A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is formed by investors in order to publicly list an organization without going through the troubles that come with the traditional IPO process.

What Is a SPAC?

A SPAC, or a special purpose acquisition company, is a company set up by investors with the purpose of raising money through an IPO (initial public offering). SPACs have no commercial operations and are formed with the purpose of acquiring an existing company. They are generally formed by a group of investors, known as “sponsors”, where they have the intention of pursuing deals in a particular industry. 

The money SPACs raise in an IPO is locked in an interest-bearing trust account where it cannot be disbursed except to complete an acquisition or to return the money to investors if the SPAC is liquidated. They act as an interface between the public and businesses that often face challenges accessing funds. 

SPACs are a popular way for companies to go public while avoiding the difficulties of a traditional IPO and ICOs, and without the strong market presence that direct listings require. They are faster and more convenient than IPOs and ICOs in that they allow projects and companies to get assurances from investors early on at an agreed-upon price, rather than the night before like traditional IPOs. Essentially, being acquired by a SPAC will offer business owners a faster IPO process under the guidance of an experienced partner.

Gunnar Jaerv is the chief operating officer of First Digital Trust — Hong Kong’s technology-driven financial institution powering the digital asset industry and servicing financial technology innovators. Prior to joining First Digital Trust, Gunnar founded several tech startups, including Hong Kong-based Peak Digital and Elements Global Enterprises in Singapore.