Volkswagen-backed mobility service Gett weighs SPAC merger

·3-min read

Gett, the transport service that wants to become one of the world's leading 'mobility solutions' providers, is exploring a merger with a blank-cheque company that would entail its public market debut.

Sky News has learnt that Gett is working with investment bankers on plans to list through a combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Gett's deliberations are said to be at a relatively early stage, and no decisions have been taken about whether to proceed with a SPAC deal or conventional initial public offering, according to people close to the company.

If it does go public, it would be the latest in a line of urban transportation businesses to join the stock market, following the floats of Lyft and Uber Technologies.

Founded in 2010, Gett describes itself as "an enterprise Software-as-a-Service solution solely focused on ground transportation management".

Rather than competing directly with the likes of Uber, it partners with ride-hailing services such as Ola in the UK to serve corporate customers.

The company has raised more than $850m in funding to date, including more than $300m from Volkswagen Group.

Its most recent fundraising took place as recently as January, when it secured $115m in an extension of an earlier round, led by Pelham Capital Investments.

Gett's other shareholders include Access Industries and billionaire founder Len Blavatnik, along with venture investors Kreos and MCI.

Originally conceived as a rival to Uber and other consumer-focused services, Gett has pivoted to become a corporate ground travel provider in hundreds of cities around the world.

The company claims that its customers typically save between 25% and 45% when their corporate ground travel budgets are managed by it.

Headquartered in London, Gett counts Amazon, Apple, EY and General Motors among its clients.

The ground transportation market is estimated to be worth $1.3trn globally, and is expected to continue to grow as technology solutions become more sophisticated.

If it does go public through a SPAC merger, Gett would almost certainly be valued at a substantial premium to the $1.9bn valuation attributed to it in the recently published annual accounts of Vostok New Ventures, a 5.6% shareholder.

The company said it became profitable at an operating level last year, adding that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it had exceeded its original 2020 forecasts.

It was unclear on Wednesday whether Gett was already in discussions with listed SPAC vehicles, or whether it might examine a listing in Europe.

Other ride-hailing services are exploring similar routes to going public, including Grab Holdings, the south-east Asian ride-hailing and delivery group, according to Bloomberg News.

The SPAC boom is also enticing companies elsewhere in the automotive sector, with British companies such as Cazoo, the online used-car marketplace, in talks to go public in New York.

Cazoo, which is run by the serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, is in discussions with Ajax I, a vehicle launched by the former hedge fund magnate Daniel Och.

A Gett spokesman declined to comment.