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US investment takes Australian Small Scale Offerings Board international

Monday, 1 July 2013 | By Gavin Lower

Equity-raising platform for small to medium businesses, the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board, is set to expand overseas by licensing its platform after US investors injected $786,000 and took a 20.6% stake in the firm.


“Having raised more than $130 million in equity capital for nearly 200 SMEs across Australia over the past seven years, ASSOB has been recognised internationally as the most successful platform for raising equity capital for SMEs,” ASSOB chief executive Paul Niederer says in a statement.


The statement says the US investors plan to take up the first licence and ASSOB shareholders have approved the formation of a joint venture with them. The platform is set to expand to the Americas, Asia and Europe.


Niederer told StartupSmart it had taken several months for the deal to be done but declined to name the US investors.


ASSOB’s website says it is an interactive platform that connects quality private, unlisted and pre-initial public offer companies with investors and supporters of a company.


Founder and chairman Tony Puls says in the statement the investment was recognition of the work and novel technology that had gone into making it a significant source of equity for Australian SMEs.


“ASSOB has consistently helped numerous SMEs to fulfil their dreams to grow and expand," he says.


"More than 180 companies have successfully raised capital via our website. The additional equity infusion and the joint licensing arrangement will allow us to increase our activity locally and to take a proven capital-raising platform to SMEs around the world.”


Australian ventures that have raised equity through ASSOB include IT start-up Opmantek and online investor portfolio comparison tool SelfWealth.


ASSOB shareholders voted to allow the US investors to exercise options in the future to increase their shareholding up to 31% for a further $1.065 million.