SPAC: Bancorp Founder Betsy Cohen’s New $750 Million Special Purpose Acquisition Company to Acquire Fintech Business

A new shell firm established by an experienced banking executive is expected to go public this coming week. The project’s founders plan to acquire a Fintech company in order to expand operations.

The company’s management confirmed that the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will list on the Nasdaq by August 26, 2020.

Betsy Cohen, who previously was CEO at Bancorp and is a founder, will serve as chairperson of the firm.  Ryan Gilbert, General Partner at Propel Venture Partners, has been appointed as the CEO. The firm is valued at $750 million and is referred to as the “FTAC Olympus Acquisition.” It had submitted its application confidentially with regulatory authorities last month, however, it did not confirm when it would officially launch its operations.

These “blank check” firms are established so that they can acquire another business, and then take it public in a few years. SPAC offerings have become quite common or popular in 2020, which may be due to the COVID-19 crisis and rising volatility in the IPO markets.

As reported by CNBC, at least 51 SPAC offerings have been conducted this year and they’ve raised a combined $21.5 billion, which is almost a 150% increase from 2019.

Betsy Cohen and her company have previously established three other Fintech-related shell firms. One of the SPACs (launched in 2018) is set to merge with Paya, a payments business. Meanwhile, another SPAC went public back in January 2017, merging with International Money Express. FinTech Acquisition went public in early 2015 and merged with CardConnect, a company that was purchased by First Data for around $750 million.

In June 2020, Nebula Acquisition Corporation (NEBU), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by True Wind Capital, closed on its acquisition of Open Lending, a company that provides automated lending services to financial institutions.

In November 2019, FinServ Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:FISRVU), a Fintech-focused SPAC, closed its initial public offering (IPO) of 25,000,000 units, which included 3,000,000 units issued “pursuant to the exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option.” The company’s offering was set at $10.00 per unit, which netted gross proceeds of $250 million.

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