Public Venture

SoftBank Plans To Launch SPAC

Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank is getting in on the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, bandwagon, Axios reported Monday.

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Plans were revealed during the Milken Virtual Conference by SoftBank Executive Vice President Rajeev Misra, the article said.

SPACs are blank-check companies formed with the intent of acquiring another company. Those forming a SPAC raise money through an IPO and then buy another company, making it public.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will manage the IPO process, although it has not been publicized what the SPAC will focus on. However, the intention is not to acquire an existing SoftBank portfolio company and bring it public, Axios reported.

SoftBank is well known for its deep pockets, most recently creating the $100 million Opportunity Growth Fund in June with plans to put the capital to work for businesses owned and operated by people of color.

It used its $100 billion Vision Fund and Vision Fund II to back notable companies, such as DoorDash, Opendoor, WeWork and ByteDance.

As we have reported recently, SPACs are having a moment. Last week, 13 new SPACs were formed, and we have reported on dozens of others in the past month, including Opendoor and AppHarvest. We also took an in-depth look at SPACs and the drivers behind their new-found popularity.

Meanwhile, 80 SPACs raised more than $32 billion in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of nearly four times the amount in the second quarter, according to data from SPAC Research.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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