Tishman Speyer seeks $250M for second blank-check firm

Rob Speyer hunts for second proptech deal

National /
Jan.January 26, 2021 08:06 AM
Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer (Getty)

Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer (Getty)

With the ink barely dry on a deal to take smart-lock maker Latch public, Tishman Speyer has launched a second blank-check firm.

Through Tishman Speyer Innovation Corp. II, a new special-purpose acquisition company, the New York-based commercial landlord is looking to raise $250 million for another proptech deal, it disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday. Over the past five years, Tishman has strategically invested in proptech startups.

“Building on these relationships, we believe our management team is able to generate opportunities that have attractive risk/reward profiles based on their valuations, structural characteristics and growth potential,” the filing said.

Tishman Speyer is one of the country’s biggest commercial landlords, with 78 million square feet of real estate. The company raised $300 million in October for its debut SPAC.

“We’ve been an industry that’s been technology-resistant for decades,” Tishman Speyer president and CEO Rob Speyer told The Real Deal on Monday. “Our customers are demanding more and better.”

On Monday, its first SPAC, TS Innovation Acquisitions Corp., said it would merge with Latch to take the smart-lock maker public in a deal valued at $1.56 billion. That deal will give Latch $510 million in cash, including $190 million from new investors including Chamath Palihapitiya, BlackRock, D1 Capital Partners and Fidelity.

The Latch IPO is the culmination of five years of investing in proptech startups, including VTS, OpenSpace, Agora and Lyric, an Airbnb-backed short-term rental startup that closed over the summer.

Speyer said raising a SPAC and merging with Latch was a “next step” in the company’s evolution as a tech investor.

“It allows us to engage with growth-equity stage companies, and help them access the public markets and become successful public companies,” he said.

According to an investor presentation, Latch is not yet profitable. It generated an estimated $18 million in net revenue in 2020. Last year, its net loss before earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $61 million in 2020.

Tishman is set to own 4 percent of Latch, valued at $60 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

There are a dozen SPACs now chasing proptech deals, from ones launched by VC firms like Fifth Wall Ventures, to those backed by longtime real estate players like the Chera family’s Crown Acquisitions.

Overall, 67 blank-check firms have gone public this year, raising $19.2 billion, according to SPAC Insider. Last year, 248 SPACs went public, raising $83 billion.





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