Ayondo registers offer documents for first fintech IPO on Catalist board

The move is set to make Ayondo the first financial technology firm on the Singapore Exchange's junior board.
The move is set to make Ayondo the first financial technology firm on the Singapore Exchange's junior board.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Europe-based Ayondo has turned in the paperwork for a Singapore listing, it announced on Friday (March 16).

The move is set to make it the first financial technology, or fintech, firm on the Singapore Exchange's junior Catalist board.

Shares will be offered at S$0.26 apiece, pegging the gross proceeds at roughly S$21 million. Market capitalisation as at the IPO will be S$130.7 million.

The initial public offering (IPO) comprises 80.77 million shares in all, of which 8.9 million are offer shares 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 S$18.5 million, close to half of which will go towards loan repayment.

Another S$5.25 million will be spent on marketing and S$2.1 million on platform enhancement, while S$2.6 million will be used for general working capital.

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

Chief executive Robert Lempka told media in a briefing at the SGX Centre: "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 - for example, moving into Spain as its third core market outside Britain and Germany - and building up its network of white-label partners.

As for the pioneer nature of a fintech listing, Mr Lempka said: "We believe that in the medium and longer term we will benefit, because we believe SGX is looking to develop the 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.

The Business Times first reported in February that Ayondo was readying itself for an IPO, after a failed bid to get listed here via reverse takeover.

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 2017, on the back of 14.66 million francs in turnover.

The company had announced its intention in 2017 to be acquired by Catalist-listed developer Starland Holdings, for S$157.5 million, but that deal went belly-up after certain conditions could not be met.