Carosa ponders dual listing for Future Capital
Tuesday, July 12, 2011/
Serial entrepreneur Domenic Carosa says he’s considering a dual listing in Australia and the United States or the United Kingdom.
Carosa, who heads up the Future Capital Development Fund, has raised $5 million to invest in the development of emerging companies, in addition to an existing portfolio of nine companies.
FCDF invests in young, fast-growing internet, mobile and technology start-ups that have already attracted customers and generate transaction revenue.
Among FCDF’s portfolio is OurWishingWell.com, which derives 80% of revenue offshore, mostly the US. Carosa is seeking to hire sales staff to expand the My Guest List business in the US.
According to Carosa the fund is looking to list on the ASX around the middle of next year and will aim to raise $20-30 million.
“I am also considering a dual listing in the USA or UK. Part of the FC strategy is to build our visibility and relationships in international markets and a listing can fulfil part of that strategy,” he says.
“We are also considering bringing on a USA-based ‘cornerstone’ investor who may be able to help us achieve a similar strategy. These are options I have only recently started considering.”
Carosa, who is in the US to drum up interest, says the fund is already building relationships with angel groups, VCs and corporate advisers.
“This will help our investee companies group in international marketplaces and may lead to an eventual trade sale to an international company,” he says.
Carosa says there are only small, incremental costs associated with a dual listing because “we would already be listed on the ASX”.
“Hence we would already be absorbing the compliance costs for being listed on the ASX,” he says.
“There would be no change to our existing investments as we would only be listing the fund, not each individual investee company.”
In March FCDF invested an undisclosed amount in PaintMyPicture.com, an online service whereby consumers supply a photo and PMP’s global team of artists hand paint it.
PaintMyPicture.com is Carosa’s third investment in internet companies in the past six months, the others being Imporial.com – a memorial site for people and pets – and online booking system Eventarc.com.
Other businesses in the FCDF portfolio include CheapHotels.com.au, SMS Central, Domain Folio No. 1 and DriveMyCarRentals.com.au.
The fund, which invests between $100,000 and $500,000, takes a significant minority stake, working with founders and senior management to expand the business.
Carosa says the fund’s pipeline of new investments is looking positive, partly because there is “no shortage of new upstarts popping up all the time”.