Crowd-Safety Company Evolv Going Public in $1.7 Billion SPAC Merger

Evolv Technology is combining with a special-purpose acquisition company to go public in a deal that values the crowd-safety firm at about $1.7 billion, the companies said.

Backed by investors including Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Evolv is merging with the SPAC NewHold Investment Corp.

Based outside of Boston, Evolv uses artificial intelligence and data science to screen people for weapons and other threats. The company says its platform eliminates the need for devices like metal detectors and physical security checks. It is used at venues such as Six Flags Entertainment Corp. amusement parks, New York’s Lincoln Center and Gillette Stadium, home of the National Football League’s New England Patriots. Evolv says it has screened more than 50 million people in the past four years, second world-wide only to the Transportation Security Administration.

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