The Daily Dish (2/11/21)
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Before GameStop mania sent fears of a market bubble into overdrive, Wall Street’s skeptics were watching the SPAC frenzy. And while meme stocks are in retreat, the explosion of special-purpose acquisition companies keeps gathering strength.
What’s happening: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is among the latest to get in on the trend, in which investors back “blank check” companies that then go hunting for acquisition targets.
Kaepernick will serve as co-chair of Mission Advancement Corp. $MAU, which is seeking to raise about $250 million to invest in socially conscious consumer brands.
Mission Advancement will be co-chaired by Jahm Najafi, who runs the private-equity firm Najafi Companies and is a minority owner in the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Together, they lead a board that is made up of members who are majority female and 100% Black, indigenous and people of color. Other board members include Katia Beauchamp, the CEO and co-founder of Birchbox and Omar Johnson, a former executive at Apple and Beats by Dre.
Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, who raised $350 million for his first blank-check firm $SPNV this fall, has just launched a second SPAC, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. Dubbed Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II $SNII, the SPAC is looking to raise $250 million to invest in the “broader technology sector,” the filing shows. It is targeting companies valued between $1 billion and $5 billion.
Rascoff, who stepped down as CEO of Zillow in 2019 and last second-home startup Pacaso last year , has been a cheerleader for SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, that take companies public via reverse merger. In October, he tweeted that “SPACs remedy many of the problems with IPOs and offer new benefits. ”
With Supernova II, Rascoff is again co-chairing the SPAC with Alexander Klabin, a hedge funder who is executive chairman at Sotheby’s Financial Services, a branch of the auction house that deals with art financing. Robert Reid, a former Blackstone Group exec, will serve as CEO, and Michael Clifton, a former principal at the Carlyle Group, will be its CFO.
Rocket Internet Growth Opportunities Corp., a blank-check company whose management team includes members of Rocket Internet’s leadership, plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in a $250 million deal, according to a Form S-1 filing.
The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which plans to trade under the “$RKTAU” ticker symbol, intends to offer 25 million units comprised of one Class A ordinary share and one-fourth of one redeemable warrant for $10 per unit.
Rocket Internet Growth Opportunities Corp’s chairman is Oliver Samwer, who serves as Rocket Internet’s co-founder and chief executive. The SPAC’s Chief Executive Soheil Mirpour is a member of Rocket Internet’s management board, while the SPAC’s CFO Donald E. Stalter Jr. supervises the North American portfolio of GFC Global Founders Capital GmbH.
The SPAC seeks to “support the disruption of outdated business models, with a particular focus on marketplaces, eCommerce, enterprise [Software-as-a-Service] SaaS, FinTechs, HealthTechs and artificial intelligence,” according to the regulatory filing.
However, the SPAC said in the filing that it has not chosen a specific merger target and that it has “not, nor has anyone on our behalf, engaged in any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target with respect to an initial business combination with us.”
The SPAC’s sponsor is an affiliate of Rocket Internet, which has incubated and backed web and tech firms for more than 13 years, with a history of over 300 tech investments. Many of Rocket Internet’s existing and past portfolio firms and investments have been listed in public markets such as Global Fashion Group, Jumia, Hello Fresh, Delivery Hero and Zalando.
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