LoopUp, a UK start-up which calls Shoreditch home, although it also has offices in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Hong Kong, is set to announce that it is launching an IPO, according to various sources.
The Financial Times reported earlier today that the company, which provides software for conference calls and online meetings, wants to raise £9m via the flotation on London’s junior Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which would give it a valuation of between £40-45m.
The funds are set to be spent on developing the core software product and increase spending on marketing and sales.
The company says it will appoint Lady Barbara Judge, the chairman of the Institute of Directors as its chairman once it has been admitted to the stock exchange.
LoopUp has more than 2,000 customers, including Travelex, Subaru, and Permira, and takes more than 45% of its revenue from the US, with 41% coming from the UK.
Their software allows conference call participants to see who is on a call, and call leaders to mute participants and cancel out background noise, and will automatically ring your telephone when a conference is about to start.
The company’s pay-as-you-go, as opposed to subscription model, saw revenues increase by 36% from the previous year in 2015, to £10.1m. LoopUp has described the flotation as an opportunity to exploit a “large, dissatisfied” market for conference call systems, reports PR Week.
PR Week also point out that the first successful post-Brexit flotation in London was completed by an Italian PR Agency, SEC, on 26th July.
Steve Flavell and Michael Hughes are co-CEOs of LoopUp, with Flavell being based in London whilst Hughes oversees group product development and network operations worldwide, out of San Francisco.
The Group say that the outsourced conferencing services market, forecast to be worth £4.7bn in 2015, is set to grow to £5.1bn by 2018, according to estimates, and that unsatisfactory calls resulting from poor technology or services cost up to $14 billion worth of wasted staff time in the UK and US alone.
LoopUp say that they have had 16 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and that revenue from the group’s established user-base is net growing at a rate of 6.7% per annum, 2.7 points above the SaaS benchmark.
LoopUp was also a member of Tech City’s “Future Fifty”, a list of the “fastest growing and most disruptive companies throughout the UK.” LoopUp joins the likes of JustEat, and Zoopla who have both IPO’d, and Skyscanner, which raised a whopping £125m funding round earlier this year.
Future Fifty companies have raised a total of £1.3 billion pounds via 39 funding rounds, with 4 IPOs, and 9 acquisitions made; 19,000 staff are employed by Future Fifty companies, its website says. Current members include HouseTrip, Graze, Deliveroo and Moo.
“The IPO will provide us with the right capital structure and funds to drive our business forward and introduce the benefits of LoopUp to new customers around the world”, says Steve Flavell in the admission document.
It was reported that LoopUp, who are recipients of a Frost and Sullivan Award for “European Conferencing Services Price / Performance Value Leadership Award, had initially stepped back from the idea of floating after the Brexit vote but in the end, felt it was the right time to go ahead. Panmure Gordon will advise on the flotation.
So few tech companies IPO with any great fanfare that it will be interesting how floating and raising £9m for expansion and product development compares with the venture capital approach. Will there be less room for experimentation with shareholders to appease, or perhaps a more direct approach?