Sydney-based airport transport startup Jayride today makes its debut as a public company, listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) after an oversubscribed $1.5 million initial public offering (IPO) in December last year.
This follows a series of raises completed by Jayride in 2017, locking in a $1.5 million raise in May and $8 million in funding in September, with founder Rod Bishop telling StartupSmart then the company was “working fast towards an IPO”.
Today, the startup’s eggs have hatched, and Bishop tells StartupSmart the young tech company, founded in 2012, chose to list on the ASX to boost its credibility and give the startup access to more partnerships it may have struggled to achieve otherwise.
“It’s about looking towards the future. Being a public company gives us a lot of forward movement for growth and a lot of credibility for accessing new partnerships,” he says.
“When we were a private startup that people didn’t know very well, it was harder to get certain deals. Like when we first met with Flight Centre — the process of landing that partnership was long and hard.”
Bishop says the listing process was also hard work and is thankful the company had a line of supportive investors who were keen for the startup to use their capital to seek a listing. The company’s pre-IPO raise was mainly to seek such investors, ones who were willing to “go with us on this journey”, he says.
The company’s float was oversubscribed, however he notes the listing process was hard at times for his small team and required a change in mindset and action for the startup.
“Instead of being one hundred percent focused on growth, we had to look less at growth and more at just getting the transaction done. Now it’s done we can go back to focusing on growing the company,” he says.
“Though reporting and disclosure costs time and resources, it’s a net positive for the company, and we’re looking forward to all the benefits it will bring.”
The IPO funds will largely be used for growth in all aspects of the business, with Bishop saying international expansion, partnerships, and new tech integrations and launches are on the cards.
“The US is our most recent market and it’s already our largest market, and still growing. What’s more is that we’ve done all that without any boots on the ground — it’s a very scalable model,” he says.
Investors “understand” e-commerce startups
Though some startups have seen hard times after going public, Bishop says he’s confident Australian investors will be keen to back the young company, with a number of them seeking out “e-commerce growth stories” — a story he believes Jayride can tell.
“When it comes to e-commerce — and our particular model — we think ASX investors understand it really well, and if you look at comparable technology companies, they’re also well understood,” he says.
“Investors can expect from us a straight, down the line, high growth, startup story — and that’s what we’ll expect to deliver.”
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Giving advice to other startup founders on the listing process, Bishop says while the listing process is “onerous”, it doesn’t have to be if the company is focused on going public from early on.
“If you believe listing is a place you might go, and if you start with the idea in your mind and do the work over your years as a private company, it makes it much easier,” he says.
“The startup sector is maturing at a rapid pace, and there are many new funding avenues becoming available. And while it’s always important as a business to consider multiple options, the ASX should always be one of your considerations.”
“Find the best option for you and pursue it.”