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US-listed SPACs have a new target: Latin American tech companies

There has been an unprecedented IPO boom of tech companies in the Brazilian stock exchange, which is transformative for a market that was traditionally dominated by utilities, mining, oil and financial companies.
Matheus Tavares Dos Santos Contributor Matheus is a hedge funds investment analyst for a major global investment manager and technology provider. In prior roles, he was an associate at a LatAm-focused venture capital firm and worked in corporate venture with regional banks and the Brazilian stock exchange. More posts by this contributor

There has been an unprecedented IPO boom of tech companies in the Brazilian stock exchange, which is transformative for a market that was traditionally dominated by utilities, mining, oil and financial companies.

The trend continues to be strong; in February alone, growth companies like Bemobi, Westwing, Mobly and Mosaico went public. Mosaico, for example, was 20x oversubscribed and went up 70% on its first trading day. The same is true for other companies like Meliuz, Enjoei and Neogrid, up 173%, 53% and 74%, respectively, since their listing just a few months ago.

But what is even more surprising is that now, new special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) are raising money in Nasdaq with a mandate to buy Latin American private growth companies, which would be completely unthinkable just a year ago.

The opportunity for SPAC mergers in the U.S. has become quite competitive, as almost 300 SPACs, which raised over $90 billion, are now competing to find deals before the deadline. As a result, it has become more common to see SPACs with global mandates seeking to acquire foreign growth companies and list them in the U.S. to benefit from better multiples.

Just in 2021, eight Asian-sponsored SPACs raised over $2.3 billion in the Nasdaq/New York Stock Exchange, already surpassing the entire volume of 2020. More recently, it looks like the activity level may pick up in Brazil, and, potentially, in other Latin American countries, with $1.1 billion of Brazil-focused SPACs coming into fruition.

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