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Tishman Speyer Forms $300M SPAC To Snap Up Proptech

Tishman Speyer has formed a blank check company to raise hundreds of millions from investors to acquire a proptech entity.

The New York-based global developer has formed a special purpose acquisition company, TS Innovation Acquisitions Corp., which filed for a $300M initial public offering on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer at the 120th Real Estate Board of New York Banquet in 2016.

The move is an extension of Tishman Speyer's recent interest in proptech. Over the last three years, according to the filing, the company has invested in 11 tech-oriented opportunities. During the same period, Tishman Speyer says it has identified more than 900 potential investment targets.

A SPAC is an entity set up to go public, but which doesn't have its own operations. Rather, capital is poured into a SPAC, or blank check company, and it uses the funds to acquire other companies, taking them public in a reverse merger.

The language of the SEC filing doesn't commit TS Innovation Acquisitions Corp. to investing only in proptech, but it does say that sector is its main interest. SEC regulations don't permit specific investment targets to be cited at this stage of the game.

As broad examples of what the SPAC might be interested in, the filing lists proptech involving artificial intelligence and machine learning, data and analytics, cloud technologies, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, financial and mortgage technologies, 5G, automation and robotics, 3D printing and modular construction. 

"Digital transformation has also enabled new business models including iBuying, co-working, flexible warehousing, and crowdfunding," the filing states.

“We believe that the network of contacts and relationships of our management team will provide us with an important source of acquisition opportunities,” the filing said. "In addition, we anticipate that potential targets will be brought to our attention from various unaffiliated sources."

The offering involves 30 million TS Innovation Acquisitions Corp. units priced at $10 each. Each unit consists of one share of common stock, as well as one-third of a redeemable warrant, which would be exercisable at $11.50.

Citing a quiet period, Tishman Speyer declined to comment about the new SPAC or its plans.

As an investment structure, SPACs aren't new, but they have seen a resurgence this year. So far in 2020, there have been 160 SPAC IPOs, SPACInsider reports, compared with 59 for all of 2019.

Also, the size of SPAC IPOs is increasing. The average size this year has been $368.9M. Last year, the average size was $230.5M.

Some of these new blank check companies, like Tishman Speyer's, are proptech focused

This summer, a SPAC called PropTech Acquisition Corp. bought Porch, an online real estate and home improvement marketplace, for $523M. Also, an affiliate of Miami-based Lionheart Capital filed with the SEC to raise $200M to acquire proptech. 

Benchmark Real Estate Group formed a SPAC called Property Solutions Acquisition Corp. that would target proptech or real estate service firms, and major investor SoftBank, which has invested in proptech, is preparing its own special purpose acquisition company.

Related Topics: Tishman Speyer, PropTech, SPAC