Vicarious Surgical has signed a definitive business combination agreement with special purpose acquisition company D8 Holdings worth up to a total of approximately $1.1bn.

The deal is anticipated to provide up to $460m of gross proceeds, including up to $345m of cash held in D8’s trust account.

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The combined company is expected to provide over $425m in cash on the balance sheet, without any redemptions, after closing.

This merger is backed by a $115m private placement of common stock (PIPE) priced at $10.00 per share. PIPE investors comprise strategic investor BD, new institutional investors and present investors, who include Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Philip Liang’s E15 VC.

As a next-generation robotics company, Vicarious Surgical focuses on developing disruptive technology to enhance the proficiency of surgical procedures and patient outcomes as well as lowering healthcare costs.

The company’s technology had received the US Food and Drug Administration’s breakthrough device designation positioning it as the first and only surgical robot to obtain this designation.

Vicarious Surgical co-founder and CEO Adam Sachs said: “Our robotic solution has arms that replicate human motion, offering remarkable mobility with nine degrees of freedom per arm with 360-degree visualisation, all through a 1.5cm incision.

“Our robot can see, reach and work anywhere inside the abdomen, which effectively shrinks the surgeon and puts her/him inside the human body.

“Our system fits through a standard door making it portable from operating room to operating room and does not require a large footprint or facility construction build-out.”

The merger is anticipated to conclude in the third quarter of this year.

On closing the deal, the merged company will operate as Vicarious Surgical and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol ‘RBOT’.

D8 Holdings co-founder and president Donald Tang said: “D8 reviewed numerous investment opportunities in search of an exciting growth company to merge with and Vicarious Surgical impressed us with their visionary team and market-disrupting products.

“Beyond the technology and the capabilities of Vicarious Surgical’s robot, we were also excited about the positive feedback from surgeons and hospitals.”