The Daily Dish – #72

The Daily Dish (6/07/21)

Mark Cuban Backed Banking App Goes SPAC

Mark Cuban Backed banking app Dave is expected to go public with an SPAC merger with Victory Park Capital, valuing the banking app at $4 billion.

Dave which launched back in 2017 with the mission to help Americans avoid billions of dollars in overdraft fees charged by traditional banks has over 10 million customers currently.

The pandemic has induced a boom in demand for online-banking services such as Dave. The company’s other investors include Norwest, Section 32, Capital One, The Kraft Group, SV Angel and The Chernin Group.

Aurora in talks to Merge with Reid Hoffman’s SPAC

Autonomus vehicle startup Aurora is expected to close a deal with Reinvent Technology Partners Y, an SPAC launched by LinkedIn co-founder and investor Reid Hoffman.

The valuation surrounding the merger is expected to be around $12 billion with the deal expected to be announced as early as this week. Aurora has previously had a relationship with Hoffman with an investment of $90 million from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures in 2018. 

Aurora reached an agreement with Uber to buy the company’s self-driving unit. Aurora has spent the past several months integrating Uber ATG employees and now has a workforce of about 1600 people. Recently, Aurora reached an agreement with Volvo to jointly develop autonomous semi-trucks for North America. 

SPAC’s are the Lucky Dip of the Investing World 

SPAC’s have become a lucky dip of the investing world as its potential cannot be measured in the same way as traditional companies.

Investors have continued to put faith in its sponsors to identify a creditable target to merge with to ultimately create value. SPAC’s have gained popularity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdown restrictions made it impossible for companies to pursue a traditional IPO route. 

While a traditional IPO could take six months or more an SPAC merger can close relatively quickly in under three months.

SPAC’s also benefit investors as it grants them entry into the world of private equity, which was once the exclusive domain of major financial players such as hedge funds and investment banks. 

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