Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman (right), with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority veteran Thomas Hennessey (Ehrlichman via Porch, Hennessey via LinkedIn)Porch.com gave an early Christmas present to its investors: The home-services startup will start trading on Nasdaq on Dec. 24 after its merger with a blank-check company was finalized.The deal with Proptech Acquisition Corp. closed Wednesday, after shareholders approved the transaction at a special meeting held virtually on Dec. 21. After the vote, shares of the special-purpose acquisition company closed at $12.68, up 25 percent from July when the Porch deal was announced. At the time, the deal gave the startup an enterprise value of $523 million.In a statement, Porch said it will receive $322 million in gross proceeds from the IPO. The deal includes a $150 million investment led by Wellington Management.Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management also invested in the company this month and now holds a 6.4 percent stake, regulatory filings show.Read morePorch to go public in SPAC ddeal Porch’s losses raise red flags CEO says Porch gets $200M anad clean slate in SPAC deal Email Address* Message* Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink TagsIPOsResidential Real EstateTechnology Founded in 2011, Porch provides software to home-services companies in exchange for data on their customers. Itthen sells other home services to those customers. To date, the Seattle-based startup has raised $120 million from investors including Valor Equity Partners, Lowe’s Cos., Founders Fund and Battery Ventures.PropTech Acquisition Corp. was formed last year by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority veterans Thomas Hennessey and Joseph Beck. During an investor presentation in July, Hennessey said the SPAC evaluated 300 companies before striking a deal to take Porch public.A subsequent IPO filing, however, shed light on Porch’s shaky finances.A report by independent accountants cited recurring losses and raised “substantial doubt” about Porch’s ability to stay in business. The company had $3.8 million in cash as of June 30. It lost $49.9 million in 2018 and $103.3 million in 2019, and projected a $34 million loss in 2020.Still, CEO Matt Ehrlichman defended the company’s finances in an interview with The Real Deal in October, noting that the SPAC merger would give Porch $200 million in cash and no debt.“It gives us a significant war chest, which we can use to play offense,” he said. He said Porch became profitable in June with $7 million in EBITDA by holding research and development expenses flat. By growing its core business, Porch hopes to generate up to $500 million in annual revenue in five to seven years.To get approval for the merger, Ehrlichman struck a deal with Valor, which agreed to approve the transaction in exchange for $9.5 million in shares, according to the IPO filing. Post-IPO, if Valor’s stake is valued at less than $44.2 million, Ehrlichman will make up the difference. He will also pay Valor $4 million in cash.Ahead of its IPO, Porch also beefed up its C-suite, adding Matt Cullen, a former Expedia executive, as general counsel. It also hired Joshua Steffan, former COO of Home Bay, a home-buying platform, to lead Porch’s home inspection and real estate vertical.SPAC deals made a huge comeback in 2020, as investors scrambled to capitalize on a strong market for tech stocks. With a week left in the year, SPAC Insider counted 247 SPAC IPOs in 2020, up from 59 in 2019.One was Opendoor, the SoftBank-backed instant home-buyer, which began trading Monday after merging with Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check firm. Opendoor’s valuation tripled to $18 billion after the deal closed.Contact E.B. Solomont
“The pollen count today is in the ‘miserable’ range,” said the host of amorning TV program.Miserable, indeed.Big, yellow clouds of pollen misery coat cars, irritate eyes and aggravate allergies.”We have an explosion of pollen in spring. Then everything will settle backdown,” said Pam Griggs of the Atlanta Allergy Clinic, one of two certified pollencounters in Georgia.”Because we had such a late spring, everything bloomed at once,” Griggs said.”Most trees and grasses are coming out now.”To measure the pollen in the air, the clinic uses a special sampler that raises asilicone-greased rod into the air. After 24 hours the rod is removed and examined under amicroscope to get the pollen count.Atlanta, and most of Georgia, blew through the top of the pollen-count charts on April16. More than 3,400 particles per cubic meter of air were reported in north Georgia.During the first week of April the highest count was 332. And that could cause severeproblems. In the spring, Griggs said, pollen counts of zero to 30 are considered low.Counts of 30-60 are moderate, 60-120 high and anything over 120 extremely high.”We are blessed with trees in Georgia, and pollen is just a part of theirreproduction,” said Carroll County Extension Director Don Morris.”Pollenparticles are the male spores of flowers. Trees depend on wind to distribute the pollenduring flowering.”This simple act of nature causes itchy, watery eyes, sore throats and some respiratoryirritation in allergy sufferers.”Pine pollen, the yellow pollen you see, shows up more but isn’t as much a problemfor allergy sufferers as others like oak pollen,” Morris said.Can you escape the pollen invasion?”This is certainly no time to air out your house,” said Dale Dorman, anExtension housing specialist. “Keep your house closed and turn on the air conditionerfor ventilation.”But just keeping the doors and windows closed may not be enough.”There’s really no effective way to keep pollen out of a house,” Dorman said.”You just have to take steps to reduce it.” Even humidity affects the amount of pollen finding its way inside.”When the relative humidity is low, the dry conditions make pollen float around inthe air,” Dorman said. “Turning on a humidifier will help make thoseparticulates fall out of the air and give you cleaner air inside your home.”Air filters on heating and cooling systems also can help filter out pollen. “It’s just something that we’re going to have to put up with until the first ofJune,” Dorman said.