Ebola-mapping Australian startup with $66,000 revenue is aiming for an $8 million IPO

Takor’s Amir Farhand. (Source: supplied)

A Perth startup that bills itself as “Google Earth on steroids” is aiming to raise $8 million as it launches an initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Takor Group, established in 2009, is the creator of a subscription-based Android mobile app called Mappt – a geographic information system (GIS) that’s been downloaded more than 16,000 times, with big names such as BHP Billiton, Samsung Construction & Trading, American Geosciences, World Wildlife Foundation and the US military among its customers.

In 2014, Takor’s image classification algorithms were commissioned to assist in the search of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, while Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) utilised its technology to map the ebola outbreak in Africa.

Led by Peloton Capital, the IPO is offering 30 million shares at 20 cents each for a total of $6 million, with an oversubscription capability of a further 10 million shares.

“Much of the proceeds from the IPO will go straight into distribution systems and sales teams for the US, Asia and Europe,” said Takor chief executive Amir Farhand. “Our aim is to be a market leader in this space within two years.”

The IPO prospectus shows that the company raked in $65,807 of revenue for the financial year ending 30 June 2016. This figure has dropped steadily since the 2013 financial year, when it generated $431,480.

The 2013 financial year was also when Takor made its last profit, clinching $72,969. June 2016 saw the company make an annual loss of more than $741,000.

The startup began in 2009 under the name Scantherma, which “focused on using satellite and radar imagery for mineral and energy exploration”, before pivoting to its current focus in geospatial software.

The prospectus attributed the sharp drop in revenue and profitability to the strategy shift, saying the nature of the business had changed from a consultancy to a tech company – meaning the last three years had been spent developing its GIS software products.

In 2015, Takor last year attempted a $3.5 million reverse listing with Bone Medical, but the deal fell through after disagreement on valuation.

The company would remain in Western Australia, according to Farhand, even after any post-IPO international expansion.

“We are a Perth company and we will remain a Perth company. We have all of our technical staff here and that won’t change,” he said.

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