Australian streaming music service Guvera announced on Wednesday that it plans on raising $80 million AUD ($58 million USD) as part of an initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) next month. The Queensland-based company said in its IPO prospectus that shares will start at $1, with proceeds going towards expansion into emerging markets.
Guvera, which launched in 2010 as an MP3 site, later evolving into a traditional streaming service with both ad-based and premium tiers, raised $100 million last year in pre-IPO funding. According to the prospectus, the company lost $81 million last year and expects losses of $55.7 million in fiscal year 2016. It also "expects operating losses and negative operating cash flow to continue in the future as it continues to increase investment in its businesses."
The company said it hopes to be worth about $588 million when it lists on the ASX in mid-July. Under "key investment highlights," the company claims to have more than 14 million users in the ten countries where it operates, with half of its members located in India alone. (In an interview last October, Chief Executive Darren Herft put user totals at 15 million.) The service is also betting heavily on Indonesia (1.3 million members), Philippines (1.2 million), and Mexico (733,020). Other markets include Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The company is also bullish on it prospects in the crowded United States market, where only 266,000 have joined up so far.
"The US is a market that Guvera is seeking to expand in, due to the rising demand for streaming, high consumption of wifi and broadband and the high rates of smartphone and tablet penetration use," the company said.
Guvera chairman Phil Quartararo said in a message preceding the prospectus that the company would focus on mobile digital advertising going forward. "Guvera’s revenue model replicates that of a major social media platform," he said. "The provision of music is a mass-market service, and I believe Guvera is the best positioned music company to take advantage of this mobile advertising explosion."
Quartararo also said that he believed Guvera would play an important role in reviving the music industry. "When I first heard of the Guvera story, what caught my eye was that it was giving everyone what they wanted — brands received focused advertising, consumers received better access to more music and Guvera pays fees through agreements with music labels and publishers," he said.
Melbourne-based corporate adviser D H Flinders Ltd is managing the offering for Guvera.