Proptech VC Fifth Wall Halts $150 Million SPAC Amid Stock Market Woes
Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Proptech-focused venture capital firm Fifth Wall has pulled the plug on its $150 million plan to take another real estate tech firm public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a filing with the SEC revealed on Friday.
The Marina del Rey-based firm unveiled its second SPAC last March, with designs on listing the blank-check company on the Nasdaq under the ticker FWAB and issuing 15 million shares at $10 apiece. Fifth Wall tapped Wall Street banks Goldman Sachs, Citi and Deutsche Bank as joint underwriters on the deal, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.
Yet Fifth Wall has now withdrawn the SPAC’s registration, putting an end to those plans. While the venture capital firm did not respond to requests for comment on the move, startups that have gone public via SPAC mergers have had a difficult time on the market as of late—though that hasn’t slowed down SPAC sponsors from issuing more blank-check companies. Meanwhile, the broader stock market continues to teeter on correction territory, with the stocks further roiled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
With its first SPAC, Fifth Wall took Arizona-based home automation company SmartRent public last August, in a deal that raised $450 million for the startup. SmartRent’s stock subsequently rose north of $14 per share in early September, but has since shed more than half of its value and closed trading Monday at $6.45 per share—mirroring the wider downturn in the SPAC market.
Fifth Wall also launched a third SPAC that raised $275 million upon going public last May. That blank-check entity currently trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker FWAC but has yet to merge with another company, a la SmartRent.
The venture firm is also raising funds for a late-stage climate tech fund, per another new SEC filing. Fifth Wall did not disclose how much it intends to raise for the new fund. It has secured at least $140 million for a similar fund focused on early-stage climate tech startups, as dot.LA reported last year.
Earlier this month, Fifth Wall announced that it had raised roughly $159 million for its first European fund. (Disclosure: Fifth Wall co-founder and managing partner Brendan Wallace is an investor in dot.LA.)