Fintech startup Aspiration is in talks to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a transaction that’s slated to value the combined entity at more than $2 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Los Angeles-based Aspiration is in discussions with InterPrivate III Financial Partners Inc., a special purpose acquisition company that’s led by Ahmed Fattouh, one of the people said. The vehicle is in talks to raise capital to support the transaction via a so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE, the people said.
Aspiration, led by CEO Andrei Cherny, has sought to tackle climate change through its services. It’s made a pledge to customers that their savings and debit card purchases will never be used to fund the oil or coal industries, for example, and it offers a program whereby extra change on transactions can be allocated to tree planting. In addition, it says it offsets the carbon dioxide from every gallon of gas purchased using one of its cards.
The company also touts a fee-free network of over 55,000 ATMs and says it can give customers who sign up for direct deposits their paychecks two days early. “There’s a good chance your bank is using your money to fund oil projects that destroy the climate,” its website says. “Put your money where your values are.”
Aspiration has been exploring options for going public for some time, Bloomberg News reported in May. Its customers doubled to more than 4 million over the past year, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
The company was last valued at $1 billion in May 2020, according to data provider PitchBook, which shows that its investors have included actors Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom, investment bank Allen & Co., eBay Inc. co-founder Jeff Skoll and TPG co-founder David Bonderman.
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