:Israeli fintech Pagaya on Wednesday agreed to go public through a merger with special-purpose acquisition company EJF Acquisition Corp in a deal with an enterprise value of US$8.5 billion.

The deal will include a US$200 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE. EJF will become a unit of Pagaya after the merger.

Five-year-old Pagaya is building an artificial intelligence network to help customers with their financial needs, including mortgage, insurance, personal and auto loans.

The company is led by co-founder Gal Krubiner and has offices in Tel Aviv, New York and Los Angeles.

SPACs like EJF Acquisition are publicly listed investment vehicles with no business operations. They are raised with the purpose of merging with a private company at a later date, to take it public by sidestepping a traditional IPO.

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla, Noor Zainab Hussain and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Aditya Soni)

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