In early trade, the mobile-first online wagering provider’s shares jumped 84% to a high of $2.10.
The BlueBet IPO
BlueBet shares commenced trading on the ASX this morning after successfully completing an $80 million IPO comprising 70.2 million shares at $1.14 per share. This gave the company a market capitalisation of $228.1 million upon listing.
The company raised $44.7 million in primary IPO proceeds, after payment of the costs of the offer.
The bulk of the funds raised through the IPO will be used to expand in Australia and for a push into the US, where it plans to explore deals with casinos, sporting organisations, and media groups to run their sports books in joint ventures. It notes that agreements in three states – Iowa, Virginia and Colorado – are well advanced.
Finally, some of the funds will be used for technology and platform development, to augment its existing market tested, custom-built technology suite.
The BlueBet business
BlueBet is led by Chief Executive Officer, Bill Richmond, and Executive Chairman (and former Sportingbet CEO), Michael Sullivan.
Like market darling Pointsbet Holdings Ltd (ASX:PBH), BlueBet allows users to bet on all Australian and international racing and sports through its website or app. Over the last year, it has doubled its customer numbers to ~90,000 and believes it is well positioned to substantially grow its current ~1.2% share of the market in Australia.
In 2020 the company’s wagering turnover increased 63% to $266.3 million. This is forecast to grow a further 47% to $390.3 million in 2021. And unlike many of its rivals, BlueBet is profitable.
BlueBet’s Chief Executive Officer, Bill Richmond, commented: “BlueBet has experienced strong growth since the business was established in 2015 and with the benefit of the primary IPO proceeds, BlueBet is well-positioned to capitalise on the significant opportunities available to it. BlueBet has experienced strong recent trading performance, leading to FY21 Turnover ($344.7 million) and Active Customers (32,472), both greater than the level forecast in the Prospectus.”
“Once in a lifetime opportunity”
Mr Richmond spoke to The Motley Fool about the company’s future and particularly its opportunity in the massive US market.
He said: “Breaking into the US is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s not often you come across an industry where the US is not first in both people and technology but it’s the case with sports betting because it’s been underground until recently.”
“We have the technology and the expertise to take advantage of this greenfield prospect. With tremendous investor support we have raised a very substantial amount of growth capital to attack the emerging US market, which according to some estimates could be orders or magnitude larger than the Aussie market. We feel we are on the cusp of something very big here,” he added.