A former AFL player's startup, GetSwift, just raised $24 million

Joel Macdonald of the Demons is tackled during the round 14 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium on July 4, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Logistics software company GetSwift has secured $24 million a capital raising round from existing and new investors.

The ASX-listed startup will issue more than 30 million shares at $0.80 each in two tranches. The stock price was 86 cents when a trading halt came into effect on Wednesday in anticipation of the announcement.

The company, led by former Brisbane and Melbourne AFL player Joel Macdonald, went through a turbulent 2016 when it fell out with early backer BlueChilli and failed in a reverse listing attempt. But the share price has climbed rapidly since its IPO in December, when stocks were put on the market for just 20 cents.

GetSwift signed a landmark deal with the Commonwealth Bank in April to turn normal retailers into “delivery-ready stores, automatically queuing, batching, routing and dispatching any bought goods”.

“It’s a cost effective way of tackling the threat from Amazon, Foodora, UberEats, Deliveroo and other global technology companies attempting to capture this space, and charge retailers a significant premium for the benefit of what is becoming an expected service,” executive chairman Bane Hunter said at the time.

A significant portion of the $24 million came from new investors in the USA, including “hedge funds, family offices and high net worth individuals”, although none were named.

The new money would be used to grow “aggressively” into the Americas, Europe and some Asian markets, as well as scale to meet the needs of large multinational customers.

GetSwift provides software that manages dispatching and delivery services for the “last mile” to the customer’s door. With a slogan of “Dispatch like Uber, track like Dominos, set routes like FedEx”, the startup says it solves four problem areas: visibility, dispatch, routing and tracking.

Last year’s IPO gave BlueChilli a reported $1.2 million exit after its chief executive Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin and Macdonald fell out in a very public spat. Eckersley-Maslin resigned from the GetSwift board amid accusations that a missed meeting caused the company’s IPO to be delayed by 28 days.

Macdonald, who played 124 AFL games before retiring in 2013, dipped his toes into the startup world with beer delivery service Liquorun.

The logistics system from that venture was commoditised into GetSwift, for which he moved to New York before moving the headquarters to Melbourne last year in anticipation of a public listing.

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