Prospa postpones $146 million IPO indefinitely


Prospa chief executives Beau Bertoli and Greg Moshal. Source: Supplied

Small business lending startup Prospa has confirmed it has postponed its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange indefinitely, after it announced a 48-hour delay 30 minutes before it was due to list on Wednesday.

The fintech startup, which won the 2016 Smart50 awards, had planned to ring the ASX bell on Wednesday, but at the last minute announced a delay.

Today, the listing has been pushed back again, with no indication of rescheduling.

When the initial delay was announced on Wednesday, a spokesperson said the business was seeking “to clarify queries raised by ASIC yesterday in relation to Prospa’s small business loan terms in the context of an industry wide review into financial services small business loan terms”.

In a statement today, Prospa said ASIC requested information as part of a broader industry review of small business lending contract terms, and the initial delay came as a response to this.

The statement said: “Over the past 48 hours, Prospa has constructively engaged with ASIC to review its current loan terms and has provided detailed information in response to the regulator’s queries.”

Currently, however, it is unclear what specific concerns Prospa is addressing. According to a separate report by The Australian, while the Australian Securities and Investments Commission had requested a copy of Prospa’s contractual loan document, the regulator had not raised flagged anything in particular ahead of the scheduled listing on Wednesday.

Today’s statement said the issues discussed with ASIC are “not material to the IPO and no additional disclosure is required on the prospectus”.

It also said the company’s board and shareholders, including Airtree Venture Capital, Square Peg Capital and Entrée Capital, “continue to be fully supportive”.

News of this additional delay will likely be of interest to the fintech community, given the rise of online lending operators since Prospa launched in 2012.

The fintech had planned to raise approximately $146 million through the listing, bringing its market capitalisation to $576 million.

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