Horizon and MERJ announce tokenized SPACs on their digital stock exchange ‘Upstream’
By Vanessa Malone
This week, we announced that Horizon and MERJ Exchange are launching tokenized Special Purpose Acquisition Companies “SPACs” that will list on our joint venture ‘Upstream,’ the revolutionary stock exchange and retail trading app for digital securities.
This is the world’s first blockchain-based SPAC IPO marketplace, aiming to give retail investors direct access to listed SPAC IPOs using stablecoins or fiat on a regulated Securities Exchange. Upstream’s first tokenized SPACs are expected to be available to global investors commencing mid Q2, 2021 with anticipated SPAC IPO sizes ranging from US$25 million to US$100 million.
We’re attracting high-quality SPAC Sponsors in the blockchain and fintech sectors with extensive investment track records to lead the first tokenized SPACs. That said, interested participants seeking access to these future listings are encouraged to join the waitlist now at https://upstream.exchange/spacs as opportunities will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
What’s the significance of the announcement?
We’re unlocking the SPAC IPO surge for retail investors using blockchain technology.
To date, SPACs have almost exclusively been offered to well-connected institutional investors.
As of March 22, 2021, 276 SPACs have raised over $89 billion in gross IPO proceeds.¹ In 2020, a record year for SPACs, 248 companies raised over $83 billion. Europe also recently entered the SPAC race netting $495 million in 2020, with other jurisdictions expected to follow.² Upstream’s tokenized SPACs will be the first to be offered to retail investors and trade on Upstream, a regulated stock exchange app that will be available on the App Store and Google Play.
On Upstream, users will experience a transparent investor-driven market with no predatory market makers, no short-selling, wash trading or other market manipulations.
How tokenized SPACs work on Upstream
A SPAC is essentially a shell company set up by industry specialists with the sole purpose of raising capital through an IPO to ultimately deploy this capital to acquire an operating company looking for a stock market listing.
Upstream’s tokenized SPAC methodology is built on the same blockchain standard used throughout the “DeFi” space by crypto investors. The tokenized SPACs will offer investors of all levels capital-protected investments with transparency enforced by the Ethereum blockchain. Investors will be able to participate in cutting-edge SPAC IPOs using the USDC stablecoin or traditional fiat. Traders will control tokenized shares and warrants directly on their smartphones and begin trading immediately following the IPO.
Once an acquisition is identified by the SPAC management team, shareholders will have the right to vote in the app to approve or decline the acquisition. All SPAC IPO funds will be held in secure, regulated, segregated custody accounts, and investors are guaranteed 100% of their investments returned if they decline the acquisition.
Quotes from management:
“The upside for SPACs has almost exclusively been offered to well-connected institutional investors, Wall Street, and the world of private equity and hedge funds,” said Horizon President, Mark Elenowitz. “Upstream will offer everyday investors from all over the world transparent and equitable access to SPACs through a user-friendly app with the security of a blockchain.
“Offering SPACs on Upstream’s next generation, digital marketplace will give investors fair entry into the booming SPAC IPO market. Upstream traders will experience trades transparently displayed and executed on a blockchain without predatory market-makers, short-selling, wash trading or other market manipulations,” said Horizon CEO, Brian Collins.
MERJ CEO, Ed Tuohy said “The market has recently signalled an appetite for listed, sponsor led deals. Upstream will provide a direct solution for issuers and investors that wish to access this trend. We are democratising capital markets at scale through the use of technology.”
Be sure to join Upstream’s investor waitlist at https://upstream.exchange/spacs. If you’re from a team of successful deal makers interested in launching a SPAC on Upstream, please reach us at email@example.com.
Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange will enable investors to trade shares in SPACs, high-growth startups, and other unique asset classes directly from the app: https://upstream.exchange. Interested issuers can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MERJ Exchange operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system, and depository for digital and non-digital securities. It is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies, and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.
Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Our in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally: https://www.horizonfintex.com/.
THIS BLOG SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL SECURITIES OR THE SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY SECURITIES IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE SUCH OFFER OR SOLICITATION IS NOT PERMITTED.
1 SPAC IPO Transactions Statistics — by SPACInsider