June 9 (Reuters) - Four blank-check companies, backed by
venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya, said on Wednesday that
they will give retail investors an opportunity to buy shares in
their initial public offerings via Social Finance Inc's (SoFi)
online brokerage platform.
SoFi, the lending startup, first said in March that
individual investors can buy into IPOs, an investment
opportunity traditionally reserved for large Wall Street
Robinhood Markets Inc also unveiled such a platform last
month, with FIGS Inc becoming the first company to
offer shares to retail investors.
Reuters was first to report plans for Robinhood's new
product, called IPO Access, in March.
The special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), Social
Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp I, II, III and IV - launched
earlier this month - said they each anticipate up to 5% of Class
A ordinary shares in the offering will be available to retail
investors through SoFi Securities as an underwriter.
A blank-check company, also known as SPAC, uses capital
raised through an IPO to buy a private company, usually within
two years. The deal then takes the private company public.
The four SPACs are looking to raise a total of $800 million
through initial public offerings with a focus on acquiring
Palihapitiya has been a prolific backer of blank-check
firms, merging them with a range of companies, from space
tourism firm Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc to
home-selling platform Opendoor Technologies Inc.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by