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SPACs in mobility: A detailed look under the hood

Buoyed by name-brand investment firms and celebrities alike, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) exploded in popularity during 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Once seen as a fringe option, SPACs are providing many startups with a new path to the public markets while offering private market investors an alternative exit route.

The mobility space has paid special attention to this recently popularized avenue, with over 50 mobility startups making their debuts through reverse mergers with SPACs. In 2020, median valuations for late-stage mobility startups soared 87.5% year-over-year, representing a huge increase in value and investor funding. Against this backdrop of increased investor enthusiasm in mobility, EV makers like Tesla and Nio have also seen massive rallies in the public markets.
Watch the webinar recording to see PitchBook analysts discuss key details and trends in SPACs and the EV/mobility environment.

Key takeaways:
  • Aggregate SPAC data on both IPOs & acquisitions
  • Analysis of the incentives/dynamics behind parties involved in SPAC transactions that have propelled the strategy’s growth
  • Strong exit outcomes demonstrate successful exits are possible for VC-backed mobility companies—paired with a drop in early-stage valuations, this should attract more early-stage capital in mobility tech
  • Future outlook for SPACs

Key statistics:
  • Our Mobility SPAC Index generated a return of 77.7% compared to 22.2% for the S&P 500 over the latter half of the year, indicating the success of recent EV/mobility SPAC mergers and validating the new path to exit
  • Late-stage mobility company valuations increased 87.5% in 2020 YoY, mirroring the increase in valuations for EV/mobility companies in public markets—meanwhile, early-stage valuations declined by 31.6% amid a more challenging fundraising environment

Watch the recording below or download the presentation slides

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Featuring


Asad Hussain headshot
Asad Hussain
Senior Emerging Technology Analyst, PitchBook
Asad Hussain is a Senior Emerging Technology Analyst at PitchBook, where he contributes to the firm’s emerging technology research covering the mobility tech and supply chain tech verticals. Hussain leads PitchBook’s mobility and transportation tech coverage, which includes sectors such as autonomous driving, ridesharing, carsharing, micromobility, fleet, last-mile delivery and fleet management, among others. His expertise has been regularly featured in top tier media outlets including CNBC, CNN Business, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune and Reuters. Hussain has also appeared on Bloomberg TV’s ”Balance of Power” and ”Bloomberg Technology” segments to discuss emerging trends in ridesharing, autonomous vehicles, and food delivery.
 
Cameron Stanfill headshot
Cameron Stanfill, CFA
Senior VC Analyst, PitchBook
Cameron Stanfill is a Senior VC Analyst at PitchBook, specializing in late-stage venture investments and exit activity. Stanfill contributes to quarterly reports and produces thematic analyst notes, authoring ample research on topics including alternative liquidity options, direct listings and IPOs.

Stanfill has been cited in multiple tier one publications including CNBC, Barron’s, and the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining PitchBook, he was a Financial Analyst at Jackson & Jackson in Louisiana.

Stanfill holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Louisiana State University. He is based in PitchBook’s Seattle office.
 

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