Dubber CEO suspended, its ASX-listed shares too, as company hunts for missing $30 million

- March 4, 2024 2 MIN READ
Steve McGovern, Dubber
Dubber's suspended CEO Steve McGovern

ASX-listed voice data company Dubber is on the hunt for more than $26 million in missing funds, with the company’s CEO and cofounder, Steve McGovern, suspended, along with its shares (ASX: DUB) as investigations get underway.

The issue came to light as part of the audit review for its half-year accounts to December 2023. Dubber requested a trading halt last Tuesday, ahead of an announcement and two days later, on February 29, the ASX suspended quotation at the request of the company.

On Friday, the business, which uses AI to analyse call recordings for what it calls “moments” for customer insights, announced that $30 million, “purported to have be held in a term deposit account, may have been applied for other purposes”. Dubber said the money was held by a third-party trustee and is “not currently available”.

So far, $3.4 million has been recovered with $26.6 million still missing. Releasing its quarterly results on January 30, Dubber said its cash on hand at 31 December 2023 was $30.2m.

“As it continues its investigation into this matter, the Company is evaluating avenues for further recovery of the balance and action that may be required to support any additional funding requirements as a result,” Dubber said in a statement to the ASX, adding that the matter was being referred to ASIC.

CEO Steve McGovern was suspended immediately, with executive director Peter Pawlowitsch stepping into the acting CEO role.

There were no suggestions of wrongdoing by anyone at the company, only that investigations are underway.

Service delivery to customers is unaffected, the company said and its revenue forecast for FY24 remains unchanged, having previously set out to increase revenue by 50% in the financial year to $45 million. At the same time it’s predicting costs of $65m in FY24

Last July the company raised $10.25 million at $0.14 cents a share. Its share price sat at $0.22 cents when trade was suspended last week. Last month Melbourne tech investor Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group increased its stake in Dubber to 14.37%.

Dubber said it’s continues to work auditor, Ernst and Young, to finalise and release its half-year accounts and will provide updates on the missing cash as they come to hand.