Evolv, a Waltham-based security-tech company, began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Monday, following its completed merger with a special purpose acquisition company. It will trade under the ticker symbol EVLV.
The company, which uses artificial intelligence and sensors to screen people for weapons in public spaces, is backed by notable individuals, including Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and 2016 Republican presidential candidate. General Catalyst, a Cambridge-based venture capital firm, is also an investor.
Evolv’s merger with NewHold Investment Corp. puts its valuation at around $1.7 billion, the company said. The deal continues a trend of technology companies going public by merging with SPACs, also known as blank-check companies.
Peter George, the chief executive of Evolv, said that going public will allow the company to grow at a time when demand for its product is increasing. “The world is opening,” he said in a statement. “Visitors require a better experience and [peace] of mind to gather safely. We are energized by our market opportunity and driven to fulfill our mission to make everywhere safer.”
Founded in 2013, Evolv has created an AI-driven screening product which eliminates the need for traditional metal detectors, the company said. Its platform is used in venues such as Gillette Stadium and Six Flags. Evolv said it has screened over 60 million people, second only to the Transportation Security Administration.
As part of the deal, George will remain the company’s chief executive officer.