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Social Capital Hedosophia review

With multiple mergers in the works, this SPAC aims to change the way companies go public.


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Social Capital Hedosophia’s SPACs offer privately held companies another avenue to the public market. Before you hop on the bandwagon, bear in mind that this fresh-faced company has yet to establish a solid track record for itself.

What is Social Capital Hedosophia?

Social Capital Hedosophia is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) founded in 2019 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The blank check company was founded by tech executive and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and created with the intention of acquiring privately held companies to bring them to the public market.

While still relatively young, Social Capital Hedosophia made its fair share of headlines when it acquired Virgin Galactic — the British commercial spaceflight company — in 2019. Following the success of its first merger, Palihapitiya says there’s plenty more in the works for Social Capital Hedosophia.

Social Capital Hedosophia vs. Social Capital

Both Social Capital and Social Capital Hedosophia were founded by Chamath Palihapitiya. And although they share similar names, they’re separate entities with unique investment objectives.

Social Capital is Palihapitiya’s private venture capital firm, founded in 2011 and also headquartered in Palo Alto. The firm backs companies from a variety of industries, including Bustle, Imperium, Slack, SurveyMonkey and Wealthfront.

Unlike Social Capital Hedosophia, Social Capital doesn’t acquire the companies it invests in. Instead, the venture capital firm focuses on funding startups in emerging markets with high growth potential. To date, it has made 381 investments and 49 exits.

How can I invest in Social Capital Hedosophia?

You will need a brokerage account to invest in Social Capital Hedosophia in one of two ways:

  • Invest in the SPAC itself. Look up one of the SPAC’s ticker symbols and add that stock to your portfolio.
  • Buy stock in a company the SPAC merges with. Invest in one of the SPAC’s acquired companies, like Virgin Galactic, which now has a dedicated ticker symbol.

Social Capital Hedosophia’s IPOs

Despite its short operating history, Social Capital Hedosophia has been busy — and has big plans for upcoming acquisitions.

Past IPOs

As of October 2020, Social Capital Hedosophia has just one company under its belt: Virgin Galactic. Find it on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SPCE.

After raising $600 million from public investors, the SPAC went on to acquire Virgin Galactic in 2019. Palihapitiya now owns nearly 14% of the commercial spaceflight company’s shares and serves as chairman of the board.

Upcoming IPOs

Following the acquisition of Virgin Galactic, Social Capital Hedosophia is preparing to acquire Opendoor and Clover Health through Social Capital Hedosophia II and III, respectively. Because SPACs merge with the companies they acquire and cease to operate as independent entities, Social Capital Hedosophia must start a fresh SPAC for each company it plans to acquire.

Social Capital Hedosophia II and III are already spoken for, but Chamath Palihapitiya has already initiated the process of establishing Social Capital Hedosophia IV.

Currently trading stocks

During an episode of his All-In Podcast, Palihapitiya revealed he has reserved the ticker symbols IPOA through IPOZ on the New York Stock Exchange. Its first SPAC, Social Capital Hedosophia I (IPOA) merged with Virgin Galactic. Iterations II (IPOB) and III (IPOC) are slotted for Opendoor and Clover Health. And as for the rest of its ticker symbols? It’s anyone’s guess.

In the same podcast episode, Palihapitiya said he has $100 million tied up in each deal to demonstrate his commitment to potential investors. As of October 2020, Social Capital II (IPOB) and Social Capital III (IPOC) are available for public investors to purchase on the NYSE.

Compare brokerage accounts

To invest in Social Capital Hedosophia, you’ll need a brokerage account. Compare your options to find the best fit.

Name Product Stock trade fee Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee
Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Forex
$20 per year
Get a personal advisor when you open an account with at least $50,000.
Sofi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, Index funds, ETFs, Futures, Cash
$0 + $0.65/contract, $1 minimum
IBKR Lite offers $0 commissions, and IBKR Pro offers advanced tools for professional traders.
TD Ameritrade
or $25 broker-assisted
$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
TD Ameritrade features $0 commission for online stock, but watch out for high short-term ETF and broker-assisted trading fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

Companies like Social Capital Hedosophia offer privately held companies as an alternative to the traditional IPO. It has ambitious plans for the future and the ticker symbols to show for it — but much remains uncertain about the future of this special purpose acquisition company.

To invest in a SPAC or a company it acquires, you’ll need a brokerage account. Compare your options across multiple platforms to find a broker that can cater to your budget and investment needs.

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