Early this afternoon, Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. filed for a $275 million software/technology focused SPAC, ending the late-summer IPO drought. If you recall, the last SPAC to file for IPO was Silver Spike, which debuted more than three weeks ago on July 22nd. However, Apex Technology, which is stacked with venture experience, will be led by Jeff Epstein (no, not that one) and Brad Koenig, as co-Chief Executive Officers.
By way of background, Jeff Epstein is currently an operating partner with Bessemer Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, where he primarily works with chief executive and financial officers to create operational improvements. However, he was previously the executive vice president and CFO of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), as well as the CFO of DoubleClick, King World Productions, and Nielsen’s Media Measurement and Information Group. Brad Koenig, co-founded and served as chief executive officer of FoodyDirect.com, an online specialty food marketplace,that was acquired by Goldbelly, Inc. Additionally, Mr. Koenig was previously an advisor at Oak Hill Capital Management, a private equity firm.
However, you might also recall Mr. Koenig’s name from Iswill Acquisition Corp., another software/tech-focused SPAC that intended to IPO back in March of this year, but withdrew its registration statement. Plus, David Chao and Alex Mieux, who were on the Iswill team as well, are also back for this go-around on Apex as Director and Advisor, respectively. Essentially, this is Iswill 2.0 (side note: Alex Mieux is also an advisor to the Chaserg Technology Acquisition Corp. SPAC)
Nonetheless, the Apex team will be focusing on software companies and more specifically, the “sub-unicorns”, the slightly smaller cousins that still provide excellent disruptive technologies and businesses but aren’t able to grab the attention and headlines the way the big unicorns do. And by attention, that also means from the bankers looking to underwrite the IPOs. It’s a lot easier for a bank to justify working on a multi-billion IPO since its roughly the same amount of work as the smaller ones, but the fees are very, very different. As a result, those sub-unicorns have fewer exit options, but still have (hopefully) plenty of growth ahead. That’s where a SPAC comes in…offering an alternative avenue to going public.
However, looking at this SPAC’s structure, Apex is a 100% in trust, 24 months, 1/2 warrant deal. But terms have been tightening and the most recent IPOs have not traded as well as they did earlier in the summer. So while the terms for Apex appear appropriate, investors have been feeling itchy as of late and might want to push back a little. Maybe 18 months is preferable to 24 months, but Cantor is the underwriter and they’re not fond of changing terms mid-way through so it would have to be full blown hives for investors before Cantor changes the book. So these terms are most likely carved in stone.
It will be interesting to see how Apex trades day-one seeing as how it could be a barometer for how the rest of the Fall Season goes. Look for a post-Labor Day pricing.
Summary of terms below: