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Z-Work Acquisition's Chris Terrill on the future of the gig economy

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Chris Terrill, Z-Work Acquisition Executive Co-Chairman, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company going public and the future of gig work.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, January was a record month for SPACs, raising just around $26 billion. We want to bring in Chris Terrill. He is the former CEO of Angie's List, and he's now the co-chairman of the SPAC Z-Work Acquisition, which recently filed for an IPO. And Chris, it's great to have you on the program here. So you've got this $200 million SPAC. What companies-- tell us about the companies that you're looking to target here and why you're seeing such a huge opportunity in that space.

CHRIS TERRILL: Sure. Well, thank you for having me. We're really looking at companies that are focused on the future of work. We think this is an exciting area. You're seeing a real change in how workers are wanting to work, where they want to work, when they work.

And you're looking at companies that are seeing this as an opportunity to bring in a new wave of workers to improve their efficiency, effectiveness. And we're just seeing some amazing companies at Z-Work that are the brands of the future that sit in between workers and companies to bring them together and allow them to operate in a more effective, more efficient way.

So this is an exciting time. We think there's some great companies out there. And we really are excited to focus on the future of work space and help a company go public.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Can you give us a hint of-- I want you to slip up and tell us the name of who you're talking to. Short of that, can you give us an idea of the actual things these companies are providing? Because I already got Zoom, and they're public. And Microsoft got its version, and they're public.

CHRIS TERRILL: Sure, it's a great question. So I mean, you've got everything from marketplaces in between. There are so many marketplaces that are bringing together workers with companies. I know of a really interesting company that was helping a large enterprise company with blue collar workers. You know, there are other company that we look at, one that is providing high-end financial analysts to some of the biggest enterprise companies out there.

So there's everything from tools and services for the workers. Could be portability of benefits. It could be support in terms of insurance, et cetera. There are workflow management tools for companies. It's a really wide range of companies to go after. And ultimately, we're looking for, you know, the future big brands that are going to define the future of workspace.

So that's a high growth company, great management team, you know, really good unit economics, and is looking for the kind of support, the operational support, that we bring from Z-Work. I think a lot of SPACs don't necessarily have the operational experience, the public company experience we have. And so we think that's important for the types of companies we're looking at and for a good partner.

SEANA SMITH: Hey, Chris, not so much the work from home aspect of this, but more so when we're talking about the gig economy, I guess, how would you say the pandemic has forever changed this space? And what are some of those challenges that are now facing these workers as we look forward?

CHRIS TERRILL: Sure, and I want to say, you know, I feel for everyone, be it gig workers or W-2 workers. These are really tough times. But, you know, you just look at, to your point, working from home, how much that has changed behaviors that were percolating. They were building, but COVID really accelerated them.

And our thesis has been that we're seeing one of these big waves of disruption that comes every 50 to 100 years. And we're just at the beginning of it. And COVID accelerated these trends, and now we're all sort of forced to work in new and different ways. And I everyone's been surprised at how effective remote work has been. And I don't think we're going back.

Look, these things are here to stay. You know, remote work changes-- if you're a company, the types of employees you can have; if you're a worker, where you work, when you work, how you work. So I think that's just one of the indicators that the future of work has accelerated. We aren't going back, and these are exciting times. And there's some great companies that we're looking at, at Z-Work that address this whole space.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Very quickly, looking at the executive team that you're putting together-- alumni from Airbnb, from NYSE, from Reuters-- does that give us any kind of sense of who you might be targeting? Again trying to get you to slip up and name some names.

CHRIS TERRILL: Sure. Well, we've had lots of people trying to get us to slip up. And obviously, as a SPAC, you want to hold your cards close. Yeah, look, we think we have a great management team, a lot of public company experience, great operational experience, great M&A experience. Our board very strong with public company experience, and our advisory team is as well.

So, you know, our goal was to go out and put a really good strong team together that could go and tap into their networks, help us find companies that we may not know about, reach out to others in the space that they know. And so, we feel really good about the team, the Z-Work team. And we've already started having really interesting conversations. And we want to talk to those high growth companies that want to tackle the future of work space and the opportunities that lie ahead for all of us.