Bloomberg Línea — Sao Paulo-based software and data platform Semantix (SITX)concluded on Thursday its business combination with Alpha Capital (ASPC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on technology. The transaction had been announced in November 2021.
It is the first case of a technology SPAC from Brazil listed in the U.S. The deep tech company does data extraction and offers management, and monetization practices. Semantix CEO Leonardo Santos told Bloomberg Línea that the decision to go public via a SPAC was very much on the back of smart money.
“We were looking for a private round, preparing to list the company in the next few years,” Santos said. But a path to generate liquidity faster and cheaper than a traditional IPO (initial public offering) attracted the company’s board.
After greenlighting the business combination by Alpha Capital shareholders on 2 August, Semantix common shares and warrants (option securities) began trading as of Thursday as STIX and STIXW on Nasdaq.
Semantix will use cash resources to expand into new markets. Founded in 2010, Semantix has more than 300 customers in some 15 countries which use its software and services.
Semantix’s management team, led by CEO and founder Leonardo Santos, CFO Adriano Alcalde, Latin America General Manager Andre Frederico, and CSO and Investor Relations Director Marcela Bretas, will continue leading the now publicly traded company.
After the merger, Semantix will have an implied capital value of approximately $1 billion, and will pursue acquisitions.
Elsewhere, Mercado Libre’s SPAC with Kaszek, MEKA (MEKA), raised $287 million on Nasdaq, but has yet to announce a merger with a target company.
Since Alpha Capital went public, it took six months to find Semantix and another nine months of negotiations before the deal was approved. “Alec Oxenford and I are operators. We come from the industry. Unlike other SPACs, where the backers are more financial people, not as dedicated to the company,” said Rafael Steinhauser, SPAC backer, in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.
Of the 375 companies that have gone public through SPACs in the past five years, less than 10 percent have topped the S&P 500 index in the past 12 months, according to data compiled and analyzed by Bloomberg. For Steinhauser, the statistics can be misleading, as a good portion of tech companies are below the levels they were because of rising interest rates, which bring the company “to present value”.
Unlike the explosion of SPACs in the last two years, the recent d-SPACs that are coming out in the American stock market have revenue generation characteristics, according to Bloomberg data.
Such is the case with Semantix, according to Steinhauser. “It’s not a new company. It has real revenue, it generates profit. Even in a complex economic context, things can happen for Latin America. Alec and I believe in the transformational power of technology for Latin America and the talent that has been created in the region. We need to find mechanisms to provide an outlet for these companies so that they continue to grow,” he said.