Boxed to Go Public in SPAC Deal
E-commerce grocery shopping platform Boxed and Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, announced they would go public in a deal that would value the combined company at $900 million. Boxed would use the money to serve more households and businesses that started ordering groceries online during the pandemic. The combined company will be called Boxed, Inc., and will continue to be led by Chieh Huang, Boxed’s founder and CEO. (Huang is a Total Retail editorial advisory board member.) Gary Matthews, chairman and CEO of Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp., will serve as Boxed’s chairman of the board when the business combination is complete. The boards of directors of Seven Oaks and Boxed have approved the transaction, but it will require the approval of the stockholders of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“We're excited to take this important step forward to position Boxed for our next phase of growth,” Huang said in a company press release. “This transaction will allow Boxed to capitalize on the tailwinds that e-commerce businesses are experiencing." Huang also said the capital will allow Boxed to fund B-to-B growth, third-party marketplace expansion, and drive its SaaS business.
Total Retail's Take: This is certainly exciting news for Boxed and its founder, Chieh Huang, who started the company from his two-car garage in New Jersey, where he and three co-founders would buy and ship groceries themselves. Today, Boxed delivers groceries and other bulky items such as toilet paper and office supplies from fulfillment centers to consumers and businesses across the country. Reportedly, Seven Oaks was drawn to Boxed’s software and the robotics technology used in its fulfillment centers. In addition, it was impressed with how Boxed consolidates large orders to reduce its carbon footprint and that a majority of its roughly 200 corporate employees are people of color. This deal is interesting as well because it centers around a SPAC, which have grown more popular recently. Essentially, SPACs are shell corporations listed on a stock exchange with the purpose of acquiring a private company, thus making it public without going through the traditional initial public offering process.