News & Insights


ROKT to raise cash ‘to supercharge growth’

By Damon Kitney, Victorian Business Editor, The Australian

THE digital marketing company backed by Lachlan Murdoch, Carsales chief Greg Roebuck and the Paul Bassat and James Packer-bankrolled Square Peg Capital is poised to embark on a capital raising worth tens of millions of dollars after striking a series of landmark deals with some of the biggest ticketing and events companies in the world.

ROKT, which has patented technology that connects advertisers through partners’ websites to new digital online and mobile consumers, has more than doubled its revenues since its high profile backers seeded it with US$8.5 million at the end of 2013.

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Now ROKT’s chief executive, former Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan, says the company is poised to launch a capital raising worth “tens of millions of dollars’’ over the next six weeks to “supercharge’’ the company’s growth.

“It makes sense now we have a very proven concept in Europe, North America and Asia that we should start to accelerate things a lot more than we have.

“The risk profile from an investor perspective is much lower,’’ Mr Buchanan told The Australian.

While the firm will tap its current shareholders — who include Hong Kong-based Janchor Partners’ chief investment officer John Ho — for fresh funds, Rokt will also consider bringing in new international investors.

“There are reasons to bring other shareholders into the mix as well. We have spoken to a lot of people now we have traction in the US and we have had a lot of people knock on our doors.

“There are also strategic investors who want to do things with us. The challenge in strategic versus financial investors is who can set you up best for the longer term,’’ Mr Buchanan said.

ROKT’s technology is integrated into the transaction flows of all its partners, giving advertisers access to consumers when they are most engaged — actually undertaking an online transaction.

Since expanding its US presence from New York to Los Angeles, ROKT has been increasingly pursuing global deals.

“In the US it is much easier if you do a deal with a big global player. You have scale. Australia is a small fraction of the global base. A global deal gives you a 50-fold improvement in scalability,’’ Mr Buchanan said.