In the past hour, Bloomberg has reported that Southeast Asian property portal giant PropertyGuru is considering going public in the USA via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). According to Bloomberg's anonymous sources, the Singapore-based company is working with financial advisors and has begun preliminary talks with several SPACs ahead of a potential public debut which would value the company at around $1 billion.
Although considerations are said to be at a very early stage, if PropertyGuru were to go down the SPAC route it would follow in the footsteps of PropTech companies such as Porch Group and OpenDoor which have both gone public via special purpose acquisition companies over the last 12 months.
There are an increasing number and variety of SPACs out there whose purpose is to identify opportunities to take promising companies public and avoid costly traditional IPOs which, according to commentators such as ex-Zillow boss Spencer Rascoff, often leave money on the table. Among possible SPACs that are on the lookout for companies such as PropertyGuru to take public are no fewer than 3 founded and lead by Rascoff himself (Supernova Partners) as well as, intriguingly, a SPAC recently set up by regional classifieds player Catcha Group whose CEO Patrick Grove was one of the founders of PropertyGuru's eternal rival iProperty.
PropertyGuru has already flirted with the public market once when it aborted plans to go public on the Australian stock exchange in 2019 after issues around valuation and today's rumour follows similar speculation around a potential IPO for idealista in Europe which is similar in that it is a market leader in several markets and has been funded by big private equity funds up until now.