James Packer invests $5 million in eCommerce freight business Temando to help fund overseas expansion

An eCommerce company which allows people to book and track shipments online has been boosted by a $5 million investment from James Packer’s investment fund, as the Brisbane-based Temando looks to capitalise on growing online sales.

The gaming billionaire’s investment fund Ellerston Capital, run by Crown and Consolidated Media Holdings director Ashok Jacob, has taken an undisclosed stake in the business, which is owned by senior executives and backed by private equity. It is led by former News Corp and Fairfax staffer Carl Hartmann.

Its head of sales, Andrew Mastromanno, says Ellerston’s investment will help Temando expand overseas, through New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the United States.

“It’s obviously a very exciting opportunity with an investment partner that will take the company into the next level,” Mastromanno says.

He says the investment has been in the works for a few months, after a lengthy due diligence, and was likely driven by Temando’s “highly scalable” and “high-growth” business, and being the market leader in the aggregation and fulfilment model.

Temando works by taking a sender’s freight request and matching it against the desired freight types of different carriers, providing accurate shipment pricing and then electronically booking the job and creating documentation.

Declining to name the company’s last revenue figures, Mastromanno says only that growth has been significant since starting up in 2007, and month-on-month the company is reporting among the highest growth you’d see in any industry, let alone online or in shipping.

Questioned whether the margins were similar to those currently enjoyed by global mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, Mastromanno laughed and said that was the company’s goal.

Although Temando services both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, Mastromanno says it’s the latter that will drive growth as the major retailers complement their bricks and mortar stores with online sales.

“If compared to what’s happening in international markets, Australia’s obviously behind in bricks and mortar versus online,” he says.

“Over the last 12 months, that growth is catching up to other markets, but there’s still some more to be had over the year and beyond to put us more on par with Western eCommerce.”

Packer has shown some appetite for online sites over the past year or so, with Ellerston Capital taking a stake in group buying site DealsDirect, and Consolidated Media investing in Catchoftheday.


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