Columbia-based BigBear.ai plans to go public via SPAC merger - Technical.ly Baltimore

Growth

Columbia-based BigBear.ai plans to go public via SPAC merger

With the merger with California's GigCapital4, the company is expected to be valued at $1.57 billion.

BigBear is coming to the NASDAQ.

(Photo by Flickr user David, used under a Creative Commons license)

A Columbia-based data and advanced analytics company with roots working with the government is set to become a publicly traded company as it makes plans to expand in the commercial market, per plans announced this month.

BigBear.ai plans to merge with Palo Alto, California-based GigCapital4, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which is already traded on the NASDAQ exchange. When the deal is completed in the third quarter of 2021, the newly created company, also called BigBear.ai, is expected to be valued at about $1.57 billion.

BigBear.ai itself was formed through a merger earlier in 2021 between NuWave Solutions and PCI Strategic Management. The company is led by Dr. Reggie Brothers, who previously led NuWave and is a former CTO of Herdon, Virginia-based Peraton, as well as undersecretary of science and technology in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is backed by investment firm AE Industrial Partners.

The company offers artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud-based data analytics and cyber engineering. It has primarily served the defense, government and intelligence communities to date, and has roots there, with 92% of the more than 550-employee workforce possessing secret-level or higher U.S. government security clearance levels. Now, it is looking to expand in serving businesses as it seeks to make data actionable and handle cyber threats. Leadership sees opportunity to expand in areas like infrastructure, energy, logistics, healthcare, media and finance.

“Our end-to-end data-driven decision dominance technology provides clarity and insight in complex environments — we empower customers to make the best decisions fast through exploratory analytics and anticipatory intelligence,” Brothers said in a statement. “This is an absolutely mission critical service for our defense and intelligence customers, who trust BigBear.ai in situations where there is little margin for error. We also see a ripe opportunity in the growing commercial market, as companies dedicate their budget to technology that allows them to harness the power of AI and ML for predictive analytics and forecasting capabilities to manage risk and capitalize on opportunities.”

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Along with bringing one of the region’s many government-facing firms into the business spotlight of Wall Street, the decision to go public will allow the company to expand further.

“As a public company, BigBear.ai will have a stronger capital structure to invest in additional technology development, expand commercial R&D and business development teams, and accelerate growth both organically and through acquisitions,” said Dr. Raluca Dinu, CEO of GigCapital4, in a statement.

According to an investor presentation, the company is expecting $277 million in revenue for 2022, which is 63% growth.

It’s the latest tech company rooted in Maryland to announce plans to go public via SPAC, which provides a route to public markets through a merger with a “blank check” company as opposed to the traditional initial public offering. Other companies with local teams involved in recent SPAC deals include College Park quantum computing company IonQ and space-based mobile broadband company AST SpaceMobile. The IPO is also still an option, as shown by Friday’s filing from on-demand manufacturing platform Xometry.

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