World View, which focuses on remote sensing and stratospheric surveillance, has agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm.
The deal with Leo Holdings Corp. II will see World View’s owners receive a total consideration of about $350 million, subject to adjustments, according to a regulatory filing that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report.
The companies may enter into additional agreements for as much as $75 million of equity or equity-linked financing, Leo said in the filing.
Tucson, Arizona-based World View, led by CEO Ryan Hartman, said in November it would partner with Sierra Nevada Corp. to operate balloon platforms for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Earlier that month, the company said it was teaming up with Scepter Inc. to gather data on methane emissions and uncover potential leaks from oil and gas production in the Permian Basin of Texas. An initial balloon was set to cover ExxonMobil operations while a second is set to cover oil fields operated by Chevron, Occidental, Pioneer and others.
“We’re pioneering an entirely new economy, as the stratosphere is a layer that has not traditionally been used for imagery or data collection,” Hartman said in an interview. “Our technology can create unique insights and data sets which contribute to a radically improved future.”
In addition to its remote-sensing business, World View has begun selling six-to-eight hour journeys at $50,000 a seat through its space tourism operation, according to its website. It has raised funding from Accel, Canaan and Norwest Venture Partners, among other investors.
Hartman said World View will “continue to scale and grow our remote sensing business, so we can become profitable in coming years.”
“There are a lot of investors looking for purpose-driven companies and we’re excited to create an opportunity for them by going public,” he said.
The Leo SPAC, led by Lion Capital executives including Ed Forst, Lyndon Lea and Robert Darwent, raised $375 million in a January 2021 initial public offering. Another Leo SPAC took Local Bounti Corp. public in 2021.