Australian Fintech Firm Weighs SPAC and Other Options to Expand
Australian fintech firm Finder, which helps clients invest and save money, is working with an adviser on strategic options, including a sale to a blank-check company, as it seeks to expand its global footprint.
Co-founder Fred Schebesta said the company, which runs a consumer comparison website and offers cryptocurrency trading, is in talks with a number of institutional and high net worth investors about buying into the business. Options include bringing in new investors to help fund an expansion in South East Asia and the U.S. ahead of a potential listing, either via an initial public offering or a deal with a special purpose acquisition company.
Schebesta said the company received strong inbound interest from a range of investors and has appointed advisory firm Highbury Partnership to decide on which option to take as soon as July.
“There’s a lot of interest definitely from global funds, IPO funds and private investors as well, with high net worth individuals coming out of the woodwork looking for yield,” Schebesta said in an interview. Interest from blank check companies is “pretty hot as well,” he said. “A lot of American SPACs are looking for South East Asia exposure and that’s another reason why we look interesting.”
Schebesta likened Finder to MoneyLion, a mobile banking, lending and investment platform, which announced a merger with Fusion Acquisition Corp., a blank-check company earlier this year in a deal that valued debt and equity at about $2.4 billion. The Finder co-founder declined to elaborate on the valuation of his firm.
Finder would join less than a handful of Australian companies considering SPAC listings or IPOs to fuel growth as technology-linked companies gain in popularity. In South East Asia, Indonesia’s Tiket.com Chief Executive Officer George Hendrata has said his online travel startup is considering going public through a merger with a SPAC, while Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li and tech mogul Peter Thiel have set up their third SPAC focusing on targets in Southeast Asia, Bridgetown 3 Holdings, which filed this month for a $260 million IPO.
Based in Sydney, Finder allows its 2 million unique monthly visitors to compare prices on everything from designer fashion and appliances to phone bills, credit cards and home loans. The company has 500 employees across six cities globally and plans to hire 200 more in the next 12 months. Schebesta founded the business with his high school friend Frank Restuccia in 2006.
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