Institutional Investors Have Poured Millions Into Australian Online Directory Hipages

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Leading institutional investors have participated in a $6 million funding of hipages.com.au, a directory platform that allows Australians to find tradespeople.

The site attracts around one million visitors each month. It has a network of over 40,000 contractors who are connected with 500,000 consumer members.

Ellerston Capital, Australian Ethical Investment and KTM Capital invested in the online business, founded in 2004, in a capital raising arranged by Advisory firm Right Click Capital.

The company said blue-chip, institutional investors took most of the book. Co-founder and CEO David Vitek declined to disclose what value the capital injection places on the business, though told Business Insider the new investors would be “minority shareholders.”

Institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals have been increasingly interested in Australian technology businesses, Vitek said.

“There is a lot of excitement right now around the tech space, a lot of companies are looking at the tech space to invest,” he said. “It has been forgotten for many years, possibly because of the mining boom.

Vitek said the investment was a “vote of confidence” and proof the business, whose customers post a job requirement every 64 seconds, had solved a real problem for consumers.

“Hipages is an outstanding company that has reinvented the Yellow Pages into a trusted service network that solves one of the perennial issues for consumers -­‐ finding a good tradie,” said Right Click Capital partner Ari Klinger.

“The significant demand for the deal including from some of Australia’s premier institutional investors is a strong validation of the management team, strategy and investment potential of the business,” Klinger said.

The cash injection will help the business, which has been growing revenue at around 30% each year, to expand, said fellow co-founder and COO Robert Sharon-­‐Zipser.

“Our aim is to be a household name across the 8.3 million homes in Australia,” he said.

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