Australian Securities Exchange-listed iSelect has boosted its stake in Malaysia-based financial comparison service iMoney, giving it majority ownership of the company.
In a disclosure to the ASX, the company said it hiked its iMoney stake to 51.5 percent from 23.8 percent by buying US$4.15 million worth of shares from other shareholders. The purchase price equates to a value of “5.9 times iMoney’s FY17 revenue,” it said.
iSelect was the lone investor in iMoney’s US$4 million series B funding round in September 2014. iMoney’s earlier investors include Asia Venture Group, IMJ Investment Partners, 500 Startups, and Jungle Ventures, among others.
iMoney, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, serves as one of Southeast Asia’s largest comparison portals with operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. iMoney compares credit cards, loans, broadband, and insurance products on its website and provides telephone-based advice to consumers. It competes with the likes of CompareAsia Group, Moneysmart, and Jirnexu.
iSelect, which is in the same business in Australia, said it would shell out an additional US$4 million in new capital for iMoney after the close of the acquisition. The deal effectively gives it a foothold in the Southeast Asian market.
“iMoney is entering a particularly exciting growth stage and with the addition of iSelect’s systems, technology, and wider group resources, we are confident our growth trajectory can be further accelerated,” stated co-founder and CEO Lee Ching Wei. Specifically, the duo is aiming to “dramatically improve the monetization rate” of iMoney’s unique visitors.
Here are other iMoney performance metrics:
● Over 1 million sales leads generated annually for providers
● 130 staff across four locations representing 13 nationalities
● Working with over 50 providers in four countries
In the past three years, iMoney saw its revenue climb by an average of over 80 percent per annum. The company is projected to post a loss before interest and tax of US$1.2 million to US$1.7 million next year as it scales to profitability. Based on its current projections, it said it would achieve cash flow breakeven point within the next two to three years.
“iMoney is at an exciting inflection point, with the ability to generate a substantial number of leads,” iSelect managing director and CEO Scott Wilson said. “It operates several product verticals that complement iSelect’s own business model.”
The parties expect the deal to be completed in three months’ time following regulatory approval.
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