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Amazon-backed home tech startup SmartRent to go public in over $2 bln SPAC deal

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A zoomed illustration image of a man looking at a computer monitor showing the logo of Amazon is seen in Vienna November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

April 22 (Reuters) - Amazon-backed home technology solutions provider SmartRent.com Inc said on Thursday it had agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm backed by venture capital firm Fifth Wall, valuing the equity of the combined company at around $2.2 billion.

The deal with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp I (FWAA.O) is expected to provide the merged entity with $513 million in gross proceeds, comprising about $155 million from investors including Koch Real Estate Investments, Baron Capital Group, Lennar Corp (LEN.N) and Invitation Homes.

SmartRent develops tech products for property owners and homebuilders that automate daily operational processes such as parking management, locks and thermostat operation. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based firm's customers include Lennar, Invitation Homes and Essex Property Trust Inc (ESS.N).

FWAA, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) raised $345 million through an initial public offering in February.

SPACs are publicly listed shell companies that raise funds to take a private company public through a merger at a later date, allowing the private firms to sidestep a traditional IPO to enter public markets.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley are acting as co-financial advisers to SmartRent while Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs are acting as capital markets advisors to Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp I.

Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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