IPO in Denmark provides crowdfunding to Conferize
Digital start-up company Conferize exceeds crowdfunding expectations by raising DKK 29 million through an IPO on Nasdaq First North Copenhagen.
1,200 shareholders have now invested in Conferize, giving the company capital for further international development and expansion of their social event platform that is already running in 120 countries. The purpose is to facilitate more valuable and meaningful meetings by integrating all of the people, content and functionality related to events on one platform. Presentations, registration, participants, payment and social interaction in one digital space will facilitate networking and knowledge sharing.
Customer experience as currency
“The essential currency in our context is users reaping the benefits of using our platform,” says CEO and founder Martin Ferro-Thomsen from Conferize. “Having 1,200 personal investors supporting our idea is probably the greatest benefit the IPO has given Conferize. In terms of funding, our minimum target was DKK 20 million, so raising close to DKK 29 million gives us an even better foundation for building out the platform and rethinking the process of organizing events.”
The crowdfunding element and the transparency related to being a publicly listed company are more attractive to Conferize than relying exclusively on venture capital, as the vision of the company is to build a global network of users, event makers and communities. The CEO of Conferize admits that it may be a bit crazy to IPO a company of roughly ten people, but after the process of going public he warmly recommends this to other start-up companies.
IPO serves as crowdfunding
“Conferize is living proof that it is possible to raise capital for growth through an IPO in Denmark and by using Nasdaq First North as a crowdfunding platform. If there is a big gap between the start-up environment and the financial sector, the Conferize case should help to make this gap smaller,” says Director Gert Mortensen from BDO Corporate Finance. He played a key role in the team working with Conferize to get the company listed in the summer of 2017. Other essential advisory services included handling from Nordea, legal advice from Basico, distribution from Nordnet and the issuance performed by VP SECURITIES.
“Obviously, you need to have a compelling story and a strong business plan in order to go public. With more knowledge and experience from actual IPOs, I believe we’ll see a sound increase in the number of growth IPOs in Denmark. The talent and the capital are already there,” says Martin Ferro-Thomsen. He describes the preparation of the IPO as a pretty straightforward process. Nasdaq was helpful, and BDO Corporate Finance had insights and experience to advise all along the road.
“We had a solid and proactive dialogue with VP and the other participants in the IPO process,” says Gert Mortensen. “Even though we have seen few IPOs in the Danish SME arena in the last years, the system is in fine shape and runs smoothly.”
Now publicly traded, Conferize will work with VP INVESTOR SERVICES to utilise the register of shareholders for investor relations going forward. Conferize is traded under the CONFRZ ticker on Nasdaq First North.
Read more about Conferize here.
Read more about BDO Corporate Finance here.