Sustainable finance company Aspiration to go public through SPAC merger

Sustainable financial-services company Aspiration Partners Inc. announced Wednesday that it plans to go public through a merger with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc., a special-purpose acquisition company.

The deal with the InterPrivate

SPAC assigns Aspiration a post-money equity value of $2.3 billion and is expected to provide “up to approximately $412 million” in gross cash proceeds to the company, which includes a $200 million private investment in public equity (PIPE). The combination is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2021, after which Aspiration will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ASP.

Aspiration offers a series of sustainable financial products for both consumers and businesses. The company recorded $14.7 million in revenue in 2020 and expects to generate $97.9 million this year, according to an 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On the consumer side of the business, the company provides cards and banking offerings with a sustainable lens, allowing people to offset their carbon footprints, monitor the sustainability of the places where they shop, and park their savings somewhere that promises not to invest in areas like fossil fuels.

The company sees an opportunity to cater toward “conscious consumers,” who think about sustainability when making purchasing decisions and have been overlooked by traditional financial institutions, according to Aspiration Chief Executive Andrei Cherny.

On the corporate side, Aspiration works with companies that are looking to offset their carbon footprints and make sustainability a bigger part of how they do business.

“It used to be that either companies would be focusing on sustainability and fighting climate crisis because of facing investor demand or government regulations,” Cherny told MarketWatch. Now companies are facing “bottom-up” pressure as they look to engage employees and customers through more sustainable actions, he said.