IPO Watch: SaaS play Whispir makes steady landing on ASX
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The ASX has a new software-as-a-service company following today’s entrance by Melbourne-based tech start-up Whispir (ASX:WSP).
The company had a pretty speccy start to public life, trading as high as $1.74 – a nearly 9 per cent increase on its $1.60 IPO price.
Around 2.4 million shares, worth over $4m had changed hands by 2pm AEST, with the price retreating back level with the IPO price.
Whispir was admitted to the ASX after completing an oversubscribed IPO that raised $47m.
At the IPO listing price, Whispir has a market capitalisation of $163m.
Including pre-IPO investors, institutional investors now account for 57 percent of Whispir’s share register.
Whispir currently has over 500 customers in several industries across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US, including Virgin Australia, Disney, Foxtel, electricity and gas provider AGL Energy, Japanese car parts maker Takata and several government departments.
Whispir has developed a cloud-based “low code-no code” platform that can be implemented and managed with no IT developer or designer skills.
It is a communications workflow platform that automates interactions between businesses and people.
For example, Whispir’s platform helps the Department of Jobs and Small Business communicate with hundreds of thousands of unemployed Australians each day and helped Takata engage millions of potentially affected consumers quickly during its airbag recall.
The company booked revenue of $27.8m in FY18 and forecasts that to increase to $37.8m in FY20 – with sustainable breakeven expected to be reached in June 2020.
Whispir generates its revenue from recurring subscription licences, recurring transactional charges and support charges.
The company plans to use the IPO cash to progress its technology development, increase sales and marketing activity as well as pursue new growth opportunities in Asia and North America.
On the technology development front, chief technology officer Jonathan Swift told Stockhead now that Whispir had its fundamental architecture in place the focus would be on incorporating big data and artificial intelligence.
“We have 1.5 billion annual transactions that go through the platform, that’s huge data capacity we have there,” he explained.
“[It’s] understanding how we can use that, how we can actually create better outcomes for our clients and then introduce artificial intelligence in the right sort of way.”
With respect to growth opportunities, Swift said Indonesia would be a key target market for Whispir.
“Expanding into Indonesia is going to be a key market for ourselves as well as the rest of South East Asia, coming off the success we’ve had already in Singapore and Malaysia, and then we’ll look at the North American market,” he says.
“We know that we’ve got a product-market fit there with some great logos already in that market.
“So we’ve established our beachhead; now it’s time push on and get the growth that will give us the revenue projections we’ve put out there.”