PushPay mobile app venture raises $5.1m, plans for small cap listing

PushPay chief executive Chris Heaslip

Mobile payments app developer PushPay is heading for a compliance listing on the New Zealand small cap board, following two rounds of capital-raising since December, which have brought on Auckland private investors the Huljich family and Aaron Bhatnagar as shareholders.

The Huljich vehicle, Christopher & Banks Private Equity, now holds approximately 22 percent of the company, while Bhatnagar holds nearly 4 percent in PushPay, a free, downloadable mobile phone application, which its backers say is gaining ground in the US, Australian and New Zealand markets.

Its niche is payments made away from points of sale, with monthly sales showing 20 percent growth to produce "annualised payments volume" of $25 million, said PushPay chief executive Chris Heaslip in a statement.

Christopher & Banks and Bhatnagar's Alliance Equities have agreed to underwrite a further funding round planned for June, which is intended to prepare the company for a compliance listing on either the NZAX or its replacement board for small cap companies, currently being developed by the exchange operator, NZX.

"It's for the (PushPay) board to confirm the exact sum" for the next capital-raising round, Bhatnagar told BusinessDesk, but it was likely the company would raise "more than we've raised so far."

Businesses that make sales away from stores, such as tradespeople, non-profit charities and, in the US, the "faith sector" are among adopters of PushPay, which boasts strong security, a 10-second payment process, and is established for payments in 28 countries.

Credit or debit card information is only registered once and securely stored in a tokenised form away from the phone. It can be used for one-off payments or to schedule regular direct debits.

Established in 2011, PushPay last year attracted $1 million in backing from Douglas Kemsley, the Hamilton-based former chairman of internet and cloud services provider Maxnet, and a $253,000 development grant from the government's Callaghan Innovation Fund.

(BusinessDesk)

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