Israel’s Pagaya moves ahead with SPAC merger; Playermaker snags $40 mn

 Israel’s Pagaya moves ahead with SPAC merger; Playermaker snags $40 mn

Israeli-origin fintech company Pagaya is set to complete a previously announced merger with a blank cheque company that will help it list on the US stock market at a valuation of $8.5 billion.

EJF Acquisition Corp, the Nasdaq-listed blank cheque company, said its shareholders have approved the deal. Pagaya’s shareholders approved the deal on June 16.

The merger, first announced in September last year, is going ahead at a time when global stock markets have turned choppy. Moreover, there have been several questions around the deal itself.

For instance, Barclays Bank has backed out of the deal as its underwriter. This is a body blow of sorts to the deal, as it could significantly impact investor sentiment, as Barclays’ concerns could go beyond just valuation.

Meanwhile, EJF’s share price has dropped to $5.63 apiece as against its trust value of $10 per share. This means Pagaya could face valuation concerns going forward.

Pagaya was founded in 2016 by CEO Gal Krubiner, CTO Avital Pardo and CRO Yahav Yulzari. It uses machine learning and big data analytics to manage institutional money, with a focus on fixed income and alternative credit.

Playermaker

Israeli startup Playermaker has raised $40 million in a funding round led by Ventura Capital Group. MIG Capital and Pegasus Tech Ventures also joined the round.

The company, which makes performance trackers for athletes, will use the money to develop a new multi-sport platform to drive its expansion beyond soccer, beginning with basketball.

“Our mission is to challenge the disparities in sport, striving to attain fair play and equal opportunity for all by ensuring that everyone can access the knowledge they need to improve their game,” said Guy Aharon, CEO and co-Founder of Playermaker.

Aman Malik

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