Snakk takes bite into stock exchange, first to list in 2013

Snakk takes bite into stock exchange, first to list in 2013

Snakk becomes the first company this year to list on the New Zealand stock exchange today, with its addition to the New Zealand Alternative Exchange (NZAX).

The mobile media and advertising startup celebrated the listing at an event attended by Snakk founders, staff, NZX workers and a surprise visit via pre-recorded video from entrepreneur and friend of the company, Sir Richard Branson.

Snakk issued 206 million shares for trade, which at current value puts its market cap at around $24 million.

Today's listing isn't an initial public offering (IPO), instead Snakk is raising capital through a share purchase plan (SPP). Current shareholders (of which there are around 2000) can trade and buy more equity in the company. The SPP is expected to take place in the second quarter of this year.

(Left: Derek Handley, Snakk co-founder and chairman; Right: Tim Bennett, NZX chief executive)

Snakk co-founder Derek Handley has long maintained the need for Kiwi startups to list as a way of securing funding. Tim Bennett, chief executive of the NZX, says he  shares this view as it brings more fast growth tech companies to the NZX.

"More entrepreneurs need to list on the capital markets to tap into faster growth," he says.

"This year [the NZX] is focused on the government's share offers, but we are also working on an effort to bring small fast growth companies like Snakk to the exchange."

The majority of Snakk's revenue is from Australia, Handley says Snakk may list across the Tasman in the future.

"We haven't ruled it out, but we want to start here first," he says.

Handley says the expected influx of capital will go towards hiring more people to Snakk's 16-strong team, the majority of which will be sales related.

Snakk has brought onto its board two new members to accompany Handley. Tim Alpe, co-founder of Jucy rentals and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010; and Michelle Kong, general manager of market strategy at Telecom.