Vmob backdoor listing lends credibility for rapid Asian expansion
BUSINESSDESK: Auckland-based smartphone voucher application firm Vmob has completed a backdoor listing on to the stock exchange's small-cap NZAX in a bid to boost its credibility as it seeks to expand into developing economies, starting with Asia.
Shareholders in shell company Velo Capital last week approved the reverse takeover, accepting the tech start-up's plan to grow its revenue base to $16.6 million by 2014-15 by clipping the advertising ticket through its discount voucher offering.
The deal will pay $100,000 in cash and issue 609 million shares at 0.7 cents apiece for VMob, valuing the voucher app firm at $4.36 million, within WHK's valuation range of $3.52 million to $5.6 million
VMob chief executive Scott Bradley told BusinessDesk the goal is to sign up seven telecommunications companies by the end of next year in markets such as Malaysia and the Philippines, and he has already signed two memorandums of understanding, including one with Telkomsel Indonesia subsidiary MetraNet PT.
The listing will let VMob raise funds to meet its working capital requirements, but also give it greater credibility when it looks to cut deals with major global players, he says.
"As we grow internationally, the challenge for us isn't only getting capital, but also when we go and talk to the world's largest telcos as a New Zealand start-up."
VMob regards New Zealand as a pilot project for the service as the local market was too small to be viable in what is a very young industry across the globe, Mr Bradley says.
The voucher firm, formerly VoucherMob, was set up in 2010 by Mr Bradley, and has attracted McDonald's, Dominos, Hoyts, Bakers Delight and Civic Video to its platform.
Mr Bradley worked closely with Microsoft and Amazon in developing the software, which sits solely in the cloud rather than on any local servers, which should make it easier to integrate as it expands internationally, he says.
Velo will officially change its name to VMob at the end of the week for its latest incarnation.
The entity began life in 1984 as an Australasian horse breeding company, before being restructured in 1999 into a venture capital fund focusing on high-growth tech businesses.
It was used as a shell to list Digital Disc Holdings in 2003, before changing its name to Media Technology Group, and then Forge Media Group.
Velo's shares last traded at 3 cents apiece in April, valuing the shell at $861,000.