Sezzle Lists on Australian Stock Exchange
(Photo from Sezzle's Twitter account)

Sezzle Lists on Australian Stock Exchange

The Minneapolis-based payment solutions company has chosen to go public in Australia because it’s “years ahead” of the U.S. in terms of payment technologies.

Minneapolis-based alternative payments company Sezzle has gone public in Australia.

After netting $30 million from its initial public offering in Australia, the company has now been listed on the country’s stock exchange. Sezzle’s stock reportedly grew 80 percent following the IPO, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The company’s “buy-now, pay-later platform” allows shoppers to divide retail purchases into interest-free payments over six weeks.

In a Tuesday morning phone interview, Sezzle chief operating officer Paul Paradis said the company has chosen to launch an IPO in Australia because the country is “about five years ahead” of the United States in terms of payment technology. Installment-based payment platforms are already a dominant method of payment in Australia, he said.

In his view, Sezzle meets investors’ growing demand for new payment technologies.

“You could say there’s almost an industry cluster that’s starting to develop there, with several similar companies already being publicly listed there,” Paradis said. “There was investor understanding of the product. There was understanding of just how disruptive of a product this can be in retail payments.”

Paradis said the company aims to use proceeds from the IPO to grow it sales and marketing function. The firm also will use the funds to bring more merchants under its umbrella.

As of June, Sezzle has started working with more than 5,000 merchants, marking a sharp uptick from just 815 in the same month last year. The number of customers using Sezzle has skyrocketed, too: In June 2018, the company counted just over 26,000 customers. Last month, Sezzle reported nearly 430,000 customers.

The company still hasn’t quite turned a profit, though. Since its inception in 2016, Sezzle has reported cumulative losses of about $6.5 million, which the company says is in line with “many early-stage companies.”

Investors, evidently, remain hopeful for future profits.

“What we’re doing is growing to capture more market share,” Paradis said. “We’ll continue to have that mindset as we go forward until we see that we need to shift and move toward profitability over growth.”

In Australia, Sezzle wades into a new market dominated by multibillion-dollar competitors Afterpay Touch and Zip.

But Paradis said he doesn’t anticipate outpacing the supply capital in Australia “any time soon.”

“We’re considered a small cap stock in Australia,” he said. “They have many, many large companies listed there, so, we think there will be plenty of support for us in the near- to mid-term, and we have no plans to list anywhere else.”

The IPO comes shortly after Sezzle expanded its reach into Canada. Going forward, the company aims to expand its geographic even more, Paradis said. In its prospectus document, Sezzle said its platform was available in a dozen countries as of March.

In 2016, Sezzle was a high-tech finalist in the Minnesota Cup competition.