Aspiration, a neobank focused on sustainable and green investing, plans to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc., the company announced Wednesday.
The deal, which values the Marina Del Rey, California-based fintech at $2.3 billion, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Aspiration said the deal will provide more than $400 million in cash, which will be used to accelerate its growth initiatives such as marketing and further investment in product innovation and technology. The deal will also provide $258.75 million of cash held by InterPrivate III in trust and a $200 million fully committed common stock private investment in public equity (PIPE).
"Through its merger with InterPrivate, Aspiration will become the first ESG-driven fintech, a unique platform enabling individuals and enterprises to integrate and automate impact into their every-day financial and commercial transactions," Ahmed Fattouh, chairman and CEO of InterPrivate III, said in a statement. "The millions of passionate Aspiration members are an asset unto themselves, and have helped create a brand synonymous with sustainability that we expect to see extend in many exciting directions."
Upon the close of the transaction, the company will be named Aspiration, Inc., and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "ASP."
The neobank, which has garnered investments from celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Cindy Crawford and Orlando Bloom, claims to have more than 5 million accounts.
Andrei Cherny, Aspiration’s CEO and co-founder, will remain CEO of the combined company, while Aspiration co-founder and board member Joe Sanberg will continue to serve on the board.
Aspiration, which was founded in 2013, promises to never use customer deposits to fund environmentally disruptive practices, such as oil and gas drilling. The fintech, which doesn’t have its own bank charter, sweeps users’ deposits into community banks that it certifies as fossil fuel free in their own lending practices.
The company offers a feature called Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), which the company markets as a "digital Fitbit for sustainability." The feature allows customers to view their personal sustainability score based on their spending.
For $7.99 a month, or $5.99 per month paid annually, the platform offers a premium subscription service called Aspiration Plus, which automatically provides offsets for users’ gasoline purchases.
About 75% of Aspiration’s incoming customers are choosing the premium service, Cherny told investors during a call Wednesday.
"This product landscape highlights Aspiration’s value proposition," he said. "Our socially conscious consumers don't come to us for just one product or feature, they choose to make Aspiration their financial home because they see us as a way to make a difference."
Aspiration joins a growing number of challenger banks looking to take their firms public.
Dave, a challenger bank and personal finance app, announced in June it plans to become a publicly traded company through a merger with a SPAC sponsored by Chicago-based investment firm Victory Park Capital.
The deal values the fintech at $4 billion. Dave says it has 10 million customers that use its personal finance tools and 1.3 million customers using the digital banking platform it launched last summer.
Chime, the largest neobank in the U.S., is reportedly also eyeing a public listing at a value of more than $30 billion. Reuters reported in March the San Francisco-based neobank has held preliminary talks with investment banks about launching a stock market flotation as soon as the end of the year.
Chime recently raised $750 million in its latest funding round at a valuation of $25 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.