The pace of SPAC/IPO listings picked up a bit this past week, capped, one might say, by Marqeta’s debut on the NASDAQ exchange on Wednesday (June 9).

Overall, banking service-related listings notched a few gains to stand at 29 thus far year to date. Listing announcements were decidedly international in scope.

In one example, SPAC L Catterton Latin America Acquisition filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a $200 million IPO, stating in the filing that “while we may pursue an initial target business in any industry or sector, we intend to focus our search on attractive categories in high-growth consumer sectors across Latin America. We will not pursue an initial target company whose primary business is investing in oil or gas reserves or real estate.” Latin America remains attractive, the company said, as it has 600 million inhabitants and more than 86 percent of GDP growth is driven by consumption.

Separately, as noted in this space, Kanzhun, an online recruitment platform based in China and backed by Tencent, filed for a listing in the United States, in an IPO that reportedly could raise more than $912 million. In terms of the statistics, as reported via the SEC document, monthly active users grew 19.8 million in 2020 from 11.5 million in 2019. For the quarter ending March 31, 2020, the company stated that monthly active users stood at 24.9 million compared to 14.5 million in the year-ago first calendar quarter.

And in Israel, WalkMe, which is billed as a “digital adoption platform” that helps client firms accelerate their own digital transformations, said it would offer 9.2 million shares at between $29 to $32 on the NASDAQ.

In the U.K., as reported by Fierce Healthcare, Babylon Health, which is focused on digital healthcare, will go public in a $4.2 billion merger with the blank check firm Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp. in the second half of the year, on the NASDAQ. The firm’s app helps its members – a reported 24 million on four continents – make appointments and receive online, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered diagnoses.

An unnamed spokesperson for Babylon Health said a SPAC deal “will allow us to immediately capitalize on our market momentum globally, and particularly in the U.S. market. Ultimately, this process will help accelerate our mission to put accessible and affordable healthcare in the hands of every person on Earth and provide us with capital to support our ambitious growth plans and accelerate our go-to-market strategy,” the spokesperson said.

Marqeta Goes Public 

The headline IPO of the week, arguably, was Marqeta, which went public on Wednesday (June 9) and traded up more than 20 percent intraday before closing with a gain of about 13 percent in the session. The firm, as reported, notched $1.2 billion in its IPO. Per the market cap, that first day, the company is valued at more than $17 billion.

In an interview with Karen Webster, Jason Gardner, founder and CEO of Marqeta, said the IPO represents just how far the payments ecosystem has come in card issuance. “We’re in the very, very early innings of all of this,” he said of the shift toward digital payments and instant card issuance, away from the plastic and toward the personalized cards that reside on phones.

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