S'pore crowdfunding firm CoAssets lists on ASX

A Singapore platform offering crowdfunded loans to real estate developers has listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The firm, CoAssets, raised A$6.55 million (S$6.7 million) through its initial public offering at an issue price of 40 Australian cents a piece.

The firm had also raised A$4.68 million from several private placements of shares. It is estimated to have a market value of A$66 million based on the offer price.

CoAssets, founded in 2013, specialises in debt crowdfunding for small and medium-sized real estate developers looking to borrow between $100,000 and $5 million.

The firm has turned to the Australian market, where demand for residential development funding was growing fast after banks Down Under clamped down on lending to smaller and lesser-known developers, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

CoAssets' platform allows developers and businesses to list investment opportunities online.

Over the past three years, it has grown its user base from 200 to more than 55,000, has enabled the raising of $45 million in funding, and facilitated the completion of over 75 business deals in South-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, the firm said in a media statement.

"The Australian listing provides CoAssets the market value it needs to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as drive investor awareness about the crowdfunding platform."

It was previously listed on Australia's small-scale National Stock Exchange (NSX), which specialises in listing small to medium enterprises.

CoAssets will use the funds raised on marketing, managing intellectual property and product development to enhance the existing platform, it added.

It hopes to expand regionally and, among other plans, intends to establish a wholesale global debt opportunities fund which would direct money to opportunities listed on the platform or invest in corporate debt opportunities.

"Singapore has been a great platform for our expansion since our launch. We are ready to take the next step as a listed company and continue to drive value for our customers and shareholders," said Mr Getty Goh, chief executive and co-founder of CoAssets.

The firm derives its revenue by receiving 3 to 5 per cent of total funds raised via the platform. It posted a 167 per cent revenue surge to $2.18 million for the 2016 financial year.

It reported a net loss of $2.7 million for the period, owing to one-off expenses associated with the NSX and subsequently ASX listings, professional fees and licensing costs. The loss reflects the company's early-stage development as it has expanded quickly in the past six months - increasing headcount, marketing expenditure and strengthening compliance, it said.

"The company expects revenue to grow in tandem with the increased usage," it said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore crowdfunding firm CoAssets lists on ASX'. Print Edition | Subscribe