A New Zealand-based ASX-listed startup providing cloud app integration is looking to capitalise on the North American market, with the Royal Bank of Canada set to use a white-label version of the company’s platform.
9 Spokes recently signed the letter of intent with the bank, which co-founder and chief executive Mark Estall notes is the company’s “most significant business development milestone since IPO”.
Founded in New Zealand in 2011, the business provides a cloud-based smart dashboard that lets SMEs connect their software to one dynamic interface, giving them a clear overview of their business to help with management and decision making processes.
The Royal Bank of Canada is one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalisation, and the market-leader in Canada. 9 Spokes has entered in to commercial negotiations with the bank and expects the contract will be finalised within the next three months.
The milestone comes off the back of partnerships with IBM and Barclay’s Bank, with Estall revealing 9 Spokes is currently in talks with a number of North American fintech institutions, including “the second largest bank in the US”, a deal which he hopes will be clinched within the next three to six months.
Estall notes that while the process of dealing with big corporations is “very time consuming”, the 9 Spokes team are continually “refining and refining” that process.
9 Spokes listed on the ASX in June 2016 in a bid to raise $25 million to fuel international expansion, however since their initial listing at 20c per share, the company has been trading at between 14c and 16c for the past three months.
He attributes the dip in share price to the “long gestation process” in landing corporate contracts price, noting that “business development is going better than my wildest dreams”.
“The share price and the way the business goes appears to be two different things,” he says.
The company posted full-year revenue of $NZ1.2 million ($1.1m) for the year to March 31, up from $NZ710,000 in the previous year.
Estall notes that listing on the ASX was crucial for a “privately owned New Zealand startup” to engage with some of the heavy-hitters of the North American financial sector, and that it has “absolutely…taken six months off sales process.”.
9 Spokes now has its sights set on global expansion in Asian markets, to add to its current operations in the UK through Barclays Bank and Deloitte Propel, and in Australia through Suncorp and Deloitte Private.
“We’ve always had a vision to go global from day 1, ” Estall says.