Skift Take

The blank check frenzy may be sweeping up companies such as Sonder that would otherwise have had to wait their turn to go public. It would certainly be an interesting comeback for the quasi-hotel company whose prospects were not looking particularly bright a year ago.

After laying off more than 400 employees, about one-fifth of its staff, a year ago, quasi-hotel company Sonder not only survived the pandemic but is now being wooed to go public through a merger with a blank-check company.

Sonder, which signs master leases with landlords to turn units into short-term rentals, is in talks to merge with special purpose acquisition company Gores Metropoulos II Inc., a move that could value the combined entity at $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Sonder is the latest travel-related firm to get swept up in the special purpose acquisition company frenzy over the last year.

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In a potentially much larger deal, one of travel and technology investor Brad Gerstner’s Altimeter Capital blank check companies, is said to be in talks to merge with the Singapore’s superapp, Grab, in a deal that could value the company at $40 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Sonder has raised some $560 million in funding to date and was valued at around $1.3 billion during its last fund raise, Bloomberg reported.

Valuations among short-term rental and quasi-hotel brands certainly haven’t suffered from Airbnb’s December initial public offering. Airbnb’s public market cap is currently $111 billion.

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Tags: alternative accommodations, grab, hotels, short-term rentals, sonder, spacs, superapps

Photo credit: Sonder CEO Francis Davidson (left) speaks on stage at Skift Short-Term Rental Summit in New York City on December 5, 2019. The company may soon go public. Skift

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