Avoka eyes IPO

Fintech Avoka is considering an IPO as the next step to its growth strategy as long as the business can achieve scale.

“Later this year, we will be exploring what we will do next. An IPO on the ASX is certainly one of the options we are looking pretty closely at,” Avoka CEO Phil Copeland (pictured), said.

He acknowledged the" great support from our investors" – both institutional and high-net-worth – and its adviser Moelis & Company who led the last round of capital raising in December, garnering $16 million from investors including the prolific venture capitalist Roger Allen.

However, Copeland wants to ensure the business is at sufficient scale if is going down the path to becoming a publicly listed company.

“In order to become a publicly listed company you want to be a decent size. Our revenue for this year is $50 million. Next year we expect to reach $75 million. We are certainly getting to become a big enough organisation to consider an ASX listing,” he said.   

Around 80 per cent of Avoka’s revenue now comes from the United States and European markets. Its clients include Citi and HSBC and Westpac.

“While the North American and Europe are key markets for us, we will still keep our Australian presence.”

Avoka’s measured expansion to date, which has seen the financial services software platform - enabling banks to accelerate digital customer onboarding - expand its team to 250 employees since it began in 2002.

Market expansion

While Copeland is based in Denver, Colorado, the bulk of the Australian business still remains in the pristine Sydney beachside suburb of Manly, focusing on software development and engineering.

The business is also looking at expanding in markets such as the Nordic region in Europe and Mexico, through its “partner network”.

One of these partner’s is Accenture. Given its close work with financial services and extensive contacts in Europe, Avoka is “working closely” with such a business “to sell its solutions in those geographies”.

Avoka is also eyeing opportunities in Asia, however, Copeland said it “needs to be a little bigger” before it taps into that region.

The business remains focused on the banking sector – 50 per cent in retail, 40 per cent in SME banking and 10 per cent in wealth management.

“That is our focus for now, but we do have some insurance companies and industry superannuation funds. In fact, we are seeing a bit of interest from that sector,” Copeland said.

For Copeland, the ASX listing is “just a step along the way in its growth plans”.

“Whether we go down the path of a listing or not, the business will keep running. It’s an exciting time for us. We are building a sustainable business that provides solutions to the world’s largest banks. The fact that we have got to where we are now has been tremendous.”

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