Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The SPAC boom has acquired a reputation for democratizing investment, without the headline-grabbing volatility of last month's Reddit revolt.

Between the lines: It's a valid characterization. But it's also a complicated one, creating new opportunities for the "little guy" while further enriching those who already had swollen bank accounts.

The democratizing case goes something like this: SPACs are bringing dozens, if not hundreds, of companies to the public markets that otherwise would have continued raising money in the private markets.

  • That means retail investors, including unaccredited ones, can play in the venture capital sandbox from which they've been historically excluded. And that creates the opportunity to benefit from growth that might have already occurred before a traditional IPO.
  • And, yes, there also is all sorts of speculative trading on pre-merger SPACs, with CNBC reporting yesterday that the 50 largest had seen their share prices rise nearly 14% in 2021, raising concerns that the meme stock phenomenon extends beyond nostalgia names like GameStop and Bed Bath & Beyond.

But, but, but: SPAC sponsors are almost exclusively rich folks or well-heeled institutions, and SPAC structures further consolidate their capital via very favorable terms.

  • Yes, SPAC sponsors get locked up and there has been some downward pressure on terms. But they typically get a greater percentage ownership for less effort and shorter hold times than do traditional venture capital or private equity investors.

The bottom line: SPACs have helped level the playing field, bubble or not, but it remains decidedly tilted.

  • Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap podcast talked SPAC boom with Victoria Grace, CEO of Queen's Gambit Growth Capital. Listen via Apple, Spotify or Axios.

Go deeper

Feb 10, 2021 - Podcasts

Victoria Grace of Queen's Gambit Growth Capital on the SPAC boom

The most significant stock market story of 2021 isn’t the one about Robinhood and Reddit; it’s the story of SPACs — those blank-check acquisition companies that are multiplying like Gremlins after a midnight snack.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Victoria Grace, CEO of a $300 million SPAC called Queen's Gambit Growth Capital, about how SPACs work, why there are so many and whether the trend is a bubble.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Feb 10, 2021 - Economy & Business

Colin Kaepernick forms a SPAC

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Tuesday disclosed that he has formed a blank-check company that will seek to raise $250 million in an IPO.

Why it matters: Kaepernick hasn't played pro football since 2016, but has remained a cultural lightning rod — either loved or loathed for his social activism, including his strong support of the Black Lives Matters movement.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.