A New Jersey-based software company plans to beef up its office at Richmond’s Riverfront Plaza as it looks to become publicly traded.
AvePoint, a company that specializes in Microsoft Cloud services, on Monday announced its acquisition of Apex Technology Acquisition Corp., a deal which will allow AvePoint to go public and trade on Nasdaq early next year.
Apex is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a sort of shell company formed to pool capital through an IPO and find a private company to combine with. It’s an increasingly popular method of going public seen as more expedient and efficient than the traditional IPO process.
In going public, AvePoint said it would be able to scale up faster to keep up with increased demand for its services, a ramping up that will include an investment of $100 million over time to increase its square footage and headcount at Riverfront Plaza, which it moved into in 2017.
AvePoint COO and General Counsel Brian Brown said the company has more than 100 employees working out of its 12,000-square-foot space on the complex’s ninth floor, though only about 30 to 40 percent of those workers are actually in the office as the rest work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ll maintain that footprint and we plan to expand it,” he said, adding the plan is also to increase the size of the office, but he didn’t specify by how much.
The company is still gunning for an eventual headcount of 200 workers at the office, as it announced when it moved into the space.
“Richmond is our operational headquarters,” Brown said. “We have a standing commitment to continue to grow that.”
Brown said the company is committed to Riverfront Plaza in a time when other companies in the office complex, such as Owens & Minor, rethink the need for office space. Investment management firm Raymond James & Associates also is planning to vacate Riverfront next year in favor of the new Westhampton Commons development.
AvePoint’s momentum is driven in part by how the pandemic has complicated office operations and collaboration. The company said Microsoft Teams, which AvePoint helps support, recently reported 115 million active users a day, a 475 percent spike compared to November 2019.
AvePoint was founded in 2001 and today has 1,400 employees and operates in 88 countries. It anticipates about $148 million in total revenue this year, up about 26 percent compared to last year’s revenue. The company also recently closed on a $200 million capital raise, with funds earmarked for expansion locally.
AvePoint CEO Tianyi Jiang will lead the newly public company, which will continue to be known as AvePoint. Xunkai Gong, an AvePoint co-founder, will be the board’s executive chairman.
When the deal with Apex closes in the first quarter of 2021, the combined company will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under ticker symbol “AVPT.”
AvePoint is the latest SPAC-driven public listing to have a ripple effect in Richmond. Locally-based used-car retailer CarLotz also is headed for such a deal, as it plans to go public and raise more than $300 million in capital to fuel a nationwide expansion.