Nextdoor to go public in $4.3 bln merger with Khosla-backed SPAC

Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor, and David Riley attend the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho
Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor, and David Riley attend the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

July 6 (Reuters) - Nextdoor, a social network that connects neighbors, will go public through a merger with a blank-check company backed by Khosla Ventures in a deal valued at $4.3 billion, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co II (KVSB.O) includes a private investment of $270 million from Baron Capital Group, accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates and Cathie Wood's ARK Invest.

Nextdoor Chief Executive Officer Sarah Friar, who was the finance head at Square Inc (SQ.N) during 2012 to 2018, and existing investors Tiger Global and Hedosophia are also funding the deal, which will generate proceeds of about $686 million for the combined company.

San Francisco-based Nextdoor will use the money for hiring and expanding into new territories, it said.

Following the merger, founding investor Bill Gurley, Friar and Nextdoor's co-founders will each contribute a portion of their personal ownership in the startup to form Nextdoor Kind Foundation, a nonprofit to invest in neighborhoods, the company said.

Launched in the United States in 2011, Nextdoor allows members to seek advice from their neighbors on anything from babysitters to organizing local sports clubs.

The startup was valued at over $2 billion after its funding round in September 2019, according to media reports. The platform is used in more than 275,000 neighborhoods around the world and by nearly one in three U.S. households, Nextdoor said.

A SPAC is a shell company that seeks to merge with a private company and in the process takes it public. SPAC mergers gained popularity last year, but are experiencing a slowdown due to weak investor appetite and greater regulatory scrutiny.

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year, after which the merged entity will be listed under the ticker symbol "KIND."

Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co II raised $400 million in its IPO in March.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Vinay Dwivedi

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