Booktopia, the largest online bookseller in Australia, is preparing for a December IPO which could raise as much as AUS$350 million ($250 million), according to The Australian. The company is said to be currently in the midst of a roadshow to drum up interest in the public offering among investors.
The bookseller has been on a bit of run throughout 2020, with sales booming as a result of the pandemic lockdowns around the country. In September, the company reported sales of AUS$165 million ($118 million), representing growth of 28% for the 2020 financial year. In all, the company said it had sold 6.4 million books so far and was shipping some 30,000 units daily. Booktopia CEO Tony Nash told Inside Retail, "The events of the last six months have now brought forward much of that future growth and we would expect many of the converts to be convinced that online purchases are their new preference.”
The company, which was founded 16 years ago, took in $14.3 million in investments early in the year to upgrade its Sydney distribution center and double the number of orders it could handle on a daily basis. In January, the company bought the digital assets of the bankrupt University Co-Operative Bookshop (it did not purchase the company's 30 bookstores).
The company had sought to go public in 2016, but abandoned the plans. The company later tried to raise AUS $3-$10 million in 2018 through crowdfunding, but closed the campaign in early 2019 after raising just AUS $900,000.