Companies

We will write a blank cheque for unicorns, says StoneBridge Acquisition Corporation

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on July 22, 2021

The special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq to come to India with a ₹1,400 crore war chest to shop for unicorns

Promoters of StoneBridge Acquisition Corporation (SBAC), which recently listed on Nasdaq and raised ₹1,400 crore, will soon be in India to invest in a potential unicorn.

Besides investing or merging with the unicorn, the US firm comes with an attractive offer to get the coveted Nasdaq-listing tag.

“We are looking at unicorns (which are valued at $1 billion). What we bring to the table is ₹1,400 crore and a Nasdaq-listing comes along,” Bhargava Marepally, Chief Executive Officer of SBAC, told BusinessLine over phone from the US.

SBAC is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which belongs to the class of ‘blank cheque’ companies, a SPAC raises a fund to invest or merge with a single firm.

The company would look at new economy companies, including those in areas like digital commerce, fintech, SaaS (Software as a Service), renewable energy and Information Technology (IT) and IT-Enabled Services.

“We will write a single cheque to the target company. We have the ability to raise another ₹1,400 crore. We are targeting to complete the investment in a timeframe of 15 months.

“Our geographic focus is Asia Pacific, with a special emphasis on targets in India. We are looking at companies with enterprise values between $1 billion and $1.5 billion,” he said.

“Our plan is to actively involve with companies that have immense scope for growth that are actively looking for growth capital to expand in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

‘Lags behind China’

“We see a lot of disparity between China and India when it comes to tapping investments in the United States markets,” he said.

“There are 212 Chinese companies that came to the US (tapping the markets). Compare this with India’s 16, which includes companies like Infosys, Wipro and Dr Reddy’s,” he said.

Though Indian companies have a huge potential to tap the markets in the US, there are not many candidates attempting it.

“I see a lot of interest among the US investors in investing in Indian companies. At the same time there are Indian companies seeking investments from the US. We seek to bridge this gap,” Bhargava said.

In its filings to the regulator in the US, the firm said it would focus its search on a target with operations in consumer technology, communications, software, SaaS, fintech or media sectors.

Published on July 22, 2021

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