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Social Capital says its 'IPO 2.0' is a better process for unicorns

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Venture capital firm Social Capital wants to make going public cool again, this morning raising $600 million in an IPO for a blank check acquisition company that is designed to eventually acquire a tech "unicorn."

Unicorn? That's the Silicon Valley term for a privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more.

Why it matters: There is a glut of highly-valued and well-capitalized startups that have avoided going public, often to avoid both the hassle of an IPO and the scrutiny that comes with being listed. The trend has frustrated a lot of startup employees and investors, who want to convert their equity into into cash. Social Capital hopes its approach can help alleviate the pressure.