An Australian online share registry is raising $2 million as it heads towards an IPO

The Australian Securities Exchange. Photo: Sergio Dionisio/ Getty

Online share registry startup Registry Direct is working towards its own ASX listing in the hunt for $8 million of new capital.

The company, which launched in 2014 and produces self-service cloud software that allows CEOs and company secretaries to communicate directly to shareholders, already counts automated investment app startup Acorns, the US Nasdaq exchange and pharmaceutical giant Merck among its customers.

A pre-IPO capital raising of $2 million is under way, with a further $6 million to potentially come in via an float on the ASX, planned for the September quarter.

Former UBS and Citigroup banker and now Registry Direct managing director and co-founder Steuart Roe said that the IPO funds would be used to expand its head count and improve its products.

“Registry Direct has grown steadily since starting. Undertaking an IPO will open our business up to a wider audience and allow us to accelerate our growth.”

In an investor presentation, the startup stated that actual average fees per month are currently add up to more than $1,000 per customer. Revenue has grown strongly since 2013, hitting $574,400 for the 2016 financial year. However, the startup’s cash flow was in the red by more than a $1 million during the year.

Roe said that the platform is ideal for unlisted companies that have manual processes to maintain share registers.

“Most are running their share register via a spreadsheet. Announcing meetings, running votes on resolutions, distributing announcements, producing dividend statements and creating ABA files for payments takes a lot of effort. Doing this well is almost impossible without a system like ours,” he said.

Acorns Australia director James Poon said that Registry Direct proved to be good “value” for its circumstances.

“We raised millions of dollars for our business by simply emailing our clients with a link to Registry Direct’s online application form. All it cost us was $100,” he said.

Shareholders can view company announcements, vote on resolutions, download dividend statements and annual reports, and maintain bank account details on Registry Direct.