US-based home relocation technology startup Updater’s latest acquisition and financing has propelled the company to a implied valuation of $US756 million ($1.1 billion).
Updater told shareholders on Thursday it had acquired its largest commercial partner, US home subscription commerce platform Bridgewater for $US75 million.
Updater controversially delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange last year to seek a better valuation in private markets in the United States.
A large number of Australian investors including Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investments and the Lowy family retained their shares in Updater with less than 30 per cent of shareholders taking part in Updater’s share buyback offer.
In a confidential letter to shareholders, Updater said it secured total financing of $US95 million to fund the Bridgewater acquisition and $US20 million in additional growth capital led by Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment fund of the National Association of Realtors.
The convertible note on which the funding is based gives Updater an implied valuation of around $US756 million.
We are building technology which we think will be transformative to the moving experience.David Greenberg
Updater founder and chief executive David Greenberg said the company had been working with Bridgewater for the past two years to help its users seamlessly purchase various home subscription products, particularly internet and cable packages.
“We made the strategic decision it was a better acceleration plan to acquire them than to build a commerce engine from scratch,” he said.
Mr Greenberg he was “very happy” with the decision to delist Updater from the ASX and there were advantages to operating as a private company.
“We were entering into an innovation period looking to accelerate our growth and it was advantageous not to have the same disclosure obligations when developing next generation products and working on certain material confidential deals,” he said.
“There is also less burden in terms of investor relations.”
Mr Greenberg said one of the most compelling reasons for delisting was there were opportunities in the United States only available to Updater as a private company.
“Those opportunities were not going to be available to us as an ASX-listed company,” he said. “Our long term plan had never been to just be an ASX-listed company. We had always from the beginning been telling people we planned to return to the US markets. Our shareholders that knew us well were not that surprised.”
In its letter to shareholders Updater said it had achieved total transaction value of $US329 million to the third quarter of 2019. The company recorded revenue of $US20 million for 2018.
The company expects to touch nearly 50 per cent of all household moves in the United States in 2020.
Mr Greenberg said Updater’s soaring valuation was a not a goal for the company.
“Our goal was never to emerge as a unicorn company or have a certain valuation,” he said.
“Our goal is to win the US market, we want to emerge as the national leader in the US for relocation technology. We are building technology which we think will be transformative to the moving experience.”
Source: Thanks smh.com