SPAC firms SVF Investment, Provident Acquisition raise combined $725m in US IPO

Times Square is seen through the window of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

SVF Investment Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by SoftBank Investment Advisers, and Provident Acquisition Corp, a Southeast Asia-focused blank cheque company, have raised a combined $725 million in initial public offerings (IPOs) in the US.

SoftBank’s AI-focused SPAC SVF Investment raises $525m 

SVF Investment Corp, an AI-focused blank cheque company targeting artificial intelligence, has raised $525 million in its IPO in the US after pricing 52.5 million units at $10 each, according to a filing. Each unit that SVF offered consisted of one share of common stock and one-fifth of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50.

The SPAC is sponsored by SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA), which runs the $100 billion Vision Fund. It targets fast-growing, IPO-ready artificial intelligence firms within or outside of its portfolio companies.

Under the terms of the forward purchase agreement, SoftBank may buy an additional $250 million worth of units at the close of an acquisition, or up to $300 million at the sponsor’s discretion.

As of September 30, 2020, SBIA had evaluated over 3,000 investment opportunities globally and has deployed over $85 billion of long-term private capital coupled with financial, operational, and strategic advice. 

“We believe that we have access to a wide range of compelling investment opportunities through our broad international presence and deep local networks,” SVF Investment said.

As of September 30, 2020, SBIA has evaluated over 3,000 investment opportunities globally and has deployed over $85 billion of long-term private capital coupled with financial, operational, and strategic advice. 

SoftBank’s SPAC intends to have its units listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker SVFAU with Class A ordinary shares under SVFA.

Provident Acquisition secures $200m in IPO

Hong Kong-based SPAC Provident Acquisition has managed to raise $200 million in an IPO in the US as it seeks to acquire consumption-focused firms in Southeast Asia.

The SPAC offered 20 million units at $10 each, with each unit consisting of one share of common stock and one-half of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. The company has the option to raise an additional $55 million at the closing of an acquisition.

“We intend to focus on consumption-focused companies with disruptive growth potential that have operations or prospective operations in Asia, with a particular focus on the technology sector in Southeast Asia, although we may pursue a business combination target in any business or industry,” Provident Acquisition said.

The company is led by executive chairman Winato Kartono, who is a founding partner of Provident Group and Provident Growth, and CEO, CFO, and director Michael Aw Soon Beng, who is a founding partner of Provident Growth and a former managing director at UBS.

Provident Growth, the SPAC’s sponsor, is a growth-stage fund focused on technology investments in Southeast Asia established in 2018. The firm has invested in 13 high-growth technology firms across various internet verticals since its inception. 

Its unicorn technology investments include Indonesian ride-hailing giant Gojek, where it is one of the largest shareholders; online travel agency Traveloka; Indonesian B2C e-commerce giant JD.id; and financial technology major GoPay.

SE Asia-focused SPACs

SPACs are companies without operations that are formed only to raise capital to acquire other businesses. These firms typically acquire firms as quickly as four to five months of their launch. They are given up to two years to seek targets. If they cannot fulfil that mandate, they will have to return all the money to the public shareholders. 

The biggest SPAC focused on the region is Bridgetown Holdings, which is backed by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Bridgetown, which raised $595 million, is reportedly considering a potential merger with Indonesia’s e-commerce giant Tokopedia in a deal that could value the unicorn at $8 billion to $10 billion. 

Thiel and Li are now in the market seeking to raise $200 million for a second blank cheque company. 

Vickers Vantage, a Singapore-based blank cheque company formed by venture capital firm Vickers Venture Partners, also announced the pricing of its $120 million SPAC offering, comprising 12,000,000 units at $10 per unit. 

Tiga Acquisition and Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp, both Singapore-based, have also filed to raise $200 million and $225 million IPO in the US, respectively.

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.