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Pagaya Closes SPAC Merger Ahead of IPO at $8.5 Billion Valuation


Pagaya Founders (photo source company website)

Pagaya Technologies, an Israeli fintech startup, completed its previously announced business combination with EJF Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) for the startup’s initial public offering (IPO). The plans were first revealed in January and Pagaya shareholders approved the deal on June 16, and EJFA’s shareholders on June 17.

The newly listed public company is called Pagaya Technologies Ltd. and its Class A ordinary shares and public warrants will begin trading on the Nasdaq stock market beginning on June 23, 2022 under the ticker symbols “PGY” and “PGYWW,” respectively.

This may not seem like the best time to hold an IPO. The markets are down everywhere, largely due to the world financial turmoil that resulted from the Russian invasion of Ukraine feeding into high inflation everywhere and the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Stock markets and bond markets are negatively correlated in that when interest rates rise, stocks go down. This is because bonds, which are usually a safer investment, offer higher yields so investors sell stock to buy them. It is also because higher interest rates mean growth costs more so investors expect lower profits and possible contraction.

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There has also been a recent move away from such SPAC mergers, with some planned IPO’s falling apart.

An SPAC is a publicly-traded pool of cash with no business activity other than looking for a private firm to merge with and subsequently take public. More and more companies are choosing this route towards their IPOS. The idea here is that a company goes public by merging with an already existing entity, thereby saving on many of the costs involved with an IPO, as well as some of the risks.

Pagaya manages institutional money with machine learning and big data analytics, with a focus on a fixed income and alternative credit. Pagaya Pulse, the company’s technological platform, is powered by a suite of artificial intelligence technologies and cutting-edge algorithms. CEO Gal Krubiner, CTO Avital Pardo, and CRO Yahav Yulzari started the company in 2016.

“Six years ago, we embarked on a mission to become the leading network powering financial possibilities for our partners and their customers,” said Gal Krubiner, CEO of Pagaya. “Since then, we have achieved significant volume and scale, thanks to the support of our dedicated employees, partners, and investors, leading us to this exciting moment in our company’s history. We believe being a public company better positions us to continue becoming the trusted A.I. partner for the banking ecosystem, helping to expand the availability of life-changing financial products to more people.”



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