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Kiwi translator Straker hit $1.83 in its ASX debut on Monday — a 21 per cent premium on its issue price — suggesting there is life in the tech sector.

After the well publicised downfalls of companies like GetSwift (ASX:GSW) and BigUn (ASX:BIG), investors have been a bit leery of tech companies.

Straker raised its IPO money at $1.51. It closed its first day at $1.71 — a 13 per cent increase.

Straker’s largest shareholder is former All Black and Fairfax boss David Kirk’s venture capitalist Bailador with 14 per cent.

But also on the register are some major players: Soul Pattinson with 2.78 per cent, 8IP Emerging Companies (ASX:8IP) with 1.39 per cent, and Telstra Super with 4.87 per cent.

Straker’s $21.2m IPO was two years in the making.

Its machine learning “RAY Translation Platform” software is up against the likes of Google’s free Translate service — but Straker believes its service is a high-end, more accurate alternative.

The system automatically produces a “first draft” translation using software — and then farms out corrections to one of 13,000 freelance human translators, followed by another human review.

The online software allows human translators to deliver faster and more accurate translations, the business says in its prospectus.

The majority of the market is highly fragmented, Straker believes — with the top 100 service providers accounting for only 15 per cent of industry revenue.

Husband and wife team Grant and Merryn Straker — who founded the company in 1999 — will pocket 13 per cent of the proceeds or $2.8 million.

Last year Straker made a loss of $NZ1.5 million on revenue of $NZ17 million sourced from 8400 customers — mostly from outside Australia and New Zealand. About half of revenue comes from the UK and Europe.

It expects the loss to widen to $NZ2.5 million next year on revenue of $NZ23.5 million.

The business had $NZ22.4 million in the kitty at the end of March.