Catcha Investment joins special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) craze to raise USD250 million (RM1.01 billion) through an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing.
Patrick Grove, the 45-year old CEO and chairman of Catcha Group and a serial entrepreneur in Southeast Asia, is the latest figure to seek capital through a blank-cheque firm. Since founding the company in 1999, he and co-founder Luke Elliott have launched several startups and made over 50 investments globally which are held directly or indirectly, and brought six digital businesses from their early stages to a public listing or sale, with an aggregate valuation of over USD1 billion.
In a statement, Catcha’s blank-cheque firm said, they intend to focus their search on a target with operations in technology, digital media, fintech, or digital services sector, across Asia Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia and Australia.
“We believe that Asia Pacific will continue to enjoy an outsized growth trajectory, particularly in the new economy sectors, and that this will result in opportunities for attractive risk-adjusted returns from our initial business combination,” the company added.
Catcha Investment plans to raise USD250 million by offering 25 million units at USD10 each. Every unit will consist of one share of common stock and one-half of a warrant, exercisable at USD11.50, according to the filing.
The firm has formed an advisory board consisting of well-known regional venture capitalists. They include Gobi Partners founding partner Thomas Tsao, 500 Startups managing partner Khailee Ng, Qiming Ventures partner Helen Wong, K3 Ventures founder MX Kuok and Jungle Ventures managing partner David Gowdey.
In a filing, SPAC said, “We have not selected any business combination target and we have not, nor has anyone on our behalf, initiated any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target.
“We will not be limited to a particular industry or geographic region in our identification and acquisition of a target company.”
SPACs are empty corporate shells which raises money in an IPO, and merges with a private company that will then be publicly-traded which isn’t allowed in a traditional IPO. Prominent figures from the business and investing worlds have been rushing into the SPAC market over the past year, which marked a record in the US.
Meanwhile, investors are increasingly planning SPAC listings that will be injected with Asian assets down the road.
Several blank-cheque firms with prominent Asia backers have launched in the past months, including one backed by SoftBank Group Corp and another by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li. Both will target technology companies.
The sponsor for the SPAC is Catcha Holdings LLC, a Cayman Islands limited liability company and JP Morgan is listed as the book running manager.