Once the merger is complete, this would be one of the largest deals to date between a proptech company and a special purpose vehicle company.
Smart home technology company SmartRent.com Inc. announced on Thursday its intention to merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. to go public.
The merger values SmartRent, whose products serve approximately 185,000 homes in the United States and Canada, at $ 2.2 billion. In February, Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. raised approximately $ 345 million in its initial public offering (IPO) sponsored by venture capital firm Fifth Wall Ventures. The company had already invested in SmartRent through one of its funds in 2020.
Earlier this week, Fifth Wall Ventures also announced the debut of its third SPAC, Fifth Wall Acquisition III.
In addition, a number of well-known US residential owners and developers have committed to SmartRent a $ 155 million PIPE, including Blackstone Group Inc., Starwood Capital Group LLC, Lennar Corp. and Invitation Homes Inc.
The deal requires regulatory review and a shareholder vote before closing. Once completed, it will be one of the biggest deals between a proptech company and a SPAC.
Lucas Haldeman, former chief technology officer of Colony Starwood Homes (later Starwood Waypoint Homes, which merged to become Invitation Homes, one of the largest single family home owners) founded SmartRent in 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company’s goal was to equip rental apartments with the same smart home functions that many single-family home owners enjoy.
The company’s technology enables landlords to monitor and control thermostats, utilities, security, and plumbing from a computer or smartphone. Landlords can also equip tenants with apps to support these home functions if tenants so wish.
With the inflow of funds, SmartRent will expand its technology offering to new global markets.
“We have already started working on pilots in Western Europe,” Haldeman told the Wall Street Journal. “We are a few months away from deploying in Asia.”
Fifth Wall’s venture capital fund investors include large residential property owners in Europe and Asia who have enabled SmartRent to break into those markets. Haldeman told the Journal that he expected the company’s technology to expand to over 300,000 residential units by the end of the year.
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