Inspirato, a Denver-based travel company, going public in $1.1 billion SPAC deal The Denver Post

Inspirato is getting ready to make its debut on Wall Street.

The Denver-based travel company announced this week it plans to merge with publicly traded special purpose acquisition company Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp. and trade on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “ISPO.”

The transaction values Inspirato at an estimated enterprise value of $1.1 billion, the companies said.

“We are excited to enter a new chapter of growth and innovation with Thayer,” said Brent Handler, Inspirato’s CEO. “With this announcement, we are well positioned to expand our vision of revolutionizing luxury travel through our simple and intuitive consumer subscriptions.”

Inspirato, which was founded in 2011 by Handler and his brother Brad, leases around 400 properties around the world for its more than 18,000 members to choose from, including Vail, Aspen and Telluride, and has partnerships with hotels.

A traditional membership for a family costs $24,000 for the first year. Members then pay per night for their stays, according to the company’s website. In 2019, the company introduced Inspirato Pass, a subscription service where members can pay $2,500 a month to book unlimited vacations in nearly 150,000 properties around the world.

When the pandemic halted vacations in March 2020, the luxury travel company laid off 130 employees, or 20 percent of its 600-person workforce. The company now has 630 employees, according to a spokesperson.

Despite the pandemic, Inspirato saw a 30 percent increase in booking activity year-over-year in 2020, according to past media reports, and it expects to exceed $200 million in annual recurring revenue by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Since Inspirato’s inception, it has generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue, with subscribers booking more than 850,000 total nights to date, the companies said.

The transaction with Thayer Ventures Acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, and is expected to net Ispirato $260 million in cash that it can use to fuel growth, the companies said.

Special purpose acquisition companies like Thayer Ventures Acquisition are essentially empty shells formed by investors for the sole purpose of merging with a private company, taking that company public in the process.

The company is focusing on the travel and transportation technology sectors, which align with the background and investing experience of the Thayer management team, according to a news release.

Brent Handler will continue to lead the travel company in its downtown headquarters. The company occupies three floors of the historic Sugar building at 1530 16th St. Mall and three floors of the adjacent Sugar Square building for a total of around 50,000 square feet, according to a spokesperson.

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