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Travel Startup Inspirato in Talks to Merge With Thayer SPAC

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Gillian Tan, Lizette Chapman and Katie Roof
·2-min read
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(Bloomberg) -- Inspirato, a startup specializing in luxury travel, is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in a deal valued at more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Denver-based company is discussing a deal with Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp., said the people, who asked not be identified because the matter is private. Terms could change and it’s possible talks could fall apart.

A representative for Thayer Ventures declined to comment. Inspirato didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Inspirato, co-founded by brothers Brent Handler and Brad Handler, launched the “Inspirato Pass” in 2019. It lets customers book unlimited stays in luxury vacation homes, as well as legacy five-star hotel brands such as Ritz Carlton, starting at $2,500 a month with no other nightly rates or fees. Another membership plan, at $600 a month, provides booking privileges, though users have to pay additional nightly rates.

Despite the pandemic, the company’s booking activity was up 30% year-over-year, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in January. Its more than 18,000 members can choose from 1,200 vacation options in 395 destinations, according to its website.

Venture firms Kleiner Perkins, IVP and Revolution are among Inspirato’s existing investors, its website shows.

The Thayer Ventures SPAC, led by co-CEOs Mark Farrell and Chris Hemmeter, raised $172.5 million in a December initial public offering and has said it’ll focus on the travel and transportation technology sectors. The blank-check firm is affiliated with Thayer Ventures, which focused on investing in travel and transportation companies.

Thayer’s portfolio includes short-term rental specialist Sonder, travel search site Hipmunk and hotel revenue management software maker Duetto, according to its website.

(Updates with additional sourcing starting in second paragraph)

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