Matterport, a venture capital-backed start-up that helps landlords and operators create virtual tours of their properties, is the latest proptech company in the news for going public via a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC).
iBuying platform Opendoor (NASDAQ: OPEN) used a SPAC to go public in late 2020. Porch (NASDAQ: PRCH), a platform that connects homeowners with service providers, also went public via a SPAC last year. More recently though, we saw smart lock maker Latch go public with a SPAC.
A SPAC is essentially a "blank-check" company. SPACs are often called this because they're designed specifically to raise money to then go acquire a private company so they can help take it public. In this regard, a SPAC investor is investing in the management team's ability to find a suitable candidate to take public in the near future.
This SPAC deal will supposedly close in 2021's second quarter and give Matterport a valuation of over $2 billion. The company will list on the Nasdaq under MTTR.
More on Matterport
The adoption of virtual tours has spiked since the beginning of the pandemic. There's no surprise here, as many areas of the country have limited in-person showings, forcing landlords to adopt a new way of displaying listings.
Matterport gives landlords and property managers the ability to capture 3D renderings of their properties so prospective tenants can take virtual tours. Matterport's technology even integrates with an iPhone camera.
While this is a great marketing tool for landlords, it also allows leasing agents and property managers to better qualify leads, which maximizes everyone's time. It can also be very helpful for people who are moving to a new city, state, or country and can't see the space in person ahead of time.
Users of Matterport's 3D technology include giants like Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN) and Marriott (NASDAQ: MAR). Matterport is also in over 150 countries with over 250,000 subscribers around the world and has raised $168 million up to this point. Matterport charges a monthly subscription and grew its subscriber base by more than 500% in 2020.
Not just for virtual showings
While the obvious use case for Matterport's technology, inspired largely by the pandemic, is to enable virtual tours, it has many more applications.
For example, Matterport is used during construction projects to streamline documentation and collaboration. Other applications include facilities management, hospitals, property disaster restoration, and insurance. Basically, for anything involving taking the built world digital, Matterport has an application.
The Millionacres bottom line
The SPAC craze continues with Matterport during exciting times for the proptech industry. While this influx of SPACs is certainly interesting from a public markets perspective, it's important to consider the direct real estate investing applications.
As a multifamily landlord, for example, you need to keep an eye on technology available to you. Right now, we're still in the early adoption phase, so using tools like Matterport can give you a competitive edge. However, wait too long, and you'll probably be deploying tools like this just to keep up.