Bright Machines Inc., which describes itself as a “leader in intelligent, software-defined manufacturing,” announced today that it has agreed to merge with SCVX, a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC. Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2021, the combined company will operate as Bright Machines and be a publicly traded company.
“Our industrial automation platform, powered by proprietary software and AI-driven solutions, allows even the most traditional manufacturing companies to quickly and easily deploy flexible automation solutions at scale,” stated Amar Hanspal, co-founder and CEO of Bright Machines. “We believe that our technology represents a big leap in the transformation of manufacturing, as companies adapt to growing consumer demand, intensifying competition, and the refactoring of global supply chains to improve resiliency and sustainability.”'
Founded in 2018, Bright Machines said it uses computer vision, machine learning, 3D simulation, and adaptive robotics to improve the flexibility, scalability, and economics of production. The San Francisco-based company has more than 500 employees worldwide, including about 150 software engineers. They work at research and development centers in the U.S. and Israel, as well as field operations in the U.S., Mexico, China, and Poland.
“I am very proud of the solutions we’ve delivered and the positive benefits our customers have realized as a result,” Hanspal said. “Going forward, we plan to substantially accelerate our growth and better service our customers by doubling down on software and expanding our reach through new sales channels and geographies.”
Bright Machines reimagines manufacturing
Over the past few years, global manufacturing has faced challenges including global trade conflicts, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and pandemic-induced factory closures, said Bright Machines. More and more companies are accelerating their efforts to onshore or re-shore production to secure their supply chains and build products closer to their end users, it added.
Bright Machines said it provides “microfactory” robotic cells and Brightware software that customers can quickly and flexibly deploy at a pace and cost that scales along with their business. The company has a portfolio of 36 patents and 25 global customers spanning essential industries including network infrastructure, data centers, automotive, consumer products, medical devices, and industrial equipment.
“It is clear that Bright Machines’ differentiated, software-driven approach to industrial automation has the potential to completely upend traditional manufacturing methods,” said Carl Bass, former CEO of Autodesk Inc. and chairman of the board at Bright Machines. “The company has demonstrated product-market fit and is seeing accelerating customer interest and broad deployment of their solutions. The opportunity in front of the team is simply enormous.”
SPAC supports data-driven factories
The transaction is expected to provide up to $435 million in gross cash proceeds, including $230 million of cash held in trust from SCVX, assuming no redemptions from the trust account by public investors of SCVX.
In addition, investors including XN, Hudson Bay Master Fund Ltd., SB Management Limited (a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp and manager to SB Northstar LP), Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, and Alyeska Investment Group, have committed to invest $205 million in the form of a private investment in public equity (PIPE) at a price of $10 per share of SCVX, immediately prior to the closing of the transaction.
XN, SCVX’s sponsor, and certain other SCVX stockholders will be restricted from transferring or selling their shares until 180 days after the closing of the merger, subject to the satisfaction of certain equity performance thresholds, or one year after the closing of the merger, whichever comes first.
“Bright Machines’ innovative, industrial automation technology provides a crucial pathway for manufacturers to upgrade and secure their factories for the realities of the 21st century,” said Mike Doniger, CEO and chairman of the board of SCVX. “Geopolitical tensions and the increasing threat of cyberattacks on manufacturing facilities are making it even more important for companies to minimize their supply chain risks and prepare for a world of distributed manufacturing.”
“The momentum we have seen from Bright Machines in the nascent but critical space of software-defined manufacturing proves the strength of their solution and strategy,” he added. “They are dramatically improving the speed and economics associated with the adoption of smart production lines and, eventually, fully programmable factories.”
The boards of directors of both SCVX and Bright Machines have approved the transaction. It will require the approval of the stockholders of SCVX, and is subject to other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021. Following the completion of the transaction, Hanspal will continue to lead Bright Machines as CEO.
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