Online marketplace Fruugo to list on stock exchange
UK-based online specialist Fruugo, which owns and operates a high-growth and profitable global cross-border marketplace, is planning to list its shares on the ‘junior’ London market AIM. That’s the same market that hosts the shares of e-tail powerhouses ASOS and Boohoo Group.
A principal objective of the IPO is to “raise the funding and profile of the company to fuel a significant increase in the rate of growth of new retailers using Fruugo”.
Currently selling a wide range of categories, including clothing, accessories and beauty, the firm’s cross-currency and multi-lingual proprietary technology enables shoppers globally to buy products from retailers all around the world.
It operates as a channel for retailers of all sizes to reach consumers in up to 42 countries and has around 1,400 retailers on its platform.
The company will spend the IPO proceeds mainly on increasing the speed and automation of onboarding thousands of additional online retailers onto its platform, together with continued investment in the user experience for shoppers and CRM initiatives to increase operating performance.
It said that the investment will “remove a historical constraint to growth in retailer numbers and help deliver additional benefits through operational leverage”.
The move comes as cross-border e-commerce expands globally and gives country-specific retailers with an existing online operation the opportunity “to cost-effectively reach international audiences”.
The company claims that its tech and its data science and AI functionality enable it to be profitable from a shopper's first order.
The business itself is already profitable on an EBITDA basis, “despite only limited investment from private funders” and it’s clearly hoping for further profitable growth with the funds from this IPO.
The placing will comprise a combination of newly issued shares and existing shares with admission to AIM expected early next month.
Dominic Allonby, Executive Chairman and co-founder, said: “Fruugo has delivered very strong growth and strategic progress in recent years and we are delighted to announce our intention to float, signifying an exciting new chapter in the group's long-term development. Fruugo's mission is simple: to enable shoppers everywhere to buy from retailers anywhere, and to enable retailers to access international demand for their products that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. [Its] proprietary technology and SEO expertise, in combination with the huge range of product categories available through its platform, means that [it] is able to continually tap into worldwide consumer demand for sought after products and categories. The business is fast-growing, asset-light, and built for scale.”
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