Richard Branson and Chamath Palihapitiya Partner to Take Space Tourism Company Virgin Galactic
Wow, OK, let’s start the day off with a bang. Two years ago, I wrote about Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya’s lofty goal of helping billion-dollar startups get liquid sooner.
At the time, he had raised $600 million in an IPO for his blank check company, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings. The idea was that Social Capital Hedosophia would acquire a big tech company and help it circumvent the initial public offering process.
The process for a tech company valued at more than $1 billion to go public is long and distracting, Palihapitiya told me at the time. It involves conducting an investor roadshow and working with bankers, who often charge significant fees. Social Capital Hedosophia would offer faster liquidity for investors and employees, waive lock-ups, and trim the timeline of “going public” to roughly 60 to 90 days.
Social Capital Hedosophia has been trading on the New York Stock Exchange since September 2017, and it just completed its first transaction.
The special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is planning to invest roughly $800 million in Virgin Galactic for a 49% stake, according to The Wall Street Journal. The combined firm will have an enterprise value of $1.5 billion.