One of the most significant capital market developments of 2020 was the reemergence of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies or SPACs. These companies are often known as "blank check" companies that are created for the sole purpose of acquiring another company. Per SPAC alpha, there were 248 SPAC IPO's last year. For comparison, from 2016-2019, there were only 152. This development continued into 2021, with 296 SPAC IPOs year to date (as of March 29th) and an additional 248 filed to IPO. Chances are you have seen celebrities (Shaquille O'Neal), politicians (former House Speaker Paul Ryan), and hedge fund billionaires (Bill Ackman) decide to "sponsor" a SPAC. From an investment point of view, these investments are appealing because investors can access a privately owned company and even a venture-backed one before they go public. However, there are many nuances to these investments and considerations that need to be made. This is a quick guide on how they work, why companies could choose to go public using this method, and some of its investment risks.