Freelancer guns for growth through ASX listing
- 24 October, 2013 11:58
Local online marketplace for outsourcing, freelancing and crowdsourcing services, Freelancer, has submitted an application to list on the Australian Stock Exchange using the ticker FLN.
Under its Prospectus, Freelancer is offering 30 million new shares to the public at $0.50 per share raising $15 million.
It will also supply 5.1 million new shares to selected eligible employees. The company expects to have market capitalisation of $218 million upon the official quotation, and based on the offer price and assuming the employee offer is fully subscribed.
The offer period closes on November 7.
In a letter to prospective shareholders, CEO and chairman, Matt Barrie, stated the decision to list on the ASX was to raise funds and drive company growth.
For the year ending December 31, it is forecasting revenues to reach $18.3 million and a consolidated net profit of $471,000.
“Freelancer has always focused on long-term growth at the expense of short-term profit, and it is expected that this will continue for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Therefore the company plans to continue reinvesting strategically to achieve growth, which may result in a period of minimal operating profits.”
At an Amazon Web Services event in Sydney, Barrie said financing of Australian tech start-ups was pretty woeful.
He highlighted the main problem was when companies want to raise between $1 million to $5 million and there are only a couple of venture capital firms like Square Peg Capital and Blackbird that had the capacity to support that.
"For early stage start-ups there's a whole heap of incumbators and its becoming more straightforward to raise $20,000 or $50,000, but the problem is when you graduate from that to raise $1 million to $5 million. There's only a couple of funds that have the money at the moment and there's a big gap there. But once you get over the $10 million mark, there's a large pool of private equity and venture capital community that's actively prospecting in Australia," he said.
"Despite problems with the financing environment in the Australian start-up scene, a lot of companies are quietly working away behind the scenes, battling it out for the past couple of years and they've come up with the best place to raise funds is from your customers. Companies like Atlassian and Kogan, didn't raise venture capital for a very long period of time, and they instead figured out how to get their product and service right so they can sell to and raise funds from customers."
Barrie hopes his listing could be a template for other tech start-ups that want to raise funds in Australia rather than having to look overseas.
Freelancer.com currently boasts more than 9 million users, who have posted more than 4.9 million projects worth more than $US1.2 billion.
The business was founded in 2009, and in that year acquired GetAFreelancer. In the past four years, Freelancer has acquired and integrated other marketplaces for online jobs including Scriptlance, EUFreelance, LimeExchange and RentaCoder/vWorker.