Hypebeast plans NASDAQ listing through SPAC merger

Streetwear-focused media and e-commerce platform Hypebeast has announced plans to list on NASDAQ as part of a business merger with publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Iron Spark.

Hypebeast said Tuesday the planned merger is expected to provide up to 180 million dollars in total gross proceeds and result in a pro forma equity valuation of 534 million dollars.

The company said it will use the proceeds to invest in technology, talent, brand experiences, and marketing.

The merger would see Hypebeast become dual-listed on NASDAQ and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which it has been listed on since 2016.

PIPE investors for the merger include a number of high profile celebrities and sport stars including Tom Brady, Naomi Osaka, Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, Tony Hawk, Joe Gebbia, Jonah Hill, and Adam Levine.

Hypebeast was founded in 2005 as a sneaker blog by now executive director, chair and CEO Kevin Ma. Over the years, the platform has expanded to focus more broadly on culture and lifestyle topics and has also stepped into e-commerce.

The business has over 26 million followers worldwide and is expected to generate revenue of at least 112 million dollars in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.

Ma is expected to remain in the top management position alongside CFO Patrick Wong upon transaction close.

Additionally, Joshua L. Spear, the CEO of Iron Spark, and Trevor Edwards, an independent director of Iron Spark and former president of Nike, are expected to be nominated to the combined company’s board of directors.

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