SmartRent.com Inc., which sells smart home technology systems to apartment building owners and developers, plans to go public through a merger with a special acquisition company that values the real estate technology start-up at $ 2.2 billion, according to well-known people with the issue.
SmartRent, whose technology is used in approximately 185,000 apartments in the US and Canada, plans to announce as early as Thursday that it will merge with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp., which raised approximately $ 345 million in an initial public offering earlier this year. people said. The special company was sponsored by Fifth Wall, a venture capital firm that invested in SmartRent through one of its funds last year.
Separately, some of the largest apartment building owners and home developers in the US – who are also customers of SmartRent – have agreed to invest a total of $ 155 million in the startup, according to people familiar with the matter. This group includes Blackstone Group Inc.,
Starwood Capital Group LLC, Lennar Corp.
and invitation houses Inc.,
the people said.
The merger, which is expected to close later this year following regulatory review and shareholder vote, would be one of the largest such deals to date involving a proptech company and a specialty acquisition company. SPACs, also known as blank check companies, have gained popularity in the capital markets and among proptech companies in the past year because they allow private companies to go public faster and with more price certainty than traditional IPOs.
Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., SmartRent was founded in 2017 by Lucas Haldeman, the former chief technology officer of Colony Starwood Homes, which later became known as Starwood Waypoint Homes and merged into Invitation Homes, one of the largest single- family rental homes. His idea was to give rental units many of the smarthome features much more commonly used in homes that people own than those that people rent.
Landlords can use SmartRent technology to control and monitor thermostats, utilities, security and plumbing from a computer or smartphone. Landlords can also provide their tenants with apps that support these features, along with other smart home technologies – such as the Siri and Alexa virtual assistants – that tenants decide to add.
Write to Peter Grant at [email protected]
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