Stephen Dash likes to go down the road less traveled. As an Australian investment banker turned entrepreneur he saw a market opportunity in the USA and he jumped on it despite never having lived or worked in this country. He founded Credible in 2012 as an online marketplace for student loans. You can read a more complete version of this founding story in my podcast with Stephen from about a year ago.
He has built Credible into one of the leading online marketplaces for consumer finance in the USA. Before this IPO, which raised US$50 million, they had raised $23 million in two funding rounds from the likes of some leading Australian and Hong Kong based investors. Ron Suber, the mayor or godfather of fintech, is Chairman of Credible and joined Stephen on their recent investment road show through South-East Asia.
Now, the Credible story is going full circle. Today, on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Credible is going public, raising US$50 million at a US$240M valuation in what will be the largest tech IPO in Australia this year. I caught up with Stephen Dash earlier this week to talk about this exciting development for Credible.
Australia is Looking to Attract Growth-Stage Tech Companies
The first question I asked him was why? Why go public now and why do it in Australia? He said for both questions there were many good reasons. He had decided to do another funding round and started exploring the private markets as the logical option. The reality is that when raising money privately the investment often comes with a lot of restrictions. And once you are a public company you can raise new capital quite quickly sometimes even within a week.