Smart50 finalist Paid International is preparing for an initial public offering later this year as the lender aims to become Australia’s largest online situational credit provider.
Paid International was ranked fourth in SmartCompany’s 2013 Smart50, recording growth of 176% with a turnover of over $8 million last year.
Now founder and chief executive Tim Dean has revealed plans to float the company.
Paid International has been allocated the ASX ticker PYD and Dean told SmartCompany Paid International is “in the process” of listing under the ASX rules and expects to launch an initial public offering “within the next six months”.
“Our growth since we started has been consistent at 20% quarterly and being listed will give us access to capital which is probably less available to a private company, and capital is a basic requirement for a rapidly growing lending business,” Dean says.
“We have a number of relationships that we are currently building, and I hold dear the transparency listing gives you which is important for all stakeholders and can benefit the business.”
Dean says although listing on the ASX is a costly process for any business, Paid International is already undertaking many of the “rigours and regimes” required for listed businesses.
He says while the structure of the IPO has not been determined Dean intends to remain “a material equity holder”.
“I’ve been with the business since I founded it and intend to be with the business in the future in a major way,” he says.
An IPO will be the latest development for the fast-growing business which has come far from its launch in 2009 when it offered small, short-term loans.
Since then Paid International has grown to include a range of loans from a variety of different brands including Cash Train, Ca$h2Go and HandyCASH along with two subsidiary companies: Mr Tax Refund, a tax returns and finance group; and Lead Fish, a lead generation company.
“Over the past 12 months we have diversified our range, our clients can get a micro loan, a medium or longer contract, we can provide them with an advance in tax system,” Dean says.
He identifies the launch of the Paid brand in January this year, a bill paying system which lets the lender pay consumers’ utility bills via BPay, as one of the highlights for Paid International.
“It is first to market and it is unique,” Dean says. “It could be up to 40% cheaper than a traditional microfinance loan.”
Dean also expects further opportunities for growth to come from the recent changes in Australian credit rules which he says “are going to make a huge difference to Australians”.
The comprehensive credit reporting rules started on March 12 and allows lenders to report borrowers’ repayment history to credit bureaus including any loan repayments more than five days late.
“Since credit reporting came on board every financial transaction for a credit product, positive and negative will be recorded and visible,” he says.
Despite the strong growth and diversification, Dean says he’s still just as focused as he was when he launched the company.
“I am constantly trying to come up with new ideas and benefits for the company – whether that be a new product or service or a way to help us increase our productivity.”