· Funding will help ingogo list on ASX and launch payment platform with Xero
· Majority of investment from Australia-based backers
30 September 2014: Australian mobile payment platform and taxi app ingogo today announced an additional $9.1million in a pre-IPO funding round, valuing the business at over $45 million and taking the total capital raised by the company to $16.2 million.
The new investment will allow ingogo to launch a mobile payment platform for VSEs and SMEs in partnership with cloud accounting software Xero, as ingogo expands its services beyond the taxi industry. The funding injection will also help the company prepare for an intended listing on the ASX in the first half of 2015.
Led by UBS and Canaccord Genuity, the funding round brings on-board new investors including Craig Winkler, co-Founder MYOB and a significant investor in Xero, and Chris Lee, co-founder MYOB, Melbourne Family offices, Pitt Capital, John Ho (Janchor Partners an Asian equity focused hedge fund) and a number of Australian and Asian Institutional Funds. The round is also the first deal for VentureCrowd, the equity-based crowd-funding platform powered by Artesian Venture Partners, which is contributing $1.2 million from almost 50 individual investors.
Ingogo launched the world’s first app-based payment platform in October 2013, providing wireless terminals in taxis to process payments from multiple sources including eftpos and credit cards. The new partnership with Xero will allow small business owners, such as tradesmen, direct sales people, and small product enterprises to process payments immediately from customers on site, using Bluetooth technology connecting ingogo’s app to a very small portable payment terminal.
The service, which will have no monthly terminal rental fees, will allow businesses to process new transactions or to take payments from existing invoices, using their phone or tablet. Users will receive next day payment settlements 365 days a year, and be able to streamline their workflow through creating and sending Xero invoices automatically, which dramatically reduces the amount of manual input involved. Essentially Ingogo and Xero have developed the straight-through process for micro transactions, which includes their banking and automatic accounting entries.
Investor Craig Winkler commented: "Payment systems are often complex and expensive. By proving their system in one of the hardest environments around (in taxis), ingogo now have a great offering to make life easier for small-medium business owners. That's worth cheering."
Ingogo also welcomes three new members to its board including:
· Martin Dalgleish as Chairman, existing ingogo investor, held Non-Executive and Alternate Director roles within Australia's leading media and online brands, including PBL Media, FOXTEL, Mediaworks (NZ), Fox Sports, Hoyts, Ticketek, SEEK, Carsales, NineMSN, Betfair, Sky News & iSelect;
· Brad Shofer as Non-Executive Director, existing ingogo investor, co-founder of MYOB and significant shareholder in Xero;
· Naseema Sparks, Non-Executive Director, Chairman of DealsDirect (MNZ Ltd) and deputy chairman of Racing NSW, Non-Executive Director of Melbourne IT, AIG and PMP. Previously Managing Director of M&C Saatchi.
Founder and managing director of ingogo, Hamish Petrie, said: “This funding is a significant step for ingogo, and we are proud to show that funding rounds at this level can be done here in Australia. We are also excited about the appointment of extremely high calibre directors to our board. Both Martin Dalgleish and Brad Shofer are key investors in the ingogo business who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Naseema Sparks’ in-depth marketing and leadership expertise will be also be of huge value.”
“We are now extremely well placed to accelerate our extension of ingogo within and beyond the taxi industry and to apply our innovative payment platform into other verticals – starting with SMEs. We will be making it easier for businesses to not only improve their cash flow, but streamline their processes and simplify their accounting workflow.
“We’ve found a gap in the market. There are business out there who have found it cost prohibitive to run traditional payment terminals, such as trades and other mobile services. But soon, they will be able to benefit by automating their accounting work with our Xero integrated system. It’s an area banks don’t service well.”
Based on the past month’s trading, ingogo is processing an annual equivalent of more than $100million in taxi payments. Mr Petrie said this was around 10% of the incumbent Cabcharge’s payment volume annually.
“We’re taking a decent chunk away from Cabcharge’s payment turnover and are now at least 10% of theirs and growing. We are set to process well in excess of $150million in the next year,” Mr Petrie said.
The beta for the Xero payment integration will be launched by the end of October with a full commercial version set to launch in early 2015.
ingogo is a mobile app which assists customers to easily hail and pay for taxis. It allows passengers to communicate directly with registered taxi drivers in their local area, see when drivers are coming and where they are on a map, with the option to pay for rides using ingogo's safe in-taxi payment terminals or virtual mobile accounts. It currently operates in Sydney and Melbourne.
ingogo also provides a mobile payment platform for taxis to process payments. ingogo is extending its payment platform into other industries beyond taxis, for business owners and SMEs, in October 2014 via a partnership with Xero, the leading cloud accounting platform.