The news unfolded last week. On December 7th, Planet Labs Inc announced that its proposed business combination with acquisition company dMY IV was approved by dMY IV’s stockholders. By doing so, they’d become the latest in a flurry of space companies closing special purpose acquisition companies’ deals and going public. Approximately 99 per cent of the votes cast at a meeting, on December 3rd, voted to approve the transaction. The transaction results in at least $590 million in gross proceeds for the post-closing company. This includes proceeds from the dMY IV trust account and the previously announced committed private placement. Following the closing, the post-closing company is “Planet Labs PBC”. Its common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange beginning on December 8 under the ticker symbol “PL”.
“Continue driving innovation in Earth data and analytics”
On December 3rd, right before dMY’s stakeholder meeting, Planet co-founder and CEO Will Marshall was quoted on the upcoming deal. “We are excited to announce the approval of this transaction and look forward to using this capital to continue driving innovation in Earth data and analytics to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems as a public company. Our forthcoming status as a public benefit corporation once we are listed emphasizes this commitment. With our leading data and imaging platform and the experience of the Planet and dMY IV teams, we will further scale our business and accelerate on our growth initiatives.”
“Harness the power of space”
On the same day, Niccolo de Masi, CEO of dMY IV added: “As a pioneer in the industry, Planet has created an exceptional platform that leverages data-driven insights to harness the power of space to help life on Earth,” said Niccolo de Masi, CEO of dMY IV. “With the support of our stockholders for the business combination, we look forward to the next phase of our partnership with Will and the Planet team as they become public and cement their leadership position in the data ecosystem.” At that time, the formal results of the vote were not yet included in a Current Report on Form 8-K. This was still to be filed by the post-closing company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Supporting new and existing growth initiatives
In connection with the closing of the Business Combination, Planet received gross proceeds of over $590 million. This includes proceeds from the dMY IV trust account and the previously announced private placement (“PIPE”). The PIPE had participation from CPP Investments, Koch Strategic Platforms, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, and existing Planet investor, Google, among others. The capital will be used to fund Planet’s operations and support new and existing growth initiatives. The name Planet Labs PBC reflects the company’s status as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity to a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.”
“A decade of hard work and dedication”
On December 7th, Mrs Marshall and de Masi took the stage again. They issued some more statements on the deal. Planet co-founder and CEO Will Marshall said: “Today marks a huge milestone for Planet and our team. It’s representing over a decade of hard work and dedication to using space to help life on earth. Our listing on the NYSE and fully capitalized growth plan will enable us to accelerate our business and work with our partners towards creating a more sustainable and secure world.”
“Delivering critical insights and solutions”
Niccolo de Masi, CEO of dMY Technology Group spoke as a member of the combined company’s board of directors. “Planet is a true pioneer. It’s delivering critical insights and solutions to some of the world’s most influential companies and governments. The company’s rapidly growing and one-to-many data platform business is poised for tremendous growth. This because data becomes increasingly central to the global economy. There’s a strong leadership team in place and a growing market for data-driven insights. This means that Planet is well-positioned to further scale the business and drive value for shareholders.”
Planet’s management team is led by CEO and co-founder Will Marshall, Chief Strategy Officer. Also in the team are co-founder Robbie Schingler, CFO and COO Ashley Johnson, and President of Product and Business Kevin Weil. They will continue to lead the public company following the Business Combination, as previously announced. After the closing of the Business Combination, the combined company’s Board of Directors will consist of seven members: Will Marshall, Robbie Schingler, Heidi Roizen, Niccolo de Masi, Vijaya Gadde, Carl Bass and Ita Brennan.