Number Crunch

The Beginning of the End of the SPAC Frenzy

Blank-check companies are running out of viable companies to acquire

370: That’s how many “blank-check companies,” otherwise known as special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), are actively looking for a target company to merge with and take public, according to CNBC.

SPACs are companies that raise funds on public markets for the explicit purpose of merging with a private company and taking them public, thereby allowing the target company to bypass the lengthy and expensive process of a traditional IPO. Last year saw a boom in the number of companies that went public via SPAC, with sports betting platform DraftKings and battery company QuantumScape among them.

And the SPACs just keep on coming, with everyone from Shaquille O’Neal to former Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles launching a new SPAC. Since the beginning of this year, 200 new SPACs have raised $70 billion and now appear so desperate for target companies to take public that they’ve begun to merge with startups with no revenue or commercially viable technology. SPACs typically have a two-year window to identify and merge with a target company or return funds to their investors.

It looks like the past couple weeks may have signaled the beginning of the end for the SPAC frenzy. Rising bond yields triggered a bear market for SPACs, with one SPAC index falling by 20% since February. That could make it much harder for SPACs to acquire target companies and take them public.

Tinder for SPACs: Swipe right on a company you’d like to merge with.

For more Number Crunch, follow Marker Editors.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store