Inspirato to Go Public in $1.1 Billion Thayer Ventures Blank Check Merger

Inspirato, a subscription-based luxury travel company offering vacation rentals and apartment stays worldwide, announced on Wednesday its planned merger with blank check company Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp.

The transaction would give the Denver-based Inspirato an enterprise value of $1.1 billion and would lead to its public listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol ISPO.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Founder and CEO Brent Handler will continue to lead the company. His brother and co-founder Brad Handler will be executive chairman.

Inspirato has about 12,500 subscribers across two core products. Executives are projecting a 17 percent annual compound annual growth rate for subscribers.

Its subscription pass, launched in 2019, costs about $2,500 a month to book travel at vacation homes and hotels. Subscribers can pick from a list of trips that typically features more than 150,000 combinations consisting of luxury homes, hotels, and experiences.

The company manages and controls these homes and hotel stays through leases and other exclusive agreements, similar to the way that a hotel brand manages and controls a real estate owned and operated by others. At the vacation homes, it puts in its own furnishings staff and operates concierge services.

The company also offers a $600 a month club membership that gives customers access to bookings at reduced nightly rates.

“When we founded this SPAC, were looking for a partner that was cracking the code with a differentiated business model for sustainable long term growth and upside,” said Thayer Ventures managing partner Chris Hemmeter during a press conference on Wednesday. “We’ve found it.”

The combined company is expected to have a balance sheet of more than $260 million in net cash, assuming no redemptions by their shareholders.

A private investment in public equity, or PIPE, transaction, will contribute about $100 million to the deal. The PIPE is led by Janus Henderson Investors and Rodina, and includes additional incremental capital from Kleiner Perkins, IVP, company founders, and others.

“While hotel companies pay millions of dollars to incentivize their customers to travel with them, the reverse is true with is Inspirato,” Brett Handler said. “Our subscribers pay us for the benefit of being able to travel within our platform.”

Resilence for Subscription Travel During the Pandemic

Inspirato suffered a blow with the pandemic hurting 2020 revenues, but its executives forecast a return to pre-pandemic revenue this year. They predict the company’s revenue will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 41 percent between 2021 and 2025.

Inspirato had raised about $85 million in venture capital.

Brent Handler had publicized the company’s breakout subscription model for its “pass” product at Skift Global Forum 2019 (video, here), and Skift has covered Inspirato’s subscription traction for some time.

“We passionately believe that subscription travel is going to be a multibillion-dollar category very soon based on our own estimates and third-party research,” Handler said on Wednesday. “It’s one of the last consumer categories that has not yet been descriptionized.”

Photo Credit: An Inspirato vacation rental property at a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Inspirato

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