Private equity firm True Wind Capital’s blank check IPO raised $525 million on Friday in the 13th such offering by investors from the region this year.

San Francisco-based TWC Tech Holdings II Corp., led by True Wind founding partners Adam Clammer and James Greene Jr., plans to use the funds to help take a yet-to-be-determined tech company public through a reverse merger.

There have now been 93 IPOs by special purpose acquisition companies in a record year, raising nearly $37 billion, according to SPACInsider.

SPACs have become a popular alternative to traditional IPOs because they can be done quicker and allow the parties to have more control over how they get priced. Until recently, they also had an advantage over going public through direct listings because they allowed the company that is going public to also raise money.

Five Bay Area companies have agreed to go public through SPAC mergers — San Jose-based Velodyne Lidar Inc., Palo Alto-based Luminar Technologies Inc., San Jose-based QuantumScape Corp. and a pair of San Francisco companies — Shift Technologies Inc. and Skillz Inc.

Another may make that move soon. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that San Francisco-based residential real estate unicorn Opendoor Labs Inc. is in advanced talks to go public through a merger with Palo Alto-based Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II. That’s a SPAC led by venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya that raised $360 million on April 28.

TWC Tech Holdings II sold 52.5 million units at $10. It is now set to trade on on the Nasdaq with the symbol of “TWTCU.” 

Source: Biz Journals

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