Earlier this year, the San Diego Padres’ superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. had to leave a game after suffering from obvious pain. At the time, the Padres put Tatis on the 10-day injured list, raising the specter of surgery. For several weeks, arguably the backbone of the organization had been nursing a shoulder injury.
Despite the pain and the need to be at 100% playing capacity, Tatis elected to avoid getting an operation. It’s a similar decision that millions of Americans without professional athletic contracts face all the time. Usually, if a patient can endure whatever ails him or her, it’s best to exhaust all non-invasive therapies before going under the knife.
For Tatis and those without the ability to catch triple-digit-velocity projectiles, the argument to avoid surgery is simple: myriad factors can go wrong. However, with the advancement of medical and engineering technologies, specialists in the field of minimally invasive operations like Vicarious Surgical may soon offer a viable alternative. As such, Vicarious’ initial public offering (IPO) holds incredible promise.
When is the Vicarious Surgical IPO Date?
On paper, Vicarious Surgical has a date of September 20, 2021 on the IPO calendar, making it one of the many groundbreaking public debuts within the broader healthcare ecosystem. Shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RBOT.
If you happen to look up that ticker, though, you’ll notice that RBOT stock has a history that extends back to September 2020. Unlike your traditional IPO, Vicarious elected to enter the public arena via a business combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in this case, D8 Holdings.
For background information, a SPAC has no underlying operations of its own, which is why financial journalists often refer to this special investment category as a blank-check firm or shell company. Rather than start a legitimate enterprise and pitch the business to prospective investors, the SPAC’s founders or sponsors seek out an already up-and-running organization.
Once identified — SPACs typically have approximately 2 years to find a merger target — shareholders of the shell company in question must approve the business combination. Should the green light materialize, the SPAC and the target become 1 entity: the latter provides the business while the former facilitates access to the public market.
While SPACs offer new public investing opportunities that might otherwise never materialize because of the rigorous vetting process of traditional IPOs, the quickfire nature of blank-check business combinations has raised eyebrows in terms of retail buyer protection. For instance, one of the criticisms about SPACs is their dilutive nature — and frankly, the year-to-date underperformance of SPAC-based IPOs post-merger relative to benchmark indices has been disappointing.
However, balancing this risk factor is the incredible relevance of Vicarious Surgical. In fact, just a day prior to RBOT stock trading under its branded ticker, the equity unit jumped over 4%. And in the 5 days prior, shares gained nearly 16%.
Vicarious Surgical Financial History
While investors must carefully weigh their risk exposure and perform their due diligence on an aspirational opportunity like RBOT stock, those who are ready to pull the trigger should find confidence in the big money supporting the Vicarious Surgical IPO.
Back in July 2020, D8 Holdings announced the closing of its public offering of 30 million shares, featuring a price of $10. UBS Group (NYSE: UBS) acted as the sole bookrunning manager of the deal, which resulted in gross proceeds of $300 million. In September of the same year, D8 announced that shareholders of the new issues from the IPO could “elect to separately trade the Class A ordinary shares and warrants included in the units.”
In April of 2021, Vicarious announced that it will combine with D8 in a deal that sees the medical innovator command a valuation of approximately $1.1 billion. At the time of the announcement, the SPAC stated that in total, it will bring in $425 million in cash to Vicarious Surgical’s balance sheet upon the merger’s closure. The additional ramp up in funding came from a $115 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) round.
According to MassDevice.com, the pipe investors include strategic backer Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) and “new institutional investors and existing investors including Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Philip Liang’s E15 VC.” Thus, it’s a who’s who of the business world that’s excited about RBOT stock.
To be 100% clear to prospective IPO participants, Vicarious Surgical’s minimally invasive operation platform — which uses advanced robotic arms that provide a full range of motions to access previously difficult parts of the body — has not yet received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Nor is it currently for commercial sale in the U.S., thus limiting near-term potential.
However, the numbers undergirding the minimally invasive surgical industry are awfully enticing. Per research from ReportLinker.com, this advanced category within medical care reached a valuation of over $27 billion last year. By 2026, experts predict that the market could hit almost $39.6 billion, affording RBOT stock a massive addressable market.
Vicarious Surgical Potential
If the above numbers weren’t enough to get you excited, consider that Researchandmarkets.com released a study indicating that the worldwide valuation for the minimally invasive surgery market already hit a valuation of $44.2 billion in 2020, suggesting much deeper growth ahead. Either way, the narrative for RBOT stock doesn’t just revolve around financial projections, as compelling as they are.
Instead, a human element exists as well. One of the main reasons why people across the globe have avoided surgical procedures until absolutely necessary is the worry about procedural errors. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, events that should never occur in surgery — known as “never events” — happen at least 4,000 times annually in the U.S.
Against the 48 million surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2009, this statistic is thankfully rare. However, never events are like losing nuclear warheads to nefarious agents. It only needs to happen 1 time for affected patients and their families to suffer potentially devastating and permanent loss.
That’s the other reason why RBOT stock is so significant. Should the underlying company succeed in its initiatives, it may catalyze breakthrough medical procedures that dramatically reduce never events and promote safer operations with less patient downtime.
How to Buy Vicarious Surgical IPO (RBOT) Stock
As a SPAC-based IPO, one of the features of Vicarious Surgical prior to the business combination announcement is democratization. This concept applies to all SPACs; once launched in the public arena, you can acquire shares at any phase of the journey, from the enterprise-searching period to post-merger acceptance.
Further, the convenient factor buttressing IPOs from business combinations is their ease of execution. If you already know how to buy stocks, you can jump right in. If not, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Pick a brokerage.
Any reputable brokerage will offer you access to SPACs. However, for serious investors of new issues, you should consider the best brokers that offer access to select pre-IPO shares (or stocks at their initial offering price).
Step 2: Decide how many shares you want.
Because IPOs are among the riskiest investments to make, you should go for balanced exposure or a share count that facilitates ample profitability but also limits downside risk.
Step 3: Choose your order type.
Before placing your first order, acquaint yourself with these market concepts.
- Bid: The buyer’s top offer for a stock.
- Ask: The seller’s lowest acceptable price.
- Spread: The spread is the rate of profitability for the market maker. Narrower spreads are less profitable for the market maker but also less risky and vice-versa for wider spreads.
- Limit order: Buy or sell requests at a predetermined price, limit orders provide transparency but no execution guarantees.
- Market order: Market orders guarantee fulfillment but only at the (fluctuating) current rate.
- Stop-loss order: A self-protective mechanism for your portfolio, stop-loss orders automatically exit your position at either a predetermined price or anything lower.
- Stop-limit order: Stop-limit orders are likewise protective but only execute (exit) at a predetermined price. However, such orders carry the same non-fulfillment risk as limit orders.
Step 4: Execute your trade.
To execute a market order, follow these steps:
- Select your action type (buy or sell).
- Enter the shares you want to acquire (or sell).
- Hit the Buy (or Sell) button.
Follow the same sequence for limit orders (but include your execution price).
RBOT Restrictions for Retail Investors
Review the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules on restricted persons if you believe you may have a conflict of interest regarding an IPO. Securities laws impose severe penalties on anyone profiteering from privileged information.
As a SPAC business combination, no pre-IPO access for RBOT exists. However, services such as ClickIPO democratize the rarefied process of traditional public offerings by acquiring blocks of select new issues at their initial offering price. From there, the company distributes those shares to its members. Anyone with big IPO ambitions should open an account with ClickIPO.
Going under the knife is never an easy decision, given the potential complexities of surgery along with the myriad risks — the scariest being the procedural kind. However, through the robotics-based, minimally invasive option of Vicarious Surgical, future patients may enjoy a superior alternative, thus bolstering the argument for RBOT stock.
About Joshua Enomoto
His distinct writing style of distilling convoluted data into relatable and compelling narratives has earned him recognition among several investment-related publications.