Startup News: Better, the digital mortgage provider, is going public with SPAC

After shelving plans over the past two years to become a public company via a special-purpose acquisition vehicle, Better is finally taking the plunge.

The New York City-based online mortgage provider will soon debut in the public markets as a result of a merger with Aurora Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company. According to a press release issued by Aurora, the closing of the merger is expected to take place on or about August 22. The public company will be named Better Home & Finance Co. Its Class A common stock and warrants are expected to trade under symbols "BETR" and "BETRW" respectively.

An article in the trade publication HousingWire said the transaction will infuse the combined entity with at least $550 million and up to $750 million in new capital. Founded in 2016, Better serves customers in all 50 U.S. states and the United Kingdom with its suite of products such as residential mortgages and other real estate services according to the press release issued by Aurora.

Better had intended to go public in 2021 but delayed its plan because of unfavorable market conditions which contributed to well-publicized layoffs late that year.

TikTok competitor Triller also staging IPO

While Better is planning to go public via a SPAC merger, Triller, the short-form video platform, has decided to go it alone. Three weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based company filed its registration statement with the SEC stating its intention to directly list on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to an article in TechCrunch, Triller had plans in late 2021 to go public via a reverse merger with video-tech company SeaChange International but the deal was scrapped. And plans in July 2022 to go public via a direct listing also never came to fruition amid a freeze in the IPO market.

Founded in 2015, Triller’s platform is built with an editing technology that allows its users to layer video on top of their favorite songs and then share it on social media.

Among some of the famous musicians and athletes that have used Triller, according to its registration statement, are Justin Bieber, Eminem, Cardi B., Mike Tyson, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, Post Malone, and Jake Paul.

Cybersecurity firm Abnormal makes key hires ahead of possible IPO

Abnormal Security has brought on two new executives and announced a revenue milestone as it prepares to become a public company.

Reuters reported last week that the San Francisco-based company has hired Michael DeCesare, the former chief executive of cybersecurity firm Forescout Technologies, as its new president and Maya Marcus, a veteran human resources executive with various tech companies, as its new chief people officer. In addition, Abnormal announced that it had crossed $100 million in annual recurring revenue.

Evan Reiser, Abnormal’s CEO, told Reuters that the company will continue to invest in its products as it prepares to become a public company, though he didn’t specify a specific timeframe for an IPO. He added that Abnormal, which remains unprofitable, doesn’t need to raise additional capital.

Abnormal Security, which focuses on protecting its corporate customers from attacks through its email systems, last raised $210 million in May 2022, bringing its valuation to $4 billion. Liberty Mutual, Foot Locker, and Xerox are among some of Abnormal's customers according to its company website.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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