Startups

DC policy tech firm FiscalNote is (almost) a public company

The merger deal between the policy tech company and Duddell Street Acquisition Corp. was approved in a meeting on Wednesday, according to CEO Tim Hwang.

FiscalNote CEO Tim Hwang speaks at the World Economic Forum 2018.

(Photo via Twitter)

As of this week, you can call DC’s FiscalNote a public firm. Well, almost.

The Penn Quarter-based policy software company first announced plans to go public last fall via a merger deal with special purpose acquisition company Duddell Street Acquisition Corp. The pair held a final meeting Wednesday to approve the deal, CEO Tim Hwang confirmed to Technical.ly.

The meeting “went pretty well,” according to Hwang: There’s still some legal paperwork and I’s to dot and T’s to cross, but the combination deal was approved by Duddell. The deal is expected to value FiscalNote at $1.3 billion.

Following the official close of the deal — expected for July 29 — FiscalNote will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NOTE.” Trading is expected to begin Monday, Aug. 1.

The journey to the merger deal was step by step, Hwang said, from raises to new products. But while going public is an important milestone, it is by no means the end of the company’s growth: According to Hwang, he and his cofounders are not selling any shares as part of the transaction.

“If you come to our offices, the day before and the day after listing are probably going to be pretty similar,” Hwang said. “I think we just need to keep building a great company.”

The public move follows a swath of acquisitions from the company. In 2021, the company said it made 10 acquisitions, and it kicked off 2o22 with the announcement that it signed an agreement to acquire Korea’s Aicel Technologies. Hwang said FiscalNote plans to continue this strategy, acquiring more companies and products following the merger.

“We are a growth company,” the CEO said. “We’re very focused on trying to grow as much as possible in the short term.”

This will include expansion into industries like crypto, the gig economy, autonomous and electric vehicles, virtual sports betting and cannabis. Hwang also noted that FiscalNote has a very aggressive hiring plan through the end of the year, though he declined to offer a specific number. (See open roles here.) FiscalNote will be adding data sets as well as new software tools and workflow products, so it is likely to hire in those areas.

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As the deal is finalized, Hwang said that he hopes FiscalNote can be a flagship for other companies to move to the region and build here. He’s also hopeful that many FiscalNote employees eventually move on to build their own companies in the region as FiscalNote continues with its own growth.

“The company is still fairly young, in my opinion,” Hwang said. “I think that, candidly, a public listing is the beginning journey of a company.”

While FiscalNote’s graduation to a public company was met with success (including a bump in share price for Duddell Street when the deal was announced in November and a steady climb in July), SPACs have had a rough go of it in 2022. At least 30 SPAC deals have been called off this year, according to Bloomberg.

Companies: FiscalNote
People: Tim Hwang
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