Category: SPACs

ServiceMax promises accelerating growth as key to $1.4B SPAC deal



ServiceMax, a company that builds software for the field-service industry, announced yesterday that it will go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in a deal valued at $1.4 billion. The transaction comes after ServiceMax was sold to GE for $915 million in 2016, before being spun out in late 2018. The company most recently raised $80 million from Salesforce Ventures, a key partner.

Broadly, ServiceMax’s business has a history of modest growth and cash consumption.

ServiceMax competes in the growing field-service industry primarily with ServiceNow, and interestingly enough given Salesforce Ventures’ recent investment, Salesforce Service Cloud. Other large enterprise vendors like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle also have similar products. The market looks at helping digitize traditional field service, but also touches on in-house service like IT and HR giving it a broader market in which to play.

GE originally bought the company as part of a growing industrial Internet of Things (IoT) strategy at the time, hoping to have a software service that could work hand in glove with the automated machine maintenance it was looking to implement. When that strategy failed to materialize, the company spun out ServiceMax and until now it remained part of Silver Lake Partners thanks to a deal that was finalized in 2019.

TechCrunch was curious why that was the case, so we dug into the company’s investor presentation for more hints about its financial performance. Broadly, ServiceMax’s business has a history of modest growth and cash consumption. It promises a (Read more...)

Accelerating Aurora, Driving the Future


This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman


Today, Aurora and Reinvent Technology Partners Y announced their agreement to merge. In my own view, this is awesome news — because I’ve been an investor in Aurora since February 2018 when I co-led its Series A round for Greylock and joined Aurora’s board.  

At this point, it’s well understood that creating AV technology is an extremely challenging undertaking – especially when, as with Aurora, the goal is not just to put one or two prototype vehicles on the road, but rather to develop safe, robustly tested, and truly road-ready technology with the capacity to scale quickly. It’s a process that requires significant internal resources and a strong ecosystem of trusted partners.

Meanwhile, market pioneers in blitzscale-up mode are exactly the kind of company Reinvent aims to serve with its “venture capital at scale” strategy. This deal represents one of the largest public capital raises to date, giving Aurora the resources I believe it needs to keep building out its team, enhancing its technology, and completing the ambitious path to market it has mapped out and is successfully executing against.

This deal has been an unusual experience for me. I recused myself from both sides, because I am an investor in Aurora and a member of the Aurora board, and I am also a co-sponsor of Reinvent and an investor in Reinvent Capital (which has an investment in Aurora).  At the end of the deal discussions, I was offered a chance to invest again in Aurora through the PIPE, which (Read more...)

On Going Public: SPACs, Direct Listings, Public Offerings, and Access to Private Markets



Editor’s Note: This testimony was delivered by a16z managing partner Scott Kupor to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets (Committee on Financial Services) hearing on “Going Public: SPACs, Direct Listings, Public Offerings, and

The post On Going Public: SPACs, Direct Listings, Public Offerings, and Access to Private Markets appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Beyond the fanfare and SEC warnings, SPACs are here to stay



The number of SPACs in the deep tech sector was skyrocketing, but a combination of increased SEC scrutiny and market forces over the past few weeks has slowed the pace of new SPAC transactions. The correction is an inevitable step on the path to mainstreaming SPACs as an alternative to IPOs, but it won’t cause them to go away. Instead, blank-check vehicles will evolve and will occupy a small and specialized — but important — part of the startup financing landscape.

I believe that SPAC financings can solve a major problem for all capital-intensive technology startups: the need for faster — and potentially cheaper — access to large amounts of capital to fund product development over multiple years.

The tsunami of SPAC financings sparked commentary from all corners of the capital markets community, from equity analysts and securities lawyers to VCs and fund managers — and even central bankers. That’s understandable, as more than $60 billion of SPAC deals have been announced since the beginning of 2020, plus $55 billion in PIPE capital, according to investment bank PJT Partners.

The views debated by finance experts often relate to the reasonableness of SPAC pricing and transaction structures, the alignment of incentives for stakeholders, and post-merger (Read more...)

The SPAC boom isn’t just here to stay, it’s changing consumer tech



Consumer technology is an inherently risky investment sector: even the best idea can fall flat if the story of the product is not sold properly to the end user. The stats can only take you so far, and, eventually, customers want to believe in the product.

Traditionally, companies that have successfully told their story and become market leaders have taken the initial public offering route — pitching their story to institutional investors on banker-led roadshows rather than to the people that buy their products.

But the last 18 months have seen a new door open for companies seeking to skip the bankers, partner with good managers, and gain a more direct route to public capital: merging with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC.

For the right consumer technology companies — for which the story is often just as, if not more, important than the financial figures — a SPAC deal offers a more direct access to public capital. Instead of walking institutional investors through the P&L, these companies can spend more time telling investors, including the retail investors using the products, what the company can be long-term.

There is no denying the growing popularity of this avenue to public exchanges: more than 200 companies went public via a SPAC deal in 2020. But as with any asset that grows hot, (Read more...)

Joby Aviation is turning science fiction into science fact


This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman


When it comes to safe, clean, super-convenient and technologically amazing transportation options, why should the sky be the limit?

Founded in 2009 by JoeBen Bevert, Joby Aviation has been working under the radar at a base in Santa Cruz, California to develop an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The latest version of zero-emissions aircraft, which is quiet on takeoff and nearly silent in flight, can complete a 150-mile trip in less than an hour. Take a look at this video clip that shows Joby’s aircraft taking off so noiselessly that JoeBen doesn’t even have to raise his voice to compete with it.

But Joby’s quest includes even more than the amazing hardware it’s developing. Indeed, what Joby ultimately envisions is a new human mobility network that takes short-hop transit from 2D to 3D. Picture yourself leap-frogging miles of rush-hour gridlock, for the price of a taxi. Eventually, JoeBen’s dream is to eliminate one billion hours of commute time a day.

That’s why I think of Joby as “Tesla meets Uber in the air.” And that’s why I’m so excited that Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP), the SPAC I co-founded with Mark Pincus and Michael Thompson, has proposed a merger with Joby. It’s a chance to turn science fiction into science fact, in a way that I believe will have massive benefits for human productivity, environmental sustainability, and urban quality of life.

At first glance, Joby may not seem like a typical investment for me. I’m best known for (Read more...)

Joby Aviation is turning science fiction into science fact


This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman


When it comes to safe, clean, super-convenient and technologically amazing transportation options, why should the sky be the limit?

Founded in 2009 by JoeBen Bevert, Joby Aviation has been working under the radar at a base in Santa Cruz, California to develop an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The latest version of zero-emissions aircraft, which is quiet on takeoff and nearly silent in flight, can complete a 150-mile trip in less than an hour. Take a look at this video clip that shows Joby’s aircraft taking off so noiselessly that JoeBen doesn’t even have to raise his voice to compete with it.

But Joby’s quest includes even more than the amazing hardware it’s developing. Indeed, what Joby ultimately envisions is a new human mobility network that takes short-hop transit from 2D to 3D. Picture yourself leap-frogging miles of rush-hour gridlock, for the price of a taxi. Eventually, JoeBen’s dream is to eliminate one billion hours of commute time a day.

That’s why I think of Joby as “Tesla meets Uber in the air.” And that’s why I’m so excited that Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP), the SPAC I co-founded with Mark Pincus and Michael Thompson, has proposed a merger with Joby. It’s a chance to turn science fiction into science fact, in a way that I believe will have massive benefits for human productivity, environmental sustainability, and urban quality of life.

At first glance, Joby may not seem like a typical investment for me. I’m best known for (Read more...)