Acquisitions, Layoffs & Lawsuits

Today we cover: $OUST, $CND, $GMTX and more…

Lidar Developer Ouster Acquire’s Sense Photonics

Lidar company Ouster, which went public through a SPAC merger earlier this year, has just agreed to acquire solid-state Lidar startup Sense Photonics in an all-stock deal that values the firm at $68 million.

After the close of the deal, the company will establish a new division named Ouster Automotive, which will be lead by Sense Photonics CEO Shauna Mclntyre. The business will integrate Sense’s 200-meter range lidar into a new suite.

A majority of the company’s 80 employees will join Ouster’s new division. Ouster will aim to advance negotiations with five automotive OEMs and should a deal close, production will begin in 2025 or 2026.

Ouster joined rival lidar companies like Luminar, Innoviz, and Velodyne in taking a SPAC route to go public in a deal valuing the company at $1.9 billion earlier this year.

SEC Issues a Subpoena to Stablecoin Issuer Circle

The SEC is ramping up its scrutiny of the crypto industry by issuing an investigative subpoena to USD coin issuer Circle Financial. The subpoena was issued in July as Circle had filed for a $4.5 Billion SPAC deal with Concord Acquisition Corp.

Circle first disclosed the investigation in an August filing that largely went unnoticed at the time. The SEC’s interest in Circle is not clear but could be related to the recent interest-bearing product called Circle Yield, which the stable coin issuer is rolling out.

The SEC similarly threatened Coinbase’s lend product with a lawsuit, claiming that it was an unregistered securities offering. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong believes that the lack of clarity around the SEC’s enforcement makes it hard for crypto companies to know what is legal.

This isn’t Circle’s first dance with the SEC either. Back in July, Circle had set aside $10 million for a settlement over Poloneix, a crypto exchange, and former Circle subsidiary.

Gemini Therapeutics Axes 20% of its Workforce 

Cambridge biotech firm Gemini Therapeutics is making major changes, by eliminating the role of its chief science officer, cutting 20% of its staff, and eliminating almost all preclinical programs.

Gemini is eliminating all research-stage programs in a bid to be a ‘development-stage’ company. The company will focus all its efforts on two drugs in clinical trials for macular degeneration. This includes GEM103, which is a drug inter to tread geographic atrophy, and GEM307, which is a monoclonal antibody for systematic renal disease.

Chief Science Officer Walter Strapps and Chief People Officer Precillia Redmond, were both let go. Earlier this year, the company’s Chief Technology Officer Scott Lauder and Chief Medical Officer Marc Uknis, left the company.

Gemini went public through a SPAC merger with FS Development Corp in February in a deal that valued the company at $216 million.

Reddit Reads

DUNEU In Talks with Online Brokerage TradeZero for Potential Merger

TradeZero Holding Corp., an online brokerage that provides free and subscription-based software for stock trading, is in talks to merge with Dune Acquisition Corp

OXUSU Units Split 

OXUS Units are going to separate into warrants and shares on 6th October 2021.

Rigetti Computing Going Public in $1.5 Billion SPAC Deal

Rigetti Computing is planning to take on giants in the tech industry through a new field of quantum computing and is raising $457 million through a SPAC deal.

The company will merge with Supernova Partners, in a deal that values the combined company at $1.5 billion.

The California-based company was found by Chad Rigetti in 2013, who was a physicist who previously worked at IBM.

Rigetti said in 2018 that his group would build a computer within a year to employ 128 quantum bits, but three months later, the company set a modest goal of building an 80 quantum bit system by the end of 2021.

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