SPACs, or special-purpose acquisition companies, are all the rage right now, and people are popping up from all corners to raise them.
Among the newest entrants – and someone who might be of interest to Silicon Valley observers – is Emil Michael, a former Uber Executive and First Lieutenant of Former CEO Travis Kalanick. Micheal today registered with the SEC plans to raise $ 250 million to go public for a blank check company that will, by and large, acquire a technology company.
IPO Edge reported earlier today that the SPAC might be in the works.
The file lists as special advisor The former CEO of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt, and Betsy Atkins, Ascend Communications founder and investor, who served on so many boards that she wrote a book about it last year. In fact, she is currently on the boards of Volvo, Wynn Resorts and Oyo Hotels, among others.
Michael was Senior Vice President of Field Operations at Tellme Networks and later COO of startup Klout before joining Uber, where he was Senior Vice President of Business for nearly four years.
He gained prominence in the role, but also reputation, after publicly commenting on the attitudes of opposition researchers to silent, mission-critical journalists and after a later report that he had an "escort bar" with other Uber executives, including Kalanick. in Seoul. When Uber left the company in 2017, he declined to say if he left on his own.
Despite – or perhaps because of – his trajectory with Uber, Michael was reportedly checked for the position of Secretary of Transportation at one point after Donald Trump was elected President. Now he apparently sees a way to get back into technology by taking a privately owned company public with the help of a SPAC.
Certainly we're seeing the same trend among a small but growing number of tech companies, including electric vehicle makers like the troubled Nikola and electric vehicle maker Hyliion, which announced plans to go public in a SPAC in August. (Nikola is already publicly traded; Hylion's deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.)
Companies in other economic sectors also seem to be up for grabs. Just yesterday, Hims, a direct banking company that sells health products and services for young men and women, announced that it would go public through its merger with a SPAC sponsored by Oaktree Capital Management.
Last month, Opendoor, a home buying and selling platform, separately agreed to go public via a reverse merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp II, one of the numerous SPACs successfully raised by investor Chamath Palihapitiya .
In late August, Desktop Metal, a Burlington, Ma-based manufacturer of metal 3D printing systems, agreed to go public in a reverse merger with a SPAC that was founded last year by veteran telecommunications investor Leo Hindery called Trine Acquisition Corp. . Founded.
Michael has a bit more M&A experience than some who are getting interested in SPACs. For example, in 2016 he was involved in the sale of the Uber China business to rival Didi Chuxing for a stake in the company.
Kristi Marvin, a former investment banker who now runs the data website SPACInsider, says she has conversations with a much larger number of people interested in adopting SPACs than in previous years – and not all of them are necessarily ready for it manage the vehicles.
They ask, 'Have you ever bought a business for $ 500 million or more? Do you have operating experience in the industry you are targeting? Do you understand the reporting requirements? "Often the answers are" no ".