We aren't seeing hundreds of new blank-check companies come to market anymore, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any new SPACs worth paying attention to. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Oct. 11, Fool.com contributor Danny Vena tells Matt Frankel, CFP®, why he recently bought shares of Meli Kaszek Pioneer Corp. (MEKA 0.20%) in his own portfolio.
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Danny Vena: Now, the SPAC that I'm going to talk about is a company that actually has very close ties to a company that is a Motley Fool favorite. Now, the SPAC that I'm talking about is the Meli Pioneer Corp., and the ticker is MEKA, and I'm just going to call it MEKA after this. The Meli Kaszek Pioneer Corp. Now, the sponsor of this company, first of all, there's a fellow by the name of Hernan Kazah, who is the managing partner of Kaszek, which is the largest venture capital company in Latin America.
Now, this guy has quite the tech pedigree. This is a guy who was the COO of MercadoLibre (MELI -0.69%) for nine years and the CFO of the company for three years. So you're already seeing what the connection here is, the connection is MercadoLibre. Now he's the co-CEO of MEKA. The other co-CEO is a fellow by the name of Pedro Arnt. Now, many of you may not recognize that name, but he is the current CFO of MercadoLibre, and has been since 2012. If you look at MercadoLibre, this is a stock that has gone up 5,000% since it went public back in, I want to say 2007. I'm not sure about the date. Since Motley Fool recommended this stock in early 2009, it's up more than 10,000%.
The thing that I really like about this is the fact that you have two co-sponsors, co-CEOs of the SPAC that have a track record of disruption and innovation. They started MercadoLibre and modeled it after eBay (EBAY 0.10%), then they turned around, and they modeled a payment system after PayPal (PYPL 0.94%) that they then adjusted to meet the unique payment situation in Latin America. Latin America is still largely a cash-based society. But if folks want to use their digital payment method, they can walk into their local convenience store, plop down money, have it added to their account, and then they can use it like any other digital payment system. They've continued to innovate over the years. They do logistics, they do cross-docking, they'll help you set up your website.
They also have moved Mercado Pago, which is their payment method, off platform, meaning that it's now used in brick-and-mortar stores and has been growing at triple-digit rates for the last couple of years. This record of innovation from this company tells me that the executives at this company, the management of MercadoLibre, knows what it's doing. They know the market, and they're doing really well to capitalize on that. The fact that current and former executives from MercadoLibre are running the SPAC gives me a high level of confidence that the SPAC is likely to succeed, which is why I not only said it's my No. 1 place for new money, but it's actually the most recent stock that I've added to my portfolio.
Matt Frankel: I like this call. A recent study found that the No. 1 factor correlated to SPAC success is the sponsor, if the sponsor has relevant experience. I don't want to put words in Jon's mouth. But I think that's one of the things that we like the most about Latch, its sponsor had a lot of relevant experience.