Peter Pham and Michael Jones, co-founders of the Santa Monica-based startup incubator Science Inc., are officially joining the SPAC revolution, after their new blank-check company hit the Nasdaq this week valued at $270 million.
The new special purpose acquisition company, dubbed Science Strategic Acquisition Corp. Alpha, started trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, with 27 million shares selling for $10 out of the gate. On Thursday, those shares, trading under the ticker symbol SSAAU, were going for $10.35. Science’s SPAC, according to a press release earlier this week, “intends to focus on businesses operating in the direct-to-consumer brands, direct-to-consumer services and mobile and social entertainment sectors.”
SSAAU’s debut comes after a banner year for SPACs, with hundreds of new blank-check companies launching in 2020. Altogether, those companies raised $73 billion, with the goal being to take companies public without having to go through the traditional IPO process.
Science Inc. is already well-established in L.A., thanks in large part to having big-name companies like Dollar Shave Club under its umbrella. Founded in 2011, the incubator also features Stance socks and MeUndies in its portfolio, along with “two venture capital funds with a combined size of $175 million,” per Dot.LA.
Jones, in an interview with Dot.LA earlier this week, said he doesn’t see the SPAC boom slowing down anytime soon. “I suspect it’ll continue to grow,” Jones said about the SPAC market. “I think the quality of deals and the quality of managers are increasing. It’ll be a meaningful way for a large licensed company to find their way into the public market. It will bring smart, strategic individuals into the public markets who will hopefully assist in creating greater growth once those companies are public.”
As TheWrap has previously reported, SPACs have become all the rage in the last year as investors and top executives ranging from Shaquille O’Neal to former TikTok chief Kevin Mayer have joined the frenzy.