PropertyGuru to make public debut

Shareholders approved merger with Peter Thiel-backed SPAC

National /
Mar.March 16, 2022 09:30 AM

PropertyGuru CEO Hari Krishnan (PropertyGuru, iStock)

Singapore-based PropertyGuru is set to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this week, despite a downturn in interest around special purpose acquisition companies.

The online real estate marketplace company will start trading Friday under the PGRU ticker after shareholders approved a SPAC merger with blank-check company Bridgetown 2, Bloomberg reported. The SPAC is backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel.

Bridgetown 2 was reportedly in talks with PropertyGuru about the U.S. listing as early as June. At the time, it was reported the combined entity could be worth as much as $2 billion.

PropertyGuru is focused on real estate in Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. In addition to being a marketplace for residents, the company has expanded its business to home loans and analytics.

The company is projecting a 44 percent rise in sales this year to about $106 million, according to Bloomberg.

As the popularity of SPACs recedes, however, investors don’t appear to be fully onboard with the merger. More than half of Bridgetown 2 shareholders — 59.3 percent — have redeemed their shares for cash. Bloomberg reported shares of the blank-check company fell 1.8 percent in New York on Tuesday.

Investor hesitance might be because of PropertyGuru’s past bumps in the road to an IPO. In 2019, the company backed out of plans to go public in Australia amid valuation concerns and a volatile market.

In recent months, interest in the proptech SPAC marketplace has dampened after the companies that pursued the mergers in the last 18 months saw their stock prices struggle. Opendoor, SmartRent and Latch were among those putting up disappointing performances on the stock market.

Homebuying startup Knock announced this week it was backing away from plans to go public, instead raising money via a private funding round. Its chief executive cited investors’ turn away from blank-check companies as a factor in the pivot, which included layoffs for approximately 46 percent of staff.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner





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