Datasquirt ASX offer closes successfully
New Zealand contact centre software company, Datasquirt, says its initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange has closed with the minimum subscription amount exceeded.
Datasquirt director and co-founder Mark Loveys said the offer closed last Friday, September 14, with a last minute flurry of investment interest.
“With late subscriptions totaled over the weekend we are very pleased to have raised around A$7.2 million,” said Mr Loveys. “This is just over the minimum subscription sought of A$7 million and is viewed as sufficient to fund the international expansion plans outlined in the prospectus.
“Official listing on the ASX will take place in approximately two weeks time, allowing for share issue and listing requirements to be completed.”
Mr Loveys said the offer had been well supported by large Australian institutional investors as well as smaller investors in New Zealand.
“We’re very pleased that a number of New Zealanders have supported the float – particularly with the recent market volatility caused by US mortgage market jitters.
“We’re also very pleased that larger investors such as Macquarie Bank’s Small Companies Fund have taken such a strong position with the stated intention of supporting our growth plans described in the prospectus.”
He said the funds raised would be used for international sales and marketing of Datasquirt’s award-winning CONTACT software, and further product development, as well as satisfying working capital requirements.
CONTACT is designed to enable call centres to integrate text, fax and email messages into existing processes when handling both inbound and outbound communications. Datasquirt’s major customers include Fonterra, Yellow Pages, Auckland Regional Council, The Ministry of Justice, Cerebos Greggs, Coca Cola Amatil NZ, The Election Enrolment Centre, Amway Australia New Zealand and the Auckland City Council. CONTACT won a TUANZ Innovation Award in 2005.
The latest projects in Australia during 2007 include a pilot implementation for account receivable management at Dun & Bradstreet; and in the United Kingdom at Silverjet, a fully automated SMS and email self-service handling flight bookings, travel confirmation, seat selection and flight cancellations and delays.
“Over the last 12 months we have established offices and subsidiaries in New York, London, Dusseldorf and Sydney,” said Mark Loveys. “Our success in appointing strong local representation in these markets gives us confidence to now invest for rapid international growth, focusing on the call centre market.”
Contact centres have become the portal for an estimated 80 per cent of all customer transactions with a business, Loveys says. This market is growing strongly. While New Zealand has only 21,000 call centre seats, the US has 2.7 million, the UK around 500,000, Germany 250,000 and Australia 130,000.
“Datasquirt brings a very strong proposition to these markets,” Mr Loveys said.
“CONTACT is purpose designed for the call centre market. Over the last six years we have built up considerable intellectual property and a strong track record of leadership in the integration of text, email and fax to traditional voice-based contact centre processes and applications.
“As mobile phone usage continues to grow and more communication is done via email, it’s critical for call centre operators to be able to integrate voice traffic with non-voice traffic. In many applications - for example payment reminders - text messaging is both immediate but non-threatening. Many call centre applications – for example power outage management - are best handled by a blend of communication using voice message, text message and email messages.
“A particular strength is that CONTACT is sold as a hosted service. This means call centres don't need to buy and maintain their own software. They can buy our service on a monthly, per user basis delivered as an ASP hosted service over the Internet,” said Mr Loveys.