Feb 8 (Reuters) – Matterport Inc, which makes makes 3D cameras for virtual tours of real estate, will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm backed by billionaire Alec Gores in a deal that values the combined entity at $2.9 billion, the companies said on Monday.
The deal with Gores Holdings VI Inc is expected to provide $640 million in proceeds to Matterport, including a private investment of $295 million from investors Tiger Global Management, Dragoneer Investment Group and Fidelity Management & Research Co.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in demand for Matterport’s products, as people stayed at home and preferred virtual property tours.
In May last year, the company introduced “Matterport Capture”, an iPhone app to enable users to scan spaces through their phones, without the aid of a 3D camera.
California-headquartered Matterport also offers a platform that allows users to upload and view the spaces they have scanned.
Some 248 special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) raised around $83 billion through IPOs in 2020, more than the prior five years combined, according to SPAC Research. The pace has only intensified in 2021, with 91 SPAC IPOs completed so far to raise $25.8 billion.
A blank check firm, also known as a SPAC, is a shell company that raises funds through an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of acquiring a private company, which then becomes public as result of the merger.
Alec Gores, who founded the Gores Group, is one of the most prolific SPAC dealmakers in the United States.
Gores Holding IV Inc, another SPAC backed by the investor, took wholesale mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage public through a $16-billion deal, making it the biggest SPAC merger of all time. (Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)