Peter Thiel-backed Bridgetown SPAC files to go public, seeks to buy Southeast Asia company

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Inc., answers a question during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li have created a SPAC targeting “new economy” technology, financial services and media companies in Southeast Asia.

In a Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bridgetown Holdings Ltd. described itself as “a blank check company” created to recombine businesses through purchases, reorganizations and other means. It is seeking to raise $575 million.

The group’s sponsor, Bridgetown LLC is a collaboration between Thiel Capital, Thiel’s personal investment vehicle based in Los Angeles, and Pacific Century Group, a Hong Kong-based investment company founded by Li.

The Bridgetown blank-check company is led by Chairman Matt Danzeisen and Daniel Wong, the chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

Danzeisen, who married Thiel in 2017, manages private investments for Thiel Capital, which has incubated and launched venture firms including Valar Ventures, Founders Fund and Mithril, as well as a fellowship program that pays college students to drop out and become entrepreneurs.

Wong is a senior vice president at Pacific Century, where he leads corporate finance, venture investments and mergers and acquisitions.

Bridgetown board members will include Sam Altman, the former Y Combinator president, who is now the chief executive of OpenAI; John “Jay” Hass, a partner at RRE Ventures and In Joon Hwang, the chief financial officer of Line Corp.

With the Bridgetown filing, Thiel and Li are following other tech and business leaders who have fueled a record year for blank-check companies, or SPACS, which stands for special purpose acquisition companies.

The two are entering a crowded space where potential targets are being acquired quickly. This year, 109 SPACs have raised more than $40 billion in initial public offerings on U.S. exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s more than half the total raised by SPACs in all previous years, the data show.

A SPAC backed by LinkedIn Corp. co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus raised $600 million in an IPO last week.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, whose $4 billion SPAC that went public in July is the largest ever, has already spoken to Airbnb Inc. and Stripe Inc.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.