Is the Public Market Fading for Aussie Tech?

21 May 2024
Marcus Ritchie

Aussie Tech & Public Markets: A Shift in Focus?

A recent article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) sparked discussions on the challenges faced by ASX hopefuls in the tech sector (source: AFR article about ASX tech listings 5th May 2024). The data revealed a trend: tech companies are increasingly opting for private markets over public listings. This begs the crucial question for Australian tech companies: should they prioritize private capital over the public market?

ASX Landscape for Tech IPOs: A Changing Course

The AFR data highlights a concerning shift: tech delistings are outpacing new listings on the ASX. Over the past five years, a net 19 tech firms have delisted, representing a combined market value exceeding $32 billion. This trend coincides with a significant decline in IPO activity. Since interest rates began rising, only a meagre $600 million has been raised through tech floats in the past two years, compared to the $17.9 billion raised between 2019-2021.

The Enticement of Private Capital

Several factors contribute to the growing appeal of private markets for Aussie tech companies:

  • Potentially Higher Valuations: Private investors, especially venture capitalists, might offer more attractive valuations for high-growth tech companies compared to the public market, particularly during economic uncertainty.
  • Operational Flexibility: Private companies experience less regulatory scrutiny and reporting requirements compared to public companies. This allows for greater agility in decision-making and strategic execution.
  • Access to Capital: Private equity firms and venture capitalists can provide substantial funding for growth without diluting ownership through public offerings. This empowers companies to scale aggressively without sacrificing control.

FloatX’s View: Navigating a Two-Sided Coin

While the data suggests a challenging environment for ASX tech IPOs, FloatX believes both public and private markets offer distinct advantages:

Public Market Benefits: A successful public listing grants a company access to a wider pool of investors, including retail participants. This can be crucial for future fundraising initiatives. Additionally, a strong public market presence can enhance a company’s brand image and establish credibility among potential customers and partners (if the company is performing well).

Private Market Advantages: Private markets provide nurturing environments for early-stage companies, offering access to capital and guidance from experienced investors. The flexibility and freedom from public scrutiny can also be advantageous for companies still establishing their foundation.

Making an Informed Choice: A Strategic Decision

The ideal exit strategy hinges on a company’s specific circumstances and growth trajectory. Here are some key considerations:

  • Growth Stage: Companies in the early stages of development might benefit from the nurturing environment and access to capital offered by private markets.
  • Funding Needs: If a company requires significant funding for rapid scaling, private equity or venture capital might be the most viable option.
  • Long-Term Goals: Companies seeking to build a lasting public profile and access to broader liquidity pools may find the public market more attractive in the long run.

FloatX: Your Guide Through the Exit Maze

At FloatX, we understand the complexities of navigating the evolving exit landscape. We offer a comprehensive suite of services to guide Australian tech companies through the entire process, from pre-IPO planning to public listing or strategic sale.

Contact us today for a free consultation and explore how FloatX can help your company make a well-informed decision about its future. Remember, a successful exit strategy is all about choosing the path that best fuels your company’s growth and long-term vision, whether that path leads to the public market or flourishes in the private sphere.

Get early access

By providing your email, you agree that FloatX may contact you as provided by the FloatX Privacy Policy