A dozen private tech and media firms, ranging from BuzzFeed to Getaround, have been left behind in the initial public offering surge of the past two years. Some are in their teenage years and are struggling to grow, while others appear to be doing fine—but need a way for their investors to exit. For either kind, an SPAC may be their savior.
An explosion of special purpose acquisition companies—firms that raise money in a public offering, with their only purpose to find a business to buy—is creating an opportunity for mature private firms to go public. Merging with a SPAC gives them cash for growth and a stock they can use as currency for acquisitions. It offers investors a more liquid way to sell, potentially at a higher valuation than is available in the private markets now.