Online retailing pioneer Ruslan Kogan has just landed the big one.
He has pocketed $7.5 million cash from the ASX listing of the business he built over the last 10 years, Kogan.com.
The 33-year-old and his business partner David Shafer, the CFO, retain almost 70% of the company between them after raising $50 million with shares at $1.80 each.
Of that, $15 million will go to Kogan and Shafer, shared equally, for selling down a small part of their ownership.
The rest will be used on expanding the business.
The shares Kogan retains are worth around $85 million today and he still has just over half the company, about 50.5%. Before the IPO he owned 70% of the business.
Kogan.com has not, until now, taken equity partners. The business has grown organically, mostly funded from cash flow and a small amount of debt.
That means Kogan’s personal stake in the company, unlike many startups which undergo several rounds of funding from private equity or big investors, hasn’t been diluted.
Asked what he would do with his cash from the float, Kogan told Business Insider: “In my downtime I love going fishing. Before this I was able to afford whatever fishing rod’s I wanted and after this I will be able to afford whatever fishing roads I want.”
Calculating his net worth isn’t something he puts much effort into.
“All of that stuff is insignificant in terms of the pride I have when I go to our website and I look at what I’ve built and the amazing people I get to work with,” he says.
“That’s the stuff which makes me jump out of bed in the morning.”
A key target for the capital being applied to the business is the company’s private label brands.
Kogan started the company in 2006 with two private label LCD televisions. Now there are about 28,000 products for sale.
Revenue is forecast at $241.2 million and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at $6.9 million for the 2017 financial year.
With the cash from the float he wants to expand, to create more private labels brands to add to the 13 he already has.
“Private label is something we started with,” Kogan says.
“You’ll see now that a lot of retailers will have a private label here and there,” he says. “It’s in our DNA, it’s what we do, it’s what we started with, it’s a pillar our our business.”
According to the prospectus: “There is significant opportunity for us to accelerate growth by expanding the products available within those brands.”
In the meantime, Ruslan is thinking ahead to the next fishing trip.
“We spend so much time in front of a computer, any time I get to chuck a line in I really appreciate,” he says.