Airtasker goes public, with shares spiking 76% after delayed ASX debut

Airtasker

Airtasker co-founder and chief executive Tim Fung

Aussie startup Airtasker is now publicly trading, after founder Tim Fung finally got his chance to ring the bell at the ASX after a 24-hour delay.

The listing, originally scheduled for 11am on Monday, was held up due to what’s being described as an ‘internal glitch’ at the ASX, later put down to human error.

Responding to the delay in a LinkedIn post, Fung said it felt like “Xmas just got rescheduled”.

“Whilst I’m a little surprised, apparently these internal glitches happen even for platforms as established as the Australian Stock Exchange,” he added.

“And as fellow marketplace builders, I guess we need to cut them a little slack.”

The glitch doesn’t seem to have tempered interest in the float, which was five-times oversubscribed.

Airtasker was seeking to raise $83.7 million. The initial offer price for the listing was $0.66 per share, giving the business a valuation of $226.9 million.

On debut, the share price reportedly increased to $1.14, a surge of 76.2%.

This is just the latest in a string of Aussie tech IPOs. Online beauty retailer Adore Beauty went public in October last year, and was shortly followed by tradie platform Hipages, book retailer Booktopia and BNPL player Payright.

Tech stocks have also been soaring over the past 12 months, both in Australia and internationally.

Speaking to SmartCompany ahead of the listing, Fung said this is obviously a trend he’s been keeping an eye on — but his focus is on the long-term vision.

A buzzy market was a factor in the decision to go public now, but it wasn’t the main reason.

There will always be ups and downs, he says. The startup’s mission is creating jobs and “empowering people to realise the full value of their skills”, Fung adds.

And the opportunity here is considerable.

According to Fung, the local services economy in Australia alone is a $52 billion addressable market.

Airtasker also operates in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore, and is soon launching in the US.

The addressable market in these regions combined is worth about $600 billion, Fung estimates.

The ASX listing is about securing “agile access to capital”, he explains.

“We’re right at the beginning of that journey.”

When asked what he’ll be doing to celebrate, or whether he’ll be taking some time off to relax as head of a listed business, the founder says there’s no lazing on a beach in his immediate future.

He describes the run-up to the IPO as the “sprint to the starting line”.

Now, it’s just the start of the next race.

Fung does admit to feeling “a bit giddy”, though. And, he has allowed himself one indulgence to mark the gravity of this milestone.

“My bespoke request to our lovely vibe team at Airtasker was that we have streamer cannons at the bell ceremony,” he confesses.

“If we don’t have streamer cannons, we’re just not going to be able to think back to this moment and know we did everything we could to recognise the occasion.”

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