Go SPAC yourself

Are we allowed to make rude financial jokes in headlines?

Hello everyone; it’s a busy week with TechCrunch Early Stage underway and a slew of tech earnings to parse through. But that didn’t stop the Equity crew from sitting down to chat about the recent wave of SPAC commentary.

Danny and I wanted to talk about what a SPAC is — the acronym stands for special purpose acquisition company — and why everyone seems to be chatting them up.

Why do you care? Here’s some context, in simple bullet-point format:

  • Yesterday, after raising its IPO price range, Jamf priced at $26 per share, selling more shares than it had previously anticipated.
  • Today it opened trading around $48, and is currently worth $40.18 per share, far above its IPO price.
  • Recent first-day gains, like Jamf’s own, have peeved elements of the venture classes who think that the gap between an IPO price and where a company first trades is money that Wall Street bankers, and the IPO process itself, have stolen.

Enter SPACs, which could offer a way for unicorns and other venture-backed companies to go public through a different pricing mechanism. If with that alternative method of pricing the company would be better is not clear, but we tried to talk it through.

Equity is back Friday morning, of course. And please bear in mind that when I referred to “Robinhood dipshits,” I was talking about all retail investors as a cohort, not merely the folks at any one particular trading platform. Thanks to the in-market prestige of Robinhood, however, I did use it as short-hand for retail investors more broadly.

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