​Ingogo set to close AU$12 million funding round by May

Australian taxi app and mobile payments platform startup Ingogo is one step closer to listing publicly, with the company expecting to close a new AU$12 million funding round by May.

Australian taxi app and mobile payments platform startup Ingogo is gearing up to close a AU$12 million capital raising round by May, adding to the AU$9.3 million round it completed in October last year.

To date, the company has raised AU$16.2 million, with the soon-to-be-completed round set to top that figure up to AU$28.2 million.

Ingogo, which was founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneur and Moshtix founder Hamish Petrie, revealed in January that it would spend much of 2015 preparing to list publicly on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Petrie said at the time that the company planned to break the bounds of its footprint in Sydney and Melbourne by going live in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.

Ingogo appointed former AAPT, PowerTel, and Salmat executive Trent Jerome as chief financial officer in a bid to help it prepare for an initial public offering (IPO).

The company initially flagged at the end of 2013 that it planned to list on the ASX during 2014, after picking up an additional AU$3.4 million in venture capital funding.

While that initial forecast did not come to fruition, Petrie claims that the company is now ready for an IPO, converting to public company processes and building out its executive team and board, but has not yet set a firm timeline to float on the ASX.

"We're closer than ever," Petrie told ZDNet. "We're just not listing yet. We want to see some good metrics on the board from our existing products, and others we're preparing to launch before we list. We're ready to go in terms of the board, the team, capital, and results. We just want to optimise it."

The upcoming cash injection is expected to see the company ramp up its business in all five of the cities in Australia in which it now operates.

"We want to deliver further results around multiple initiatives, including our recent national taxi rollout, where we've added Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide to our Sydney and Melbourne coverage," said Petrie. "This capital will drive all these initiatives harder, has allowed us to upscale our growth and revenue forecasts, and put us in a great position for an ASX listing. We will pick the right moment for that."

The latest capital raising effort is set to include a contribution of up to AU$4 million from equity-based crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd, which also plugged AU$1.2 million into Ingogo's previous AU$9.1 million round.

VentureCrowd, which is backed by Artesian Venture Partners, claims that its contribution to this latest round is set to become Australia's largest ever crowdfunding investment.

"VentureCrowd has helped Ingogo reach a range of investors we simply wouldn't reach through traditional channels, and we're pleased to be working with them again on this funding round," said Petrie. "The last raising through VentureCrowd would have placed it in the top 10 US crowdfunded raises. This one will take it up another level."

In January, VentureCrowd investors pitched in AU$363,000 on a AU$3.8 million pre-IPO funding round completed by mobile crowdsourced services and application company Crowd Mobile.