General Catalyst's third SPAC aims to help Black founders
March 12, 2021
General Catalyst chairman Ken Chenault will serve on the board of directors for the firm's new SPAC. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
General Catalyst is forming its third SPAC, this time with a twist: The venture capital firm's blank-check company is launching with a stated intention of supporting founders from underserved ethnic groups.
- Catalyst Partners Acquisition Corp. filed for a $400 million IPO that will target business software companies.
- After initially staying away from SPACs, VCs are stepping up their sponsorships, with General Catalyst emerging as one of the industry's more ardent players in the frenzy.
- Last year the Boston-area firm formed a healthcare-focused SPAC that raised $525 million in an IPO. And just days ago, General Catalyst joined forces with Arch Venture Partners to launch a $500 million IPO for Revolution Healthcare Acquisition Corp., a digital health-focused blank-check company.
- In an SEC filing, Catalyst Partners said an unspecified cut of the latest SPAC's profits will fund "economic empowerment and inclusion" initiatives through a charitable foundation formed by General Catalyst.
- Several Black business luminaries are on the SPAC's team, including Kenneth Frazier, Merck CEO; James Cash, former senior associate dean of the Harvard Business School, Corey Thomas, CEO of cybersecurity specialist Rapid7; and Ken Chenault, currently General Catalyst's chairman and formerly CEO of American Express.
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