Miguel Armaza sits down with Amanda Abrams, CEO of Cohen Circle, a fintech focused investment platform and one of the pioneers and most active firms behind several fintech SPACs since 2015.
Reposted frim FinTech Leaders.
My guest today is Amanda Abrams, CEO of Cohen Circle, a fintech-focused investment firm and one of the pioneers and most active firms behind several fintech SPACs since 2015. Some of their SPAC transactions, include CardConnect, Payoneer, Paya, and Perella Weinberg Partners.
If filing 12 SPACs gets you the title of SPAC King, then Amanda and Cohen Circle Co-Founder, Betsy Cohen, are definitely SPAC Queens with a total of 11 SPACs.
In this episode, we discuss:
The SPAC process and why Amanda suggests CEOs should still consider this route to go public.
“There's a broader investor pool. Sponsors focused in a SPAC transaction are bringing in strategic investors, leveraging commercial relationships, who are often providing a portion of the financing themselves. Enough to anchor a transaction or provide some traction in the market. And I think that's an advantage that you can't really use in an IPO.”
The SPAC Boom of 2020/2021. What drove the mania and some of the mistakes that were made?
“There was a convergence of factors… many of these  transactions were just wildly successful out of the gate and I think a lot of people saw SPACs as this really exciting and easy way to make quick money. So you had celebrities launching SPACs and everyone and their mother was launching a SPAC… now, we backtracked a bit, we have a really saturated market and probably too many SPACs out there.”
Key differences between a good SPAC process vs a bad one. And how do we know if a company is ready to go public?
“We spend a significant amount of time with the company's finance team and their CFO… We not only evaluate the companies that we're looking at, but we partner with them so that in the months leading up to that SPAC transaction, we can help them overcome any hurdles that they have.”
Lessons from working with dozens of CEOs and boards, the future of fintech… and a lot more!
“Decision-making ability is one [quality] that that comes to mind. I see it pretty consistently amongst people that I would think of as great leaders. These people, they're consistently making decisions early and quickly. They show conviction in the decisions they make, even if, perhaps, they don't have 100% conviction themselves or they don't have perfect information.”
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