Property technology startup Open Door Labs Inc. is the latest tech unicorn to go public as the company today confirmed it will do so through a reverse merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II.
The transaction values Opendoor at $4.8 billion, with $1 billion in cash proceeds raised in the reverse merger.
Founded in 2014, Opendoor offers an online real estate marketplace aimed at streamlining the property sales process. Where Opendoor differs from other online real estate sites is that it buys homes digitally, makes minor repairs and then lists the properties for sale while charging a fee for the service. The company uses software to find a price that is attractive to the property owner but still allows it to make a profit by reselling the home later.
While essentially a tech-based middleman company, coming into its reverse IPO Opendoor has found strong support from top venture capital firms. The company has raised $1.5 billion prior to going public. Its major investor is SoftBank Group Corp through its Vision fund, along with General Atlantic, Khosla Ventures, NEA and Norwest Venture Partners.
Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings II is a partnership between millionaire venture capitalist and former Facebook Inc. executive Chamath Palihapitiya and longtime investor Ian Osborne. The company was founded on the basis that it could be used as a vehicle for a reverse public listing.
“We created the IPO 2.0 platform to identify and partner with iconic technology companies with proven management teams and assist in their transition to the public markets,” Palihapitiya said in a statement. “Opendoor perfectly embodies this vision.”
The deal is yet another exit for SoftBank, the iconic yet troubled Japanese telco and investment firm. SoftBank announced in in March that it intended to sell off $41 billion in assets to help pay down debts in the wake of the WeWork debacle in 2019.
Of the deals so far, the sale of Arm Holdings Ltd., fully owned by SoftBank, to Nvidia Corp. has been the most prominent. Another SoftBank funded company, Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Pte Ltd., was reported Monday to be in merger talks with its main rival Gojek at the behest of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son.
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