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Booktopia looks to crowdfund $10m

Online retailer Booktopia is seeking up to $10 million in equity to help expand warehouse automation, buy more stock and fund the liquidity of the business.

Booktopia has engaged crowdfunding platform Equitise to help raise between $3 million and $10 million, making it the largest crowdfunded capital raise facilitated through Equitise.

The retailer is offering up 8.1 percent of the business for investment at $1 per share, with a minimum investment of $250. It is seeking up to $5 million for increased automation, up to $3 million to increase its stock holdings, and up to $1.7 million in working capital, according to an offer document Booktopia lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

According to the document, Booktopia generated $113.4 million in revenue in the 2017-18 financial year, up from $99.8 million the previous year, and earned $1.9 million in profit. At the end of the 2017-18 financial year, the company had assets worth $23 million and liabilities totalling $26.3 million.

‘We have always said that our customers have been our investors because they bought books from us and we used those funds to re-invest in the business to grow further. It is exciting we can offer our customers the opportunity to actually own a piece of our future,’ said Booktopia CEO Tony Nash.

The crowdfunding attempt—which is the first time Booktopia has opened itself up to external investors in its nearly 15-year history—comes two years after the retailer shelved plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, due to ‘cooling market sentiment towards retailers’ from institutional investors.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Booktopia expanded its distribution and wholesale services business, Booktopia Publisher Services, earlier this year.

 

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