5 things you need to know in Australia tech today

Kogan.com founder Ruslan Kogan is about to land the big one. Source: Twitter.

1. Now it’s Ruslan Kogan’s turn. The Kogan.com IPO dropped today, with the pure-play online retail website offering $1.80 shares to raise $50 million, with a market capitalisation of $168 million on listing.

Founder Ruslan Kogan and CFO David Shafer together retain nearly 70% of the business and will pocket $7.5 million each in the float.

A decade after Kogan kicked off with two private label LCD televisions, he now has about 28,000 products for sale, having mostly recently bought and relaunched the Dick Smith brand as an online site.

Revenue is forecast at $241.2 million and EBITDA of $6.9 million for 2017.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the float is it’s not open to the average punter. The IPO is made up of institutional, broker firm, priority, and employee offers. There’s nothing for the public.


2. Speaking of IPOs, ASIC is looking at Guvera’s.
The corporate regulator is checking the music streaming startup’s float amid questions about how a loss-making business can have a $1.3 billion valuation. ASIC today confirmed it had extended the exposure period of Guvera’s IPO, but would not comment further. That effectively prevents investors from seeking shares for at least another week.

The Australian Shareholders’ Association has also weighed in pointing out the majority of the raise goes to repaying debt.

“It is really concerning that a loss making company which expects operating losses and negative operating cash flow to continue into the future may list on the ASX, particularly where its ongoing viability is dependent on the proceeds from the IPO,” ASA director Geoffrey Bowd said.

Funds from the float are critical to the company’s survival. Read more here.

3. SurfStitch just got dumped again. It wasn’t so much a profit downgrade as a loss upgrade. The online clothing retailer now expects a full-year EBITDA loss of up to $18.3 million having previously expected to be in the black to the tune of $2-3 million.

It’s the second profit downgrade in a month and the share were hammered, losing nearly 30% to $0.29

The loss relates to a licence made to a third party for the use of the company’s content contained in SurfStitch, Garage Entertainment, Rolling Youth and MagicSeaweed, and that means $20.3 million of revenue will be reversed.

That’s the content side punching a major whole in the clothing part and no doubt there will be lessons to learn on core business and diversification down the track. For now, the details are here.

4. We know the secret to the success of Mike Cannon-Brookes. It’s his dad, MCB snr. Big Mike sat down with the AFR to talk about his own impressive career in finance – he’s the bloke who launched Citibank in Australia three decades ago – and how he raised his billionaire son.

What we loved most about Michael Cannon-Brookes snr how he and his wife taught their children to be humble and treat everyone equally.

And here’s his parenting advice, which every dad should take to heart:

“The only lasting things that you can pass on to your children are not assets, but your value system, and yourself as the best role model you can be.”

There’s more on the interview here.

5. Oh goody! Ads in Apple’s app store. The moment you’ve (not) been waiting for is coming to the tech giant’s app store as the company looks for new ways to generate revenue in the face of falling iPad and iPhone sales. Apple is launching paid search ads will show up when users search for a new app. Thankfully, it’s only one ad per search, but that means someone like Uber (assuming they’ve paid to be there) could top the list when you search for something like “taxi” or “car service”. The good news is that paid results will be marked as ads and have a blue background. The details are here.

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