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The ‘silver lining’ behind Prospa’s two attempts at an IPO

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Mr Bertoli said in retrospect the concern raised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission “was not a significant issue” but Prospa postponed the IPO in order to ensure it was complying with the obligations of listed companies to make sure the market was fully informed.

Mr Bertoli said there was a “silver lining” from the failed IPO process despite the cost and time involved.

By the time we came to our second IPO in June this year it felt like a fait accompli.

Beau Bertoli

“We actually got an opportunity to come back to the market with a prospectus where we had forecast to the market already, and we can tell the market how we went against that,” he said. “The investor community got another year to get to know us.”

Mr Bertoli said the week after Prospa shelved its first IPO was Prospa’s biggest single day of trade ever.

“The team rallied behind Greg and myself,” he said. “If you invest in that culture side of the business, a little knock just becomes the way we roll with the punches. By the time we came to our second IPO in June this year it felt like a fait accompli. We knew what we were in for.”

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Beau Bertoli and Greg Mosha at Prospa’s ASX listing. Credit:Peter Braig

Georgina Lalor of Macquarie Capital told the Intersekt audience from the bank’s perspective there were advantages to what transpired.

“[Investors] certainly learnt that Greg and Beau deliver on what they say,” she said. “That was the silver lining of the two year IPO process. Delivering their plan, which was ambitious, and then coming back and talking about how they delivered on it and also introduced new elements to the business was really quite powerful. In small-cap IPOs, investors are investing in the management team. Our learning is to certainly bring investors on the journey with these fintechs earlier.”

Katie Klosterman of UBS said Prospa’s IPO was successful given it hit the ASX at $4.50, 19 per cent higher than its offer price of $3.78.

Ms Klosterman said an ideal first day of trading delivered gains of anywhere between 5 per cent and 15 per cent.

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“You don’t want to leave too much on the table but you want the investors you brought on board to have a good experience,” she said. “We get accused all the time of sandbagging the valuation so it makes the deal easier to sell. The IPO is just the first step in the journey. It is a very,very hard question and to be candid sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong.”

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