19 March 2021
Rockley to go public via SC Health
Rockley Photonics Ltd of Oxford, UK and Pasadena, CA, USA, which develops integrated silicon photonic chipsets and supplies modules for high-volume sensor and communication products, has entered into a definitive agreement to combine with SC Health Corp, a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company. The transaction will result in Rockley becoming a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol RKLY and values the firm at a pro forma enterprise value of $1.2bn.
Rockley was formed in 2013 by a management team that has previously had success with two silicon photonics companies. Founder & CEO Dr Andrew Rickman founded the first firm to commercialize silicon photonics, Bookham Technology (which had an IPO in 2000, became Oclaro in 2009 and is now a part of Lumentum), and later became chairman of Kotura (sold to Mellanox in 2013).
Aiding healthcare through ‘clinic-on-the-wrist’ monitoring technology
The transaction is intended to accelerate the commercial launch of Rockley’s sensing platform, which is tailored for consumer health and wellness by enabling continuous, non-invasive monitoring of multi-modal biomarkers such as lactate, glucose, hydration, blood pressure and core body temperature.
Based on its silicon photonics platform, Rockley’s ‘clinic-on-the-wrist’ technology is claimed to be significantly more accurate than LED sensors commonly used today in wearables such as smart watches and fitness bands and allows for continuous monitoring of key vitals in a way that was previously possible only with clinical machines. By bringing laboratory precision diagnostics to wearables, Rockley aims to enable consumers to detect diseases earlier, to better manage nutrition, and to focus on preventive healthcare.
Rockley says that it is working closely with some of the world’s largest consumer electronics and wearables companies to provide them with a full-stack solution, including co-packaged hardware devices, biosensing algorithms, firmware and data analytics to enable them to provide meaningful and actionable insights to their users.
Beyond consumer electronics, Rockley is partnering with clinicians and medical technology companies to expand the application of its monitoring platform to medical devices in order to improve disease detection and prevention.
Rockley says that its platform supports cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing. Its manufacturing ecosystem (with capacity reserved) and proprietary process flows can enable rapid scale-up for volume production of its highly integrated optical/electronic devices, the firm adds.
Rockley has also applied its integrated photonics technology to deliver chipsets for high-speed datacoms and machine-vision applications, including light detection & ranging (LiDAR). Its technology is protected by over 120 patents and the company has raised $390m in funding from over seven years of product development from non-recurring engineering, investors, government grants, subsidies and a range of health-tech and technology VCs, strategic investors, and financial institutions.
“Our partnership with SC Health positions us to accelerate our time-to-market for our compelling health and wellness solutions,” reckons Rickman. “Our proven sensor technology, world-class partners and a relentless focus on execution will enable Rockley to deliver life-changing benefits to an enormous number of people… bringing laboratory diagnostics to the wrist will transform patient monitoring, healthcare delivery, and overall consumer health and wellbeing,” he believes.
“We are healthcare investors, and we very quickly understood the transformational nature of Rockley’s technology and the way it will revolutionize consumers’ ability to track, monitor and better understand their day-to-day health and wellness,” says SC Health’s CEO A.J. Coloma. “Based on Rockley’s large addressable market, world-class team and the myriad applications that their silicon photonics platform enables, we view Rockley as one of the most compelling opportunities in the entire healthcare space.”
The transaction is expected to deliver up to $323m of gross proceeds to the combined company, including the contribution of up to $173m of cash held in SC Health’s trust account. The combination is further supported by a $150m PIPE (private investment in public equity) at $10 per share, with participation from top-tier institutional investors including Senvest Management LLC and UBS O’Connor and participation from Medtronic. Proceeds of the transaction will support the Rockley’s continued growth through ongoing product development in close collaboration with its initial customers.
Existing Rockley shareholders will roll 100% of their equity into the combined company. Founder Rickman will remain CEO & chairman.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by SC Health’s board of directors and the independent directors of Rockley’s board, is expected to close in second-quarter 2021, subject to approval by SC Health’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions (including any applicable regulatory approvals).