Afterpay fintech float closes up 25pc
The Ron Brierley-backed buy now, pay later fintech Afterpay got a positive response to its $125 million listing on Wednesday, closing up 25 per cent.
The company – which received $8 million in private investments before the float from several former members of Mr Brierley’s Guiness Peat Group – listed at midday at $1 and ended the day at $1.25. The All Ordinaries closed down 1.47 per cent.
The executive chairman and co-founder is Anthony Eisen, former chief investment officer of Guiness Peat Group.
“What we’re pioneering in Australia is buy now, pay later online, in real time,” said Mr Eisen.
“We have a transaction integrity engine that allows us to make real time fraud and payment capability assessments. That is very much part of the IP base of Afterpay.”
The company makes its money by charging merchants an undisclosed percentage of each transaction, which varies according to volume, plus a flat fee. Buyers pay no interest or fees, except for late payment fees, and then pay back the price of the goods over four fortnightly payments. It is also considering new financial products that would charge the customer, but it will need to get a credit licence first. It has applied. “The Afterpay offer is purposefully very customer friendly. If you’re buying a pair of jeans for $200, the end payment is still $200,” said managing director and co-founder, Nicholas Molnar.
“For the merchant, it increases their sales. In the first week Afterpay was live on General Pants Co, we accounted for 20 per cent of online sales.”
Listed company Touchcorp provides and maintains Afterpay’s technology. It also had a 36 per cent stake in the company before the listing. The owners now control 60 per cent, with none as yet selling their shares. All major shareholders have an escrow agreement stopping them from dealing in its shares for two years.
The company made a net loss after tax of $1.25 million in the first half of financial year 2016 on revenue of $220,000. For the month of February, “underlying” merchant sales were more than $2.8 million and Afterpay’s revenues on those sales were more than $100,000.