Seattle-based Rover, which bills itself as the world’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers, said it plans to go public by combining with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that would also bring it $375 million in fresh capital.
Rover said it has agreed to merge with Nebula Caravel Acquisition, a SPAC or blank-check company sponsored by True Wind Capital. The deal values the company at $1.35 billion, and when completed will give Rover a listing on Nasdaq under the ticker ROVR, according to a news release.
Rover’s revenues were cut in half by the pandemic, and the company has lost money in the past three years, but it projects revenues will double this year and next, according to a Rover presentation filed by Nebula with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The filing shows Rover revenues grew 35% to $95 million in 2019, but then plunged 49% to $48 million last year. A figure for adjusted EBITDA, which includes net loss but excludes a variety of costs such as interest and taxes, went from negative $35 million in 2019 to negative $24 million last year.
Rover said co-founder and CEO Aaron Easterly will continue to lead the company, which is incorporated as A Place for Rover. “A public listing will provide the capital to accelerate the expansion of core service offerings, support other pet types, and continue to grow our geographic footprint,” he said.
Shareholders in Rover will wind up with 80% of the combined companies’ stock, while the SPAC investors receive 20%, according to the presentation filed by Nebula.
Rover, founded in 2011, says its network of 500,000 pet-care providers in North America and Europe has served more than 2 million customers.
The move is the latest in a flurry of going-public deals fueled by a recent explosion in SPAC offerings, where a sponsor — often a high-profile business figure or investment bank — raises money from investors without a stated acquisition target, and then shops around for a private company to absorb.
Investors in the SPAC have an opportunity to withdraw once they have reviewed the proposed deal.