Xbox and Sony Playstaion game controllers
Photo by Pragii on Unsplash

United Talent Agency’s $200 Million Gaming SPAC Lands on the Nasdaq

One of the world’s largest talent agencies launched its first SPAC on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday. United Talent Agency’s UTA Acquisition Corp. raised $200 million in the IPO, fueling its efforts to snap up a “compelling” gaming or creator economy business.

UTA represents stars such as Harrison Ford and Bad Bunny, as well as popular pro gamers like Symfuhny. The creation of the SPAC (a shell company designed to take another business public) reflects UTA’s growing interest in esports, as the Beverly Hills-based agency eyes ways to boost its music stars through collaborations with gaming giants (see: Marshmello’s Fortnite concert).

Trading under the symbol “UTAAU,” some prominent names are involved in managing the SPAC, including former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, former Google business development executive Jamie Sharp, and investor and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

The SPAC managers are hunting for a company with “compelling intellectual property and communities,” a “team with proven track record,” and “potential to leverage new technologies across multiple dimensions,” according to a regulatory filing. The managers set a deadline of 21 months to find their target, which they say will operate “in the gaming, digital media, creator economy, entertainment and technology industries.”

Like most SPACs, UTA Acquisition Corp. set pricing for 20 million shares at $10 a pop. On Thursday the stock closed at $10.02 per share.

If the venture succeeds, UTA and the other sponsors of the SPAC will reverse-merge the shell company with a gaming or adjacent business, and walk away with a considerable stake in the resulting entity (often 20%).

SPACs have risen in popularity in recent years as a vehicle to take businesses public, typically quicker and at a lower upfront cost than a traditional IPO. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has scrutinized the practice and warned investors about the risks involved in such deals, which typically perform worse than traditional IPOs.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


It started out as a way to relax after work.

On the episode of Behind Her Empire, JIGGY founder and CEO Kaylin Marcotte talks about how she turned her fascination with jigsaw puzzles into a thriving business.

Read more Show less
Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

When Darien Williams and Melanie Wolff opened Brella, their Montessori-inspired childcare center, in Playa Vista in 2019, they were inspired by the likes of WeWork and SoulCycle, which had multiple locations and easy-to-use apps for scheduling meetings and workout sessions. The pair found that parents juggling hectic day jobs with their children’s preschool schedules were drawn to a tech-enabled, more flexible way to schedule childcare for their kids.

Read more Show less
Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.