Former AFL player's startup floats on ASX after spat with BlueChilli and cancelled reverse listing

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 12: Joel MacDonald of the Lions takes the ball in front of James Hird of the Bombers during the round twelve AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at the Telstra Dome on June 12, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

A former AFL player’s startup has floated on the Australian Securities Exchange today, after a reverse listing fell through earlier this year.

Retired Brisbane and Melbourne player Joel Macdonald has raised $5 million at 20 cents a share through the IPO for his logistics software company GetSwift, giving it a market capitalisation of $25 million.

The shares hit a high of 32 cents before settling at 29 cents, a premium of 45%.

Business Insider can reveal that GetSwift attempted to reverse list on the ASX in April through mining company Global Geoscience. The transaction had gone as far as being announced to the market and the presentation of an analyst briefing before the deal was cancelled in May.

GetSwift executive chairman Bane Hunter said the reverse listing was not carried through as the company decided to seek fresh investors.

“After consideration and seeing the growth trajectory of the business and our traction abroad, we thought this would be a more compelling story for a new round of investors as opposed to those already invested in Global Geosciences,” he told Business Insider.

“It turned out to be a good decision as we closed our roadshow early and were four times oversubscribed.”

Business Insider has contacted Global Geoscience for comment.

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

Last year, under its previous name Swift, the startup made headlines for signing a big-name US customer, believed to be grocery industry challenger Instacart. The IPO prospectus claims the platform is currently used by more than 200 customers in more than 50 countries across more than 30 verticals.

However, the prospectus also reveals the revenue for 2015-16 financial year only added up to $107,554 and that the company copped a $462,536 net loss.

The IPO has given early backer BlueChilli a reported $1.2 million exit after its CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin and Macdonald fell out in a very public spat earlier this year. 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 told SMH at the time Eckersley-Maslin was “overcommitted” and that it was “disappointing” that GetSwift “didn’t see that same level of assistance, commitment and support from Sebastien [compared to other BlueChilli staff]”.

Before that episode, Macdonald had defended BlueChilli against detractors. Eckersley-Maslin defended his and BlueChilli’s contribution to GetSwift in comments to the AFR this morning.

“We created his brand, raised his funds, built his product, built his team and supported his technology. Our equity stake of 25 per cent was commensurate with this significant effort and investment of our team, working with Joel as a sole founder after he parted ways with his co-founders,” he told the AFR.

“I ended my relationship with GetSwift when its vision, values and ethics no longer aligned with mine.”

Macdonald, who played a total of 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 this year in anticipation of a public listing.

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