Ayondo aims to be first fintech listing on Catalist

Ayondo CEO Robert Lempka said listing will make it easier to find partners as the firm seeks to expand its international reach.
Ayondo CEO Robert Lempka said listing will make it easier to find partners as the firm seeks to expand its international reach.PHOTO: AYONDO

European firm to offer shares at 26 cents apiece, targets IPO at $21m

A European fintech firm is aiming to list on the Catalist board, making it the first company from the fast-growing financial tech sector to join the Singapore Exchange.

Ayondo will offer shares at 26 cents apiece, pegging the gross proceeds at roughly $21 million. Its market capitalisation as at the initial public offering (IPO) will be $130.7 million, it announced yesterday.

The IPO comprises 80.77 million shares, with 8.9 million earmarked for the public. The rest are placement shares.

Trading is slated to begin on March 26, according to the indicative timetable.

The listing is expected to raise net proceeds of about $18.5 million, with about half to be used to repay loans.

A further $5.25 million will be spent on marketing, $2.1 million on platform enhancement and $2.6 million for general working capital.

UOB Kay Hian is the sponsor, issue manager, underwriter and placement agent for the listing.

GOOD MOVE

Listing on a reputable platform like Singapore, even at this early stage as a company, is something we believe is the right thing to do.

AYONDO CHIEF EXECUTIVE ROBERT LEMPKA

Ayondo chief executive Robert Lempka told a briefing yesterday: "Listing on a reputable platform like Singapore, even at this early stage as a company, is something we believe is the right thing to do."

He pointed to trust and credibility as potential benefits of the IPO for loss-making Ayondo, saying that "being a listed company will make it easier" to find partners.

Part of Ayondo's growth strategy involves expanding its international reach and building up its network of partners.

Mr Lempka said: "We believe that in the medium and longer term we will benefit, because we believe SGX is looking to develop the (fintech) sector and we think it's good to be the first one."

The compliance requirements of preparing for a listing has helped the company become "very solid and well functioning", he added.

Ayondo, which was founded in 2008, bills itself as a social-trading broker, giving users on its platform the ability to mimic top traders and optimise their returns.

Its largest shareholder since 2014 has been Singapore private equity investor Luminor Capital.

Ayondo's net loss stood at 6.6 million Swiss francs (S$9.1 million) for the first nine months of last year, on the back of 14.66 million francs in turnover.

The company announced its intention last year to be acquired by Catalist-listed developer Starland Holdings for $157.5 million, but that deal went belly-up after certain conditions could not be met.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Ayondo aims to be first fintech listing on Catalist'. Print Edition | Subscribe