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Turkey’s scooter-sharing app Marti is preparing to go public in New York through a merger with a blank-check company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Marti Ileri Teknoloji AS will merge with a special purpose acquisition company -- Galata Acquisition Corp. -- that raised $125 million in a listing on the New York Stock Exchange last year, said the people who asked not to be named because the plan is confidential. The deal is expected to finalize this year, the people said.

A spokesperson for Marti didn’t respond to calls and emailed questions.

Cash shells, like Galata, raise money through initial public offerings to buy a business that will be identified later on. SPACs boomed at the onset of the pandemic, but the market has since cooled as investors turn their backs on speculative investments and as scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission intensifies.

This year, 66 SPACs have raised $11.5 billion on US exchanges, compared with 317 that had amassed $102 billion through mid-May of 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Turkish private equity firm Actera are among investors that made a $30 million investment in Marti’s Series B round in 2021. 

Marti, founded by entrepreneur Oguz Alper Oktem, has more than 5 million clients using its electric scooters in several cities in Turkey including Istanbul and Ankara.

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