What do we know about the W3BCLOUD SPAC deal?
W3BCLOUD, a Dublin-based technology company providing infrastructure and computing storage for web3 technologies, is set to go public via a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Social Leverage Acquisition Corp I.
The SPAC is sponsored by the venture capital firm Social Leverage. The blank-cheque company Social Leverage Acquisition Corp I currently trades on the NYSE under the ticker ‘SLAC,’ but that will likely change once the merger is complete. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom serves as the advisor to W3BCLOUD.
SPACs are public companies with little to no internal operations. Instead, they are blank-cheque companies used to raise funds before merging with a private company. The private company is then publicly listed without going through the process of an IPO.
However, like most recent SPAC deals, W3BCLOUD has had a rocky path to going public. In December 2022, investors voted to redeem 95% of shares in the blank-cheque company after the wider decentralised finance (DeFi) industry experienced a year-long ‘crypto winter.’
What’s more, several high-profile crypto companies including Circle, Bullish, eToro and PrimeBlock cancelled plans to go public through SPACs in 2022. The entire SPAC market is facing heightened scrutiny following poor performance of companies who went public via SPACs.
A spokesperson for W3BCLOUD told CoinDesk they still plan to merge with SLAC. The company sought a three-month extension to raise the $150 million minimum required to go public.
So far W3BCLOUD has received a $40 million commitment from ConsenSys and a $10 million investment from AMD. The blank-cheque company SLAC previously reported just $16.6 million in cash after the massive redeem of its shares by investors. The company now has until May 17 to raise the remaining $83.4 million.
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What is W3BCLOUD?
W3BCLOUD is a technology company that provides enterprise-grade infrastructure to help scale decentralised protocols and applications. The company was founded in 2018 and has already built several decentralized data centres in the United States with plans to build a global network of datacentres in the coming years.
W3BCLOUD is a joint venture between Advanced Micro Devices and ConsenSys. AMD designs and produces computer processors and graphics technologies. ConsenSys focuses on developing Ethereum blockchain-based software including infrastructure and applications.
How much is W3BCLOUD worth?
W3BCLOUD was most recently valued at $1.25 billion in August 2022, but that was before investors in the SPAC pulled 95% of shares worth $345 million in the blank-cheque company.
The company still holds commitments from ConsenSys and AMD, bringing their previous valuation closer to $950 million.
What does W3BCLOUD do?
W3BCLOUD provides infrastructure and computer storage for blockchain-based software. Essentially, it builds and manages datacentres around the world to enable web 3.0 technologies. Its clientele includes decentralized finance, nonfungible tokens and Metaverse projects.
How does W3BCLOUD make money?
W3BCLOUD makes money like other data centres by selling managed services, space, power, security and reliable access. These equipment services are useful for companies who cannot afford to build their own private-use facilities. The requirements for large-scale data centres are notoriously extremely expensive and difficult to upkeep.
What is W3BCLOUD’s strategy?
W3BCLOUD’s business strategy is to expand its network of data centres across the globe while attracting both prominent blockchain-based companies and traditional technology companies looking to move into web3.
The company is leaning heavily into the expectation that web3 will continue to grow and attract new companies in need of storage and computing infrastructure. Web3 is a decentralized internet ecosystem run on blockchain technology, expected by many to be the next phase of the internet.
W3BCLOUD’s backings by AMD, one of the leading GPU manufacturers, and ConsenSys, a premiere blockchain developer, should make them well-equipped to build the advanced infrastructure required by web3.
Who are W3BCLOUDs competitors?
W3BCLOUD’s largest competitor is Amazon Web Services, the leading cloud computing platform and primary profit driver for Amazon. AWS controls more than a third of the cloud market, and its dominance in the space allows it to offer the best infrastructure and speed in the market. Thousands of Ethereum nodes already run on AWS, but the centralised nature of the data service provider creates opportunities for network failure.
W3BCLOUD seeks to combat this centralisation by distributed offering of data centres around the world. The director and founder of ConsenSys released a statement saying the goal of W3BCLOUD is to advance the decentralisation of the hardware layers of web3. In addition to decentralisation, W3BCLOUD offers the higher levels of computational power and storage required for decentralised blockchain applications.
W3BCLOUD board of directors
The current board of includes:
Sami Issa – director, cofounder and CEO
Wael Aburida – director, cofounder and CFO
Jeremy Millar – director and CoS at ConsenSys
Joseph Lubin – director, founder of ConsenSys and cofounder of Ethereum
Jörg Roskowetz – observer and director at AMD