Bill Gates-sponsored battery producer QuantumScape to join 'blank-check' IPO frenzy

Bill Gates-sponsored battery producer QuantumScape to join 'blank-check' IPO frenzy
FILE PHOTO: VW hosts photo workshop at Zwickau plantReuters
  • Electric vehicle battery developer QuantumScape plans to go public through a reverse merger with SPAC firm Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp.
  • The combined company aims to trade with a valuation of $3.3 billion under the ticker QE.
  • The battery producer touts backing from automotive giants including Volkswagen, as well as a venture investment from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
  • SPAC deals have flourished through the year on a wave of sustained public-market demand.
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Battery producer QuantumScape is the latest firm to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, merger.

The company said Thursday it will make its market debut after joining with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. QuantumScape aims to go public with a valuation of $3.3 billion, and is set to trade on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker QE.

The battery company has backing from industry giants including Volkswagen, Shanghai Auto, and Continental. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also holds a stake in the firm.

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SPAC-driven initial public offerings have surged in popularity through 2020. Roughly $34 billion has been raised across 84 SPAC deals in 2020 so far, according to Last year saw 59 deals raise just $13.6 billion.


The so-called blank-check firms raise capital in public markets with the intention of buying a private company. Acquisitions typically take place within two years of the SPAC's market debut. Such deals can replace traditional IPOs, as a merger between the public SPAC and its private target leads to the combined company trading publicly.

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Nikola Motors was the last automotive company to go public through a SPAC merger, and its stock rally suggests healthy investor demand for such deals. The firm's shares tripled in the days after its market debut, but have since slid back to their offering price.

Other electric vehicle companies to join the SPAC trend include Fisker, Lordstown Motors, and Canoo.

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