Shares in the Australian end-to-end rental operator Rent.com.au have soared today on the back of news that noted tech investor Bevan Slattery is to invest some A$2 million in the company to help fund development. Shares rose from $0.04 on Friday to $0.13 today (Tuesday) on the news that the influential tech investor whose previous investments include PIPE Networks Limited (formerly ASX:PWK), NEXTDC Limited (ASX:NXT), Superloop Limited (ASX:SLC) and Megaport Limited (ASX:MP1) as well as NEXTDC spin-out, Asia Pacific Data Centre Trust (ASX:AJD) had come on board. In a statement released to the ASX this morning, Slattery was quoted as saying:
“I love disruptive platforms that have the ability to scale and Rent.com.au has great potential to achieve that goal. I look forward to supporting the Board and management team and am excited to be backing another innovative Australian technology platform.”
News of the investment comes hot on the heels of last Friday's financial report which showed that the company had achieved a positive EBITDA margin for its main portal business for the second straight quarter and was on track to launch its much-heralded end-to-end RentPay product.
Slattery's investment was part of a 55 million share placement by Rent.com.au which raised $2.75 million at $0.05 per share. According to comments from Rent.com.au CEO Greg Bader the capital raised seems likely to be used to market the imminent launch of RentPay:
“Bevan has a well-earned reputation for innovation and disruption across the technology sector and having Bevan come on board as a major shareholder is fantastic. I am excited that Bevan shares our vision for the platform and this additional investment will allow us to maximise the potential of our upcoming RentPay launch and provide additional working capital for marketing and product development.”
Rent.com.au is one of several companies around the world to have either pivoted from a straight classifieds business to a more end-to-end solution or to have started a company specifically to serve home-hunters from search to signing.