Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder of Zillow and Hotwire, is co-chairing a newly created special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), with the intent of finding a tech unicorn to take public, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Supernova Partners Acquisition Company, Inc. — the existence of which was first reported by Benzinga — is looking to invest in a business “that addresses a large market that creates the opportunity for attractive long-term growth prospects,” according to the filing.
“We believe that there are significant opportunities to invest in advantaged growth companies that are well-positioned to benefit from thematic shifts and tech-enabled trends and are valued between approximately $1 billion and $5 billion,” the SEC filing reads. “Given our team’s extensive and complementary experience, we will seek to partner with a company in the broader technology sector.”
A SPAC is essentially a shell company that acquires another company with the sole purpose of taking it public and has no other business. It’s a business move that has been employed more frequently in recent months, as tech companies look to go public.
Opendoor, the well-funded iBuying startup — and a Zillow rival in the direct-to-consumer homebuying and selling space — merged on September 15 with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II, a SPAC founded by Chamath Palihapitiya, also the chairman of Virgin Galactic. The transaction pegged Opendoor at an enterprise value of $4.8 billion.
Joining Rascoff as co-chair is Alexander Klabin, a veteran investor that’s set to become executive chairman of Sotheby’s Financial Services.
Robert Reid, a former senior managing director at Blackstone, will serve as CEO. Michael Clifton, most recently a senior investment professional at The Carlyle Group, will serve as chief financial officer.
“Our robust acquisition strategy and process will enable us to evaluate a broad range of attractive opportunities,” the filing reads. “We believe our management team’s combination of capabilities and experiences will make a business combination with Supernova a particularly attractive path for company leaders seeking partnership during and beyond the business combination.”
Rascoff spent nearly a decade as CEO of Zillow, the company he co-founded with current CEO Rich Barton. Under Rascoff’s leadership, Zillow went public.
In February 2019, Rascoff and Barton essentially switched roles, with Barton taking the reigns as CEO — as the company turned its focus on expanding its Zillow Offers platform — and Rascoff shifted to serving on Zillow’s board of directors.
In April, Rascoff left Zillow’s board of directors to focus on two startups, including Dot.LA, a news service aimed at covering the Southern California technology scene.