By Joshua Franklin
NEW YORK (Reuters) - 3D-printing technology provider Shapeways Inc said on Wednesday it has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition firm Galileo Acquisition Corp at a valuation of $410 million, including debt.
Shapeways is the latest 3D printing company to agree to a deal to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), following the likes of Desktop Metal Inc, Markforged and Velo3D.
The global 3D printing market is seen growing to $34.8 billion by 2024 from $9.9 billion in 2018, according to a 2019 report by MarketsandMarkets.
"Ultimately going public will accelerate a lot of the goals that Shapeways wants to attain. The public validation of our business will help accelerate the growth of our company," Shapeways Chief Executive Greg Kress said in an interview.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Shapeways and Galileo were nearing a deal to merge.
Shapeways helps engineers turn digital designs into physical products through its software, online marketplace and 3-D printing facilities. The company says it has produced more than 20 million parts for over 1 million customers worldwide, mostly through polymers.
Shapeways said it expects the merger with Galileo will provide it up to $195 million of gross proceeds, coming from funds raised by Galileo in its initial public offering and $75 million in a private investment in public equity (PIPE). Investors in the PIPE include Miller Value, XN, and Desktop Metal.
The company plans to use the funds to grow its offering to new materials, expand into new countries and invest in its software.
"We offer 90 materials and finishes today. We expect that to grow to over 200 materials and finishes over the next 5 years. That requires investment in new hardware, new technologies, new materials to go meet that need, specifically in metals," said Kress.
New York-based Shapeways was spun out of Royal Philips Electronics' lifestyle incubator. Its investors include venture capital firms Andreesen Horowitz, Lux Capital and Union Square Ventures.
SPACs are shell companies that raise funds in an initial public offering with the aim of merging with a private company, which becomes public as result. In the past year, they have become a popular alternative to a traditional IPO.
Galileo raised $138 million in an October IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
On the closing of the deal, which is dependant on a Galileo shareholder vote, the combined company's stock would trade under the symbol "SHPW".
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; editing by Richard Pullin)