SLI looks to raise $27m in IPO, Trade Me founder invests another $1 million

SLI looks to raise $27m in IPO, Trade Me founder invests another $1 million

Christchurch-based SLI Systems looks set to raise $27 million when the software company lists on the New Zealand Stock Exchange later this month.

The 100-strong company sells cloud-based search engine software for online retailers. The majority of its customers are overseas, including Harrods, Interflora and Hard Rock Cafe. In New Zealand Mitre 10 and The Warehouse use SLI's technology. SLI reported $17 million in revenue last year, up by $7 million from 2010.

(Shaun Ryan, SLI chief executive and co-founder)

The May 31st float will likely make SLI the fourth company to list on the NZX this year, behind fellow techies Snakk Media, the government's Mighty River Power sale and the Mad Butcher.

SLI's shares will be offered at $1.50 per and the book building process has already brought with it nine institutional investors.

In the company's prospectus released to the Companies Office, SLI says Trade Me founder Sam Morgan is investing a further $1 million under the shares offer in addition to the million he put into the company late last year.

“Online sales are such an important segment for all retailers now and SLI simply helps customers find things and buy them more easily,” he says.

SLI chief executive and co-founder Shaun Ryan says he approached Morgan for investment several times over five or six years before his persistence paid off in December.

Ryan says SLI's growth is focused on expansion into Asia and South America, particularly in Japan and Brazil's emerging online retail economy. SLI currently services Brazil through a sales person in the US, it will use the capital from its upcoming float to hire three staff members to work from Brazil by mid-2014.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).