Have we hit peak SPAC yet? You could have asked that question any day over the past few weeks, or months. But lately things truly seem to be hitting a new level. Four new SPAC mergers were unveiled today alone, according to SPACInsider. Adult entertainment service Stripchat said it was planning a SPAC. We reported that a Chinese private equity firm was planning a SPAC. Underlying the SPAC fervor is a sense that this gold rush won’t last, so best grab the dollars while you can.
All this will end in tears, for someone. There is a limit to the number of quality businesses that should be public. But the explosion in the number of SPACs guarantees we’ll end up with a bunch of unproven or slow-growth firms as public companies (we previously chronicled some examples here). In the latest evidence of that, The Information today wrote about some startups ready to raise Series C fundraising—well short of the usual point of maturity where a public debut would be appropriate—that are instead opting to raise money by going public in a SPAC merger.