Booktopia Announces $10 Million Crowdfunded Capital Raise

Online book retailer, Booktopia, has announced it’s selling up to $10 million worth of shares in the business to everyday Aussies at a rate of $1 per share, with 8.1 percent of the business up for grabs.

According to Booktopia’s CEO, Tony Nash, the company has always viewed its customers as its most important investors, a statement which is more accurate now than ever before.

“We have always said that our customers have been our investors because they bought books from us and we used those funds to re-invest in the business to grow further,” he said. “It is exciting we can offer our customers the opportunity to actually own a piece of our future.”

The local investment opportunity is being managed by investment platform, Equitise, and is reportedly the firm’s largest-ever crowdfunded capital raise. According to a statement released on Wednesday, Booktopia is the biggest business to raise capital in this manner, making the investment venture an Australian first.

“Booktopia is by far one of the most robust and successful self-made businesses I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting,” said Chris Gilbert, the founder of Equitise. “With such a solid roadmap for continued growth and new opportunities in new markets and their recently launched book distribution business, this opportunity to invest, I’m sure, will capture the attention of many savvy investors.”

Research from PwC Australia has revealed that consumer and educational book sales increased from $1.806 to 1.933 billion between 2013 and 2017, resulting in an extra $127 million in revenue over the five year period. Between 2017 and 2022, PwC expects this will increase again to $1.975 billion.

According to Booktopia, a portion of that growth stems from the business’s own boost in online sales.

“Booktopia’s number of website visits has increased approximately 33 percent per annum, from approximately five million in FY2011 to approximately 21 million in FY2018,” Nash said. “Booktopia started on a budget of $10 per day and it took three days to sell the first book,” he continued.

Moving forward, the book retailer is planning to capture a larger market share as consumer shopping habits continue to favour online retailers. The company is confident its quick delivery times, 148,000 plus titles, and strong focus on customer service will help it achieve its growth goals.

In the last decade, Booktopia Group’s revenue has grown at a CAGR of 31.9 percent per year, jumping from $9.4 million in FY2009 to $113.9 million in revenue in FY2018. In the last 12-months alone, the company increased sales from $99.8 million to the current figure of $113.9 million.

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