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Guvera IPO blocked by Australian Securities Exchange


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Streaming service Guvera’s IPO has hit the buffers, after being blocked by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on which it was planning to list.

“ASX must be satisfied that a company is appropriate to be listed on ASX and can exercise its discretion to refuse admission even where a company otherwise satisfies all of the specific conditions for admission,” said a spokesperson for the exchange.

The launch of Guvera’s IPO prospectus last month has been fuelling industry chatter ever since about the company’s financials: it generated AU$1.2m ($0.87m) of revenues in its last full fiscal year, but recorded a net loss of AU$81.1m. In the first six months of its next fiscal year – the latter half of 2015 – it recorded another net loss of AU$55.7m.

These figures, and other aspects of the company’s business, had led a number of Australian tech-industry figures to criticise the IPO.

Now that IPO is being blocked, with Guvera saying in a statement that it is “currently reviewing its legal options and obligations and will be communicating to the market when it is more informed about the position and course of action the company can take”. Founder Claes Loberg has also criticised media coverage of the IPO, on his Twitter account.

“Is #Guvera just a streaming company?. Look deeper. Critical reporting on the idea. The vision. The future commerce model for ads / brands,” he wrote on 16 June. “When did thinking for yourself get replaced with read, believe and cut and paste for fame?… For days I’ve been posting little nuggets of info about #guvera for the press. Not one bite. Just cutting and pasting each other’s articles.”

Although there has been some cutting and pasting in mainstream coverage of Guvera, a number of journalists have been reading the company’s prospectus and analysing its own figures to question the viability of its business.

Guvera now faces a two-pronged challenge: first, to provide more-convincing evidence that its brand-supported music strategy can deliver revenues (and ultimately profitability); and second, to figure out short-term survival if its planned IPO is indeed blocked.

Stuart Dredge

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