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24 August 20216 minute read

DLA Piper advises SmartRent in US$2.2 billion business combination with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. I

DLA Piper represented Inc., a leading provider of smart home and smart building automation for property owners, managers, developers, homebuilders and residents, in its previously announced business combination with Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. I (FWAA), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by an affiliate of Fifth Wall, the largest venture capital firm focused on the global real estate industry and proptech.

The transaction was approved at a special meeting of FWAA stockholders on August 23, 2021 and completed the following day. In connection with the closing of the business combination, changed its name to SmartRent and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SMRT.”

Founded in 2017, SmartRent is a leading technology company that provides the real estate industry with fully integrated hardware and software solutions which enable property owners, operators and developers to simplify the components of property management. The SmartRent solution is designed to provide property managers with seamless visibility and control over all their assets while delivering cost savings and additional revenue opportunities through all-in-one home control offerings for residents.

With the close of the transaction, SmartRent has received approximately US$450 million in cash, net of transaction fees and expenses, which includes US$155 million from a previously announced private placement of common stock (the PIPE). The PIPE was anchored by a diverse group of investors including leading real estate companies, SmartRent customers and institutional financial investors.

“We are thrilled to have worked with DLA Piper to reach this important milestone in our company’s history. The firm’s extensive industry and SPAC experience were invaluable. We are excited to embark on this next phase of our journey to make smart home technology accessible for everyone,” said Lucas Haldeman, CEO of SmartRent.

”Having represented SmartRent since its seed financing in 2017, we are grateful to have played a part in its tremendous success,” said David Lewis, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Phoenix office, who helped lead the transaction.

“It was a pleasure to bring together our extensive SPAC experience and tech sector M&A capabilities to complete this transaction for SmartRent,” said Kevin Criddle, a partner in DLA Piper’s Phoenix office. “This complex transaction will position SmartRent to accelerate its growth domestically and internationally, and we look forward to utilizing our global capabilities to help SmartRent with its continued expansion.”

In addition to Lewis and Criddle, the DLA Piper team advising SmartRent included partners Kerry Johnson (Chicago), Eileen O’Pray (Silicon Valley), Ron Brown (Wilmington) and Paolo Morante (New York); senior counsel William Hoffman (Silicon Valley); associates Chris Provera, Vincent Schiavoni, Sne Sadhu and Sarah Reust Wolf (all of Phoenix), Patrick Burri and Nick Gerlach (both of Silicon Valley), and Grace Guan (Los Angeles); and attorney Cody Wahlers (Phoenix).  

With more than 1,000 corporate lawyers globally, DLA Piper helps clients execute complex cross-border transactions seamlessly while supporting clients across all stages of development. The firm has been rated number one in global M&A volume for 11 consecutive years, according to Mergermarket. The firm advises on all elements of complex SPAC and other public M&A transactions, including M&A, tax and securities. DLA Piper has advised on more than 30 SPAC transactions, with an aggregate value of over US$20 billion, in the past three years.

DLA Piper’s global Technology sector lawyers work across practice areas and offices to support technology clients – from startups to fast-growing and mid-market businesses to mature global enterprises – doing business around the world.