New $300 Million SPAC ‘Tio Tech’ Counts Former Spark Networks CEO as Board Member

Written by Dominic Whitlock

Former Spark Networks CEO Jeronimo Folgueira is part of the team behind a special acquisition company (SPAC) that was successfully listed on the Nasdaq market yesterday.

Tio Tech is fronted by Dominik Richter, the founder of meal kit provider HelloFresh, and serial venture capital investor Roman Kirsch. Folgueira joins several big names as a board member, including HelloFresh co-founder Thomas Griesel.

The blank-check business raised $300 million after it listed for $10 per share, a popular entry figure for SPACs. It is aiming to reverse-merge with European technology companies to help them make the transition to public markets easier.

Folgueira explained in a LinkedIn post: “Traditional IPOs can be a costly distraction to fast-growing companies. This was a lesson I learned first-hand taking Spark Networks public on the NYSE several years ago. 

“European businesses need a more efficient and fair way to go public and therefore, I’m incredibly excited to announce the successful Nasdaq listing of Tio Tech.

“Our mission is to unlock the hundreds of billions of dollars held in private EU technology companies and pave the way for the next great global category leader to come out of Europe.”

He stepped down as the CEO of Spark Networks at the end of 2019, but continued to serve on its board until August 2020.

Several other big names from the online dating industry have jumped on the SPAC trend in recent months. Tinder CEO Jim Lanzone teamed up with NFL Star JJ Watt and NBA mega-agent Rich Paul to create Coliseum Acquisition Corp., a SPAC that is in the process of going public.

This followed OkCupid co-founders Sam Yagan and Christian Rudder launching Corazon Capital V838 Monoceros, which could see them partnering with a dating or general consumer tech brand.

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