Freelancer shares soar on debut

Shares in the outsourcing job site surged over 400 per cent in their trading debut.

Invitations to a champagne-fueled party to celebrate Freelancer Ltd’s ASX listing were sent out yesterday.  

The orders of bubbly were appropriate. Freelancer’s shares soared as much as 420 per cent within a minute of their trading debut, making chief executive Matt Barrie a very wealthy man.

At 1204 AEST Freelancer shares were trading at $2.50, after rising as high as $2.60, compared with an initial public offering price of 50 cents.

Just 6.9 per cent of Freelancer’s shares were sold in the IPO and only 11.5 per cent of the company’s stock is freely traded on the ASX.

Matt Barrie’s 46 per cent stake in the world’s biggest job outsourcing website is worth $501 million. The company’s market value has surged to $1.04 billion.

Barrie and his fellow company directors hold 87 per cent of the shares in Freelancer and have pledged not to sell their stock for 12 months.

Investors are betting the demand by people for work through the internet will increase.

Freelancer’s revenue is expected to grow 73 per cent this year to $18.3 million. Freelancer has no net debt and is profitable.

The world has 7.1 billion people but only 2.7 billion are connected to the internet, according to Freelancer’s prospectus. The company, founded in 2009, has more than nine million users from 247 countries, regions and territories.

More than 600 job categories are on the Freelancer site including website design, mobile applications and computing and media and architecture. 

KTM Capital Ltd was the IPO’s underwriter and Wilson Mangioni Ltd were the company’s legal advisors.     

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