Car-Sharing Startup Getaround Nears InterPrivate SPAC Merger

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(Bloomberg) — Getaround Inc., the car-sharing marketplace that functions as an Airbnb for vehicles, agreed to go public through a merger with InterPrivate II Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.

The transaction gives the combined company an equity value of about $1.2 billion, if there are no redemptions, the company said in a statement Wednesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.

Getaround founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Zaid will lead the San Francisco-based company, which is set to trade on the New York Stock Exchange with the ‘GETR’ ticker. 

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“We’ve been preparing to be a public company for over a year,” Zaid said in an interview, adding that the company favored a merger with InterPrivate II above capital-raising options such as additional private funding or an initial public offering, in part due to the certainty of a cash infusion. 

InterPrivate II, led by Chairman and CEO Ahmed Fattouh and executive vice presidents Brian Pham and Alan Pinto, raised about $259 million in a March 2021 initial public offering. The first InterPrivate SPAC merged with Aeva Technologies Inc., a laser-sensor startup founded by two former Apple Inc. engineers. InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc. agreed to merge with fintech startup Aspiration last year.

Despite challenging market conditions for SPACs, which are facing increased regulation, interesting targets remain, Fattouh said in an interview. 

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“The SPAC structure can offer more certainty to a company than an IPO,” he said, pointing to the ability of blank-check firms to secure capital at predetermined terms. InterPrivate II may explore raising additional capital to support the Getaround deal, he said, declining to provide specifics.

Founded in 2009 and launched in 2011, Getaround operates in eight countries, including the US, UK, France and Germany. The company, which estimates that non-shared cars are idle 22 hours a day, has said it aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which may limit carbon emissions and overall congestion.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we have a really compelling business opportunity and want to make sure we’re capitalized to go after it,” Zaid said, adding that the company is aiming to be profitable by 2024, as measured by adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 

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Getaround is currently profitable in its top 20 cities, and the platform is operational in 950 cities, according to Zaid. It has 1.6 million paying users and 66,000 actively listed vehicles. Getaround investors including SoftBank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, Reinvent Capital, actor Ashton Kutcher, PeopleFund and Braemar Energy Ventures will remain owners of the combined entity.

Mudrick Capital Management LP agreed to provide a convertible note commitment of as much as $175 million earmarked to fuel Getaround’s growth. 

Getaround’s “loyal consumer following, established scale, attractive unit economics and sustainable technology advantages fit the profile we seek in our growth investment strategy — business models that have hit their inflection point and are ready for their public market debut,” Mudrick founder Jason Mudrick said in the statement.

Turo Inc., a Getaround rival backed by IAC/InterActiveCorp. among others, filed for an IPO in January.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.



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