US Fintech Firm Aspiration Partners to Go Public via SPAC Merger

Aspiration Partners Inc., a Marina del Rey-headquartered Fintech firm that provides clients with tools to help with prioritizing sustainability in their spending habits, is set to go public through a merger with a blank check company.

As mentioned in a release, the deal with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc. should give the combined business entity an equity value of $2.3 billion and $400 million in cash on its balance sheet, in order to support various growth initiatives such as marketing and additional investments in technology.

Andrei Cherny, CEO and Co-Founder of Aspiration, stated:

“Most Americans want to do their part to fight the climate crisis but don’t know where to start and don’t know how to make a real difference – and this is where Aspiration comes in. Aspiration is in the business of fighting the climate crisis. We help people and businesses build sustainable impact into what they do every day by making it easy, automated, and powerful, whether it is in the ways people spend and save their money or the ways businesses engage their customers. The switch to sustainability will likely be the largest, fastest shift in behavior in human history, and Aspiration has a central role to play in powering that transformation for individuals and businesses alike.”

InterPrivate III had reportedly been looking for a deal in the financial services space, after its  raise in March of $259 million via an initial public offering (IPO).

New York-headquartered InterPrivate III is being led by company CEO and Chair Ahmed Fattouh, who founded private equity company InterPrivate and has worked as CEO since its 2017 launch.

The firms are now expecting the transaction to be finalized during Q4 2021. The combined business entity, which has a projected revenue of $254 million in 2022 and $508 million in 2023, is set to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (under the ticker symbol ASP).

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have become quite a popular way for firms to go public.

As reported by the LA Business Journal, local companies (in California) that have chosen the the SPAC route include Culver City’s Science 37 Inc., a digital clinical trial company; Santa Monica’s home workout video and fitness program firm Beachbody Co. Inc.; and Santa Monica-based online medical scrubs retailer Figs Inc.

It’s worth noting that John McCoy is serving on the SPAC’s board. McCoy is the retired chairman and former CEO of Bank One Corp. During his time at the firm (in 80s-90s), he was responsible for overseeing over 100 strategic acquisitions, which helped with establishing the bank as a major player in the industry with around $269 billion in assets at the time when McCoy retired in 1999.

Only five years later, JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired Bank One for approximately $59 billion, which led to the creation of a business that had merged two of the largest American banks.

Aspiration, which is being led by Chief Executive Andrei Cherny, aims to address climate change issues through its existing services. The Fintech company has promised its members that the savings and debit card purchases will never be used to finance large-carbon polluters including the oil/coal sectors.

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