It would be nice to say that we’ll miss SPACs. But as blank-check companies fade from our view, we have to say we really won’t.
Many companies that went public via a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, have seen their valuations implode post-combination. The resulting public-market mess meant that regular investors, not merely the more sophisticated professional investing cohort, took a bath.
Even more, it appears that the best startups out there that may be eventual candidates for a traditional public offering did not pursue the SPAC route while it was open — we can infer this from the ever-rising number of yet-private unicorns — while some less-prepared companies rode the wave straight into a wall. This meant that the average quality of a company going out via a blank check combination was lower than we might have hoped.
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This week, we saw the Circle SPAC deal die on the vine (TechCrunch originally somewhat liked the pitch; it appeared that the stablecoin-focused company was actually a good fit for a blank-check combination). The Footprint deal also came apart before it could consummate. Bloomberg noted this week that in addition to the 11 figures of SPAC deals falling to pieces yesterday, there have been nearly five dozen SPAC deals killed this year. (Surf Air called off its deal a few weeks ago, and the list goes on.)