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Hypebeast to list on NASDAQ through SPAC merger

Apr 4, 2022
Illustration of a pair of sneakers with a dollar sign insignia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media company Hypebeast announced Monday that it will list on the Nasdaq through a SPAC merger with Iron Spark I in the third quarter.

Why it matters: The SPAC market has been quiet after a flurry of attention that saw digital media companies pause their SPAC plans amid market volatility and a messy public market debut from BuzzFeed.

Catch up quick: Kevin Ma founded Hypebeast in 2005 as a sneaker blog. It has since grown into a digital media and e-commerce company covering fashion, culture and lifestyle.

Details: Hypebeast has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2016, so it'll now be dual listed. Its Nasdaq ticker is HYPE.

  • The deal includes $13.3 million in PIPE financing from quarterback Tom Brady, tennis star Naomi Osaka, Thirty Five Ventures co-founders Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, skateboarder Tony Hawk, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, actor Jonah Hill, artist Adam Levine, Electric Feel Ventures, South Korean record label TheBlackLabel and investment firm Irongrey.
  • Ma will remain as Hypebeast's CEO and Patrick Wong will stay CFO. Iron Spark CEO Joshua L. Spear and former Nike president Trevor Edwards are expected to join the board.

By the numbers: The SPAC merger will result in an equity value of $534 million and an enterprise value of $353 million.

  • It is estimated to provide up to $180 million in total proceeds.
  • Hypebeast is profitable. The company said its annual revenue for the fiscal year ending in March was at least $112 million, up 29% from the year prior.
  • Hypebeast claims to have 26 million social media followers and 18 million monthly unique visitors to its digital platforms.

What they're saying: "With its track record of organic growth and public company discipline, Hypebeast is a perfect example of a company that is 'hidden in plain sight' both for its cultural significance and compelling business profile," said Amy Butte, chairperson of Iron Spark.

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