Airtasker’s ASX debut just made founder Tim Fung $19 million richer

- March 23, 2021 2 MIN READ
Airtasker CEO and founder Tim Fung

Casual jobs marketplace Airtasker made its debut on the ASX today, with the company’s shares rising 62% from their IPO price of $0.65 cents to close Tuesday at $1.05.

Airtasker (ASX:ART) shares jumped nearly 80% in initial trade to be as high as $1.16, before settling around $1 in lunchtime trade.

The jump was good news for Airtasker staff and ‘Taskers’ (people who do jobs posted on the platform), after they took more than $2.5 million worth of the $83.7 million raise, which valued the business at $255 million.

Go going public after nine years was worth the wait for all involved, even if yesterday’s listing was delayed by 24 hours after the ASX failed to lodge paperwork on time for the public listing to proceed.

At opening, Airtasker had around 3,800 retail shareholders alongside local fund managers, with the company saying the IPO was more than five times oversubscribed.

Airtasker said in its statement following the listing that staff already held significant equity through the company’s employee share ownership plan, while current and former Airtasker staff subscribed for over $1.6m in additional shares, with 45% of staff backing the IPO at an average investment of $22,400. Interest from staff was 10 times higher than the company anticipated.

Around 700 “Taskers” invested around $900,000.

But one of the biggest winners from today’s listing was founder and CEO Tim Fung, who launched Airtasker in 2012. He has a 12.15% stake via Tune Fiorano Pty Ltd and is the company’s third biggest shareholder. His 47.74 million shares began the day worth around $31 million. By the end of the day, his stake was worth more than $50 million.

The company boss also has more than 1.5 million options under the company’s equity participation and employee option plans as well as 4 million performance share appreciation rights under the employee rights plan.

His co-founder, Johnathan Lui, has 4,283,347 shares – a 1.09% stake.

The company’s top 20 shareholders currently control more than 75% of the business, with many of the shares in escrow between three and 23 months.

Peter Hammond from investment firm Exto Partners was the first investor in the startup back in 2013. The Airtasker non-executive director’s Sydney-based firm holds the biggest stake –  more than 17% in two tranches, with Hammond also .

Fellow director Xiaofan Bai has around a 14.5% holding through Hong Kong-based MCC Resources and Morning Crest.

The company says it is confident it will meet or exceed its prospectus forecasts, with a strong operational and financial performance since the beginning of 2H FY21 and all metrics are performing at or above expectations.

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