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Tech Startup Mapbox , Softbank SPAC Eye $2bn Merger

April 23, 2021, 6:36:30 PM

Tech Startup Mapbox , Softbank SPAC Eye $2bn Merger

A company backed by Japanese tech giant SoftBank is in talks to merge with a start-up that will compete with the likes of Google Maps in providing advanced location data services.


According to sources familiar with the matter, Mapbox is in detailed negotiations to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) - the latest in a string of tech businesses to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in recent months in such a way.


A U.S. banking source said on Friday that talks between MapBox and SVF Investment Corp.3  were at an advanced stage, but warned that a definitive deal could still fail.


Investment banks including Cantor Fitzgerald, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and UBS are all understood to be involved in the deal.


While it is not unusual for Mapbox to choose a SPAC to launch its tenure as a public company, it would be unusual for SoftBank to already be a shareholder in the company through its broad Vision Fund.


Mapbox, founded in 2010, announced in 2017 that SoftBank had managed a $ 164 million Series C funding round without disclosing its valuation.


It was unclear on Friday how much new capital the merger would involve. 


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