3D GPS firm NextNav will go public in SPAC at $1.2B worth

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NextNav plans to go public at a $1.2 billion valuation by way of a particular function acquisition firm, or SPAC.

NextNav has spent the previous decade making an attempt to create three-dimensional positional know-how in order that smartphone customers can inform first responders and others the place they’re positioned in a vertical dimension. Should you’re in a skyscraper, it may possibly assist firefighters, police, and different first responders enormously in the event that they know precisely what flooring you’re on. NextNav can present that sort of data in actual time.

This type of 3D geolocation know-how has lots of people excited, together with sport firms reminiscent of Epic Video games and Niantic. I just lately did a webinar with NextNav concerning the potential for 3D geolocation know-how in video games.

The deal

The SPAC deal will assist NextNav turn into a public firm quicker than if it did a standard preliminary public providing (IPO). NextNav will mix with Spartacus Acquisition Company, leading to NextNav changing into a public firm.

Gary Parsons, former chairman for Sirius XM Radio, will function chairman of NextNav, and NextNav fairness holders will roll 100% of their present fairness holdings into the mixed firm.

The transaction values the mixed firm at a professional forma implied enterprise worth of about $900 million and a totally diluted professional forma fairness worth of about $1.2 billion and is predicted to supply roughly $408 million in gross proceeds.

Above: NextNav brings the Z-axis to navigation.

Picture Credit score: NextNav

The deal additionally features a personal funding in public fairness (PIPE), the place different buyers have agreed to place $205 million into the widespread inventory at $10.00 per share. These are strategic buyers that embody Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of the Koch Investments Group, in addition to funds managed by Fortress Funding Group, Ophir Asset Administration, Woody Creek Capital Administration, Quantlab Disruptive Applied sciences, Iridian Asset Administration, and Sponsor of Spartacus Acquisition Company.

Proceeds will assist NextNav’s next-generation, 3D geolocation platform throughout a $100 billion international whole addressable market serving public security, e911, mass-market shopper apps, electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown plane (eVTOLs), drones, autonomous automobiles, web of issues, important infrastructure, and numerous different sectors.

NextNav’s clients and companions embody AT&T FirstNet, Motorola Mobility, Gimbal, Epic Video games, Joby Aviation, and different location-based functions. The corporate will likely be listed on Nasdaq below NN when it goes public within the third or fourth quarters.

“NextNav has spent over a decade creating its modern 3D geolocation know-how, bringing exact floor-level altitude to present location providers and in-building, resilient location and timing enhancements to conventional GPS capabilities,” mentioned Parsons, in an announcement. “As with the creation of satellite tv for pc radio, NextNav’s industry-leading know-how is exclusive, unequalled, and guarded by greater than 100 patents. I’m excited concerning the constructive impression NextNav’s 3D geolocation and timing capabilities can have in defending the nation’s important infrastructure whereas assembly the superior 3D location wants of public security and rising markets and functions.”


NextNav will help people find their locations in skyscrapers.

Above: NextNav will assist individuals discover their places in skyscrapers.

Picture Credit score: Adobe, Courtesy of NextNav.

NextNav CEO Ganesh Pattabiraman mentioned in an interview with VentureBeat that he and cofounder Arun Raghupathy started exploring 3D GPS as an extension of their work on 2D GPS and indoor navigation. They began the corporate to ship higher data to first-responder providers like 911 so individuals may very well be simply positioned by way of their smartphones on the vertical axis.

“We thought that if we can provide you city navigation, then you may actually, actually unlock an entire new class of functions, identical to GPS did for the outside,” Pattabiraman mentioned. “And in order that led to the genesis of NextNav.”

One of many issues that helped was that smartphone distributors started to incorporate barometric stress sensors of their smartphones, and NextNav was ready to make use of that knowledge to find out how excessive somebody is, because the air stress adjustments while you rise vertically. The corporate created its Pinnacle service to measure vertical location. Nevertheless it additionally wanted to know your 2D place on a map as properly, so the service might combine it with GPS data. For this function, the corporate constructed out its TerraPoint 2D navigation service, which might pinpoint individuals on a 2D map. The mix of Pinnacle and TerraPoint enabled the corporate to create a extra correct image of the place somebody was within the 3D area.

NextNav pinpoints where someone is in an Embassy Suites hotel.

Above: NextNav pinpoints the place somebody is in an Embassy Suites lodge.

Picture Credit score: NextNav

“We outline it as including a [3D dimensional] layer to GPS, which is extra exact and resilient,” Pattabiraman mentioned. “There’s a particular want for a extra resilient place navigation and timing answer within the market. And that requires to reinforce the Pinnacle functionality with the TerraPoint service.”

The important thing was having the suitable issues fall into place, because the cellphone producers began placing a whole lot of sensors of their units. NextNav can get its accuracy to inside three meters.

The U.S. Division of Transportation acknowledged the tech. NextNav’s underlying property embody its international mental property portfolio of over 100 patents, a one-of-a-kind nationwide portfolio of licenses for two.4 billion MHz-PoPs of 900 MHz spectrum, and a deployed community reside in over 4,400 cities that covers over 90% of all buildings taller than three tales nationwide.

In suburban areas, peak is never a problem. However in huge cities and different city areas, having the ground location might be extraordinarily vital, and roughly 84% of the U.S. inhabitants lives in city areas the place multistory buildings make up many of the panorama. In locations like midtown Manhattan, Chicago’s Loop, or San Francisco’s Monetary District, there aren’t an entire lot of open, public areas. Inside procuring malls, it isn’t straightforward to search out somebody, as satellite tv for pc alerts don’t penetrate buildings.

“We’ll leverage the Pinnacle community to ship the ‘z-axis’ functionality after which with this TerraPoint service we will likely be augmenting it with extra exact x-y or latitude and longitude and timing capabilities,” Pattabiraman mentioned.

Earlier than the SPAC, the corporate had raised $300 million so far, and it has about 80 staff.


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