Skift Take

Will Sonder be a household name brand in accommodations in five years? The company hopes its Nasdaq debut in January, and a nifty $310 million in proceeds, will be the next stage in that evolution.

If all goes according to plan, quasi-hotel company Sonder could see its shares trading on Nasdaq in mid-January.

Sonder and its special purpose acquisition company partner, Gores Metropoulos II, announced Thursday that the registration statement filed in July and amended earlier this week was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission a day earlier.

That means if the merger partner’s shareholders approve the marriage at a special meeting January 14, and other closing conditions are satisfied, then Sonder’s common stock would start trading on Nasdaq under the symbol SOND following the closing.

“Really excited to share that we’re one step closer to taking Sonder public,” Sonder co-founder and CEO Francis Davidson emailed venture capital partners, as contained in a financial filing. “The registration statement related to our business combination with Gores Metropoulos II was declared effective by the SEC on December 22, 2021 and we’re looking forward to taking the next steps towards listing.” 

He invited key supporters to join Sonder officials in New York City when the stock starts trading.

When the transaction closes, Sonder said it expects to have at its disposal $310 million in PIPE (private investment in public equity) proceeds, as much as $450 million in cash, and $165 million in delayed draw notes to support both existing operations, and new initiatives.

In October, Sonder lowered its valuation to $1.925 billion, from an initially announced, $2.2 billion. However, the company, which offers both short-term rental apartments and hotel rooms, recently raised both its fiscal year 2021 revenue and adjusted earnings forecasts.

Property manager Vacasa’s stock performance since going public in a special purpose acquisition company merger December 7 could be of some concern to Sonder. Vacasa started trading at a much higher valuation, but has lost 27 percent of its market value in the interim and currently has a market cap of around $1.72 billion.

However, while both Sonder and Vacasa operate in the short-term rental space, they are two very different companies. Sonder is much more of an accommodations brand while Vacasa is a property manager.


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Tags: future of lodging, ipo, sonder, spacs, vacasa

Photo credit: Sonder could start trading on Nasdaq January 14. Pictured, Sonder co-founder and CEO Francis Davidson (right) at Skift Global Forum 2021.