Bath-based analytics firm Actual Experience is set to become one of the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) first tech listings when it goes public on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at the end of the month.
The announcement comes just a week after the LSE said that UK tech companies can raise just as much money in London as they can in New York, despite some experts claiming firms can raise 300-500 percent more on overseas markets like Nasdaq.
“I think the AIM market in London is particularly good for companies of our size,” said Actual Experience CEO Dave Page. “As a British business with a lot of global customers, the AIM market seemed the obvious choice for us.
“We’re a long way through the process,” Page told Techworld. “The date is yet to be nailed completely but it should be the end of January or early February.”
The company, founded in 2009, has already acquired blue-chip customers including Cisco, Standard Bank, the Falkland Islands Government, Deutsche Post DHL, Verizon, Conde Nast, Accenture, ITV and Charles Stanley.
The initial public offering (IPO) is set to value the company at £17 million and comes after the company was backed by global investors Henderson to the tune of £4 million last November.
"The fundraising is about beefing up the balance sheets so we can support some of the customers that we’re acquiring at the moment," said Page. "For a tiny little British start-up they’re hard to deal with. We’ve got some sensational customers on board but they are demanding and they are exhausting so the increase in the balance sheet is about recruiting people in on the front end and the back end to really develop the opportunities we’ve got with these big customers."
Page revealed that he expects to double the size of his 17-strong workforce over the next year.
Henderson’s UK & Irish fund director, Rob Giles, said: “We haven’t come across such an exciting technology company with truly global potential for many years. We believe this has the potential to be the best float of 2014.”
The company also caught the eye of early investors IP Group, who now owns a 30 percent stake in the business.
Mark Reilly, head of physical sciences at IP Group, said: “We see a lot of exciting new inventions at IP Group - several every week – but Actual Experience has one of the most profound and broadly applicable products I have seen. Its value is ubiquitous. There are very few individuals or businesses of any size in the modern world that could not yield great benefit from the Actual Experience product.”
An LSE spokesperson said there are a couple of other tech IPOs in the pipeline for January in addition to that of Actual Experience.