New Zealand-listed Plexure (NZX:PLX) has successfully raised $30 million in an underwritten placement as it prepares to trade on the ASX under a secondary foreign exemption listing on 25 November.
The offer price of NZ$1.20 per share (A$1.13) represented a discount of 23% to the last close of NZ$1.55 and a 20% discount to the 10-day volume weighted average price (VQAP) for Plexure shares over the preceding 10 business days of NZ$1.50. The new placement shares will rank equally with Plexure’s existing ordinary shares.
Plexure also opened a NZ$5 million share purchase plan (SPP) to enable New Zealand shareholders to participate on the same terms as the placement. The SPP offer is open until 24 November 2020.
Plexure Chair, Phil Norman, said “I am delighted that we have been able to close the placement quickly and that we had such strong support from Australian and New Zealand institutional, sophisticated and professional investors. The new capital will provide the funding we need to expand international operations, accelerate product development, and further enhance its technology platform. We view the support received from new and existing investors as a clear endorsement of our growth strategy.
“This provides us with the opportunity to accelerate the strong international growth trajectory we have achieved in recent years through investment in our sales function. It will also allow us to continue to remain at the forefront of data-driven analytics and the use of AI and machine learning by developing further enhancements to our platform and allowing for increased expansion in other geographies and verticals.
“Our recent inclusion in the well-known and highly regarded 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Marketing Platforms – the only Australasian company to do so – puts us in an elite group of providers. We must continue to increase our product innovation so that we can leverage that advantage. In addition, the Australian secondary listing provides us with a new and deep source of capital for the future.”
The placement is conditional on the success of Plexure’s application for an ASX foreign exempt listing. If successful, completion of the placement will occur about 24 November 2020 before being able to be traded under the ticker PX1 on the ASX on 25 November.
“Plexure has established itself as a leading international specialist mobile engagement platform and a key marketing partner to well-known consumer brands that operate in high-frequency physical environments such as grocery and quick service restaurants. The Plexure platform delivers seamless personalised offers at scale to more than 210 million customers in 60 countries via their mobile devices to incentivise them to visit physical stores.
The company released results to the NZX for the first half of FY21. Revenue increased 23% to NZ$14.4 million, compared to NZ$11.7 million for the corresponding period last year. Recurring revenue (representing licence and support fees) increased by NZ$1.7 million (19% )to NZ$9.0 million, while non-recurring revenue of funded development and one-off projects for customers increased by $1.2 million (22%) to NZ$5.3 million. The company said there has been a consistent pipeline of non-recurring revenue for several years and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
However, the company’s cost base increased 79% to NZ$18.8 million, compared with NZ$10.5 million for the prior corresponding period, as it invested in product and platform development, staff, and professional costs.
Increased users and platform activity have driven growth in IT costs from $2.6 million to $4.0 million. During the period, Plexure incurred some dual running costs as it moved parts of its platform between cloud providers. Re-architecting and modernising the platform remains a key focus for the business.
Total staff and contractor headcount increased from 139 to 161 and associated wage and salary costs increased by $4.5 million to $9.9 million. The company said most of this growth was in the engineering teams as it continues to employ further staff to modernise the platform and develop new products.
The EBITDA loss for the first 6 months increased by $5.2m to $3.1m while the net loss after tax for the period attributable to shareholders increased by $5.6 million to $4.4 million.
In a statement to the NZX the company said, “We have undertaken a review of our business strategy during the last six months and will continue to focus our resources on the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and Grocery verticals where there are large, globally addressable market opportunities and we have proven and sustainable competitive advantages in the delivery of: mobile customer engagement; loyalty management; AI-driven data analytics; and mobile order and pay.
“More recently, customer and sales pipeline activity has increased and the board remains confident that despite ongoing market uncertainty related to COVID-19, our value proposition is strong and will assist driving consumers back into our customer’s retail environments. Our prospects and customers have become increasingly reliant on digital channels for sales growth.
“We continued to build on the financial foundations laid down over the previous three years. Revenues have continued to grow and along with this the associated platform costs have also increased. The board and senior leadership team decided to increase headcount to enable product development to be accelerated and undertake the platform enhancements required to support much larger user numbers and activity levels. An increased investment has also been made in the company’s sales and marketing capability. This increase in headcount is the principal driver of cost growth and is aligned with the business strategy and capital raising plans.”
The company released earnings guidance for a full year EBITDA loss of NZ$7m and a net loss after tax of NZ$10 million for FY21.