
  • Several venture capitalists have voiced concerns recently about the growing number of unicorns that are choosing to remain private for longer periods of time (which often means less liquidity for these investors than in previous eras).
  • We're already beginning to see some companies look into alternative routes, such as Spotify which is rumored to be considering a direct listing instead of an IPO.

Details: Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. will offer 50,000,000 units (or 57,500,000 units if the underwriters' over-allotment option is exercised in full), at $10 per unit, according to the document, raising between $500,000,000 and $575,000,000. Credit Suisse is the sole book-running manager for the IPO. The story has been updated with additional context and to correct Social Capital's firm name.

Go deeper

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

4 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

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