As of yesterday, Australia has another tech role model.
It may not be as iconic as Atlassian or as recognizable as Bigcommerce, but as of now you should be paying attention to OzForex, an online foreign exchange service that on Friday, Australia time, raised US$416 million in an initial public offering. On its first day of trading, shares in the company jumped 30 percent, from $2 to $2.59.
While it was founded in 1998, OzForex held off on raising venture money for a long time. In fact, just last year it raised $70 million in equity funding from The Carlyle Group and Accel Partners (an investor in PandoDaily), which can count this as another win following eBay’s $800 million acquisition of Braintree, another of its portfolio companies, last month. The Macquarie Group was another major investor in OzForex.
OzForex is Australia’s third-biggest IPO in three years, and the largest tech IPO in the same period, according to Bloomberg. For the year ended March 31, it posted net earnings of US$16.2 million and net operating income of $49.3 million. For the fiscal year of 2013, it made $8.6 billion worth of transactions, projecting a net profit of $17.6 million dollar for the year through March 2014.
The day’s trading puts the company’s market cap somewhere in the region of $560 million. Founder Matthew Gilmour will pocket about $60 million from the sale, as will early investor Gary Lord.
The successful outing is expected to stoke confidence among Australian companies eyeing up an IPO. It may not fix the country’s venture capital woes, but it’ll at least give the country’s nascent startup community another success story to point to.