AI and cloud-based additive manufacturing platform makes SPAC deal

March 05, 2021 // By Rich Pell
AI and cloud-based additive manufacturing platform makes SPAC deal
Additive manufacturing company Markforged has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with 'one' (NYSE: AONE), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by A-star (A*).

Founded in 2013, Markforged is the creator of an integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform, The Digital Forge - a cloud and ML-based 3D printing platform designed to interconnect all of the company's systems currently being used around the world. It is claimed to be the first such platform to use machine learning, a feature that enables the company's Eiger print preparation software to constantly learn from the 12,000 systems in its 73-country-wide global fleet.

As such, says the company, every print on a connected Markforged system should theoretically be more accurate than the last. The platform targets demanding applications across key verticals, including industrial automation, aerospace, military and defense, space exploration, healthcare and medical, and automotive.

one is a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by A* formed for the purpose of effecting a business combination with one or more businesses in the innovation economy. A* was founded and is led by technology industry veteran and investor Kevin Hartz.

The combined company will have an estimated post-transaction equity value of approximately $2.1 billion at closing. The transaction will provide $425 million in gross proceeds to the Company, assuming no redemptions by one shareholders, including a $210 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) at $10.00 per share from investors including Baron Capital Group, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Miller Value Partners, Wasatch Global Investors and Wellington Management, as well as commitments from M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund and Porsche Automobil Holding SE, existing Markforged shareholders.

Net transaction proceeds, says the company, will support Markforged’s continued growth across key verticals and strengthen its competitive advantage with new products, proprietary materials and expanded customer use cases.

"Our mission and vision are to reinvent manufacturing by bringing the power and agility of connected software to the world of industrial manufacturing," says Shai Terem, President and CEO of Markforged. "We’ve been at the forefront of the additive manufacturing industry, and this transaction will enable us to build on our incredible momentum and provide capital and flexibility to grow our brand, accelerate product innovation, and drive expanded adoption among customers across key verticals."

"We're focused on making manufacturing even better by capitalizing on the huge opportunity ahead," says Terem, "and we are making this important leap through our new long-term partnership with Kevin Hartz and the entire team at one, a group of seasoned founders and operators with unparalleled experience. Their expertise and guidance will be invaluable as we continue to reinvent manufacturing today, so our customers can build anything they imagine tomorrow."

Kevin Hartz adds, "Markforged has already reinvented the additive manufacturing industry and is well-positioned for robust growth benefiting from the velocity of digitization. When launching one, our priority was to partner with a company with exceptional founders, visionaries and operators taking a differentiated approach in large and growing markets – Markforged ticked all of those boxes and more. We’re thrilled to be working closely with the entire Markforged team, comprised of highly engaged founders, visionary leaders and world-class engineers, uniquely positioned to lead a revolution in modern manufacturing."

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Markforged and one, is expected to close in the summer of 2021, subject to the usual approvals and closing conditions. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will retain the Markforged name and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MKFG."

Markforged

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