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Green Fintech Startup Aspiration Said in Interprivate SPAC Talks

, Bloomberg

Fintech startup Aspiration is in talks to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a transaction that’s slated to value the combined entity at more than $2 billion.

Los Angeles-based Aspiration is in discussions with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc., a special purpose acquisition company that’s led by Ahmed Fattouh. The vehicle is in talks to raise capital to support the transaction via a so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE.

Since a deal isn’t finalized, the terms may change or talks may collapse.

Aspiration, led by CEO Andrei Cherny, has sought to tackle climate change through its services. It’s made a pledge to customers that their savings and debit card purchases will never be used to fund the oil or coal industries, for example, and it offers a program whereby extra change on transactions can be allocated to tree planting. In addition, it says it offsets the carbon dioxide from every gallon of gas purchased using one of its cards.

The company also touts a fee-free network of over 55,000 ATMs and says it can give customers who sign up for direct deposits their paychecks two days early. “There’s a good chance your bank is using your money to fund oil projects that destroy the climate,” its website says. “Put your money where your values are.”.

The company was last valued at $1 billion in May 2020, according to data provider PitchBook, which shows that its investors have included actors Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom, investment bank Allen & Co., eBay Inc. co-founder Jeff Skoll and TPG co-founder David Bonderman.

Interprivate III raised about $259 million in a March initial public offering. Another vehicle, Interprivate Acquisition Corp. merged with lidar startup Aeva Technologies Inc. Interprivate III counts Sunil Kappagoda as vice chairman and Nicholaos Constantinos Krenteras as president.

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