​TikForce raises AU$4.5m to relist on the ASX

Perth-based startup TikForce has relisted on the ASX after raising AU$4.5 million to finally complete the reverse takeover of Palace Resources.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Digital identification and verification firm TikForce has on Tuesday listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) after finalising its reverse takeover of Palace Resources, a company previously involved in the exploration of resources in the South-East Asia region.

The Perth-based company began trading Tuesday morning, after raising AU$4.5 million to complete the backdoor listing.

Despite choosing the reverse takeover path, the listing was not smooth sailing for TikForce, with the listing date originally slated for November last year.

According to TikForce founder and CEO Kevin Baum, the company raised the required AU$4.5 million late last year; however, it did not meet the ASX requirement of having 300 different investors, coming up approximately 45 short.

Baum told ZDNet it was simply an inconvenient chain of events that dragged out the process for the Perth startup. He said when TikForce initially set out to raise the AU$4.5 million, there was a number of investors in the market looking to spend before the calendar year was out. However, after not meeting the ASX requirement and as the festive season drew closer, Baum said that there was too much of a risk involved in continuing.

"We knew we wouldn't get it completed by end of December so we made a decision to go into a supplementary, and due to everyone being on holidays we couldn't get to the supplemental action until early January," he said. "We thought it was just too risky to run it through then."

Additionally, Baum said that a fall in the market at the beginning of February saw a number of potential investors pull out at the last minute.

"At that point we needed to get back out into the market and raise the capital again, which we completed and that's the exercise that got us to where we are now," he said. "We also made the decision at that stage to raise the minimum and get on with the job."

Originally, TikForce and Palace Resources were given the nod to raise AU$6.5 million, comprised of the required AU$4.5 million with the capacity to take AU$2 million over.

"We're extremely confident that the amount we've raised is adequate for us to run the business through and make profits on its own," Baum said.

"Generally, we're pretty happy with where we're at and I think we'll be judged on what we do in terms of the operational side of the business. We hope that shareholders will get good value out of their investment."

Remaining positive, Baum said one of the advantages of the listing process was that he got to meet a lot of people in the investor community.

"While it was definitely a painful exercise, it was also advantageous for us as well in terms of understanding not just the companies but individuals in those companies who have a true affinity," he said.

"Realistically, for a successful tech industry in Australia, it is really through the broker community that we've got people who understand this and will support it on a long-term basis.

"We're not going to have a venture capital fund like Silicon Valley or some of the other places, so we actually have to work in the finance market we've got -- not the one that we think we should have."

Looking forward, Baum said while TikForce is not in a position to release any numbers as yet, it has experienced a significant demand for products such as its Tik.me platform.

"We're extremely confident," he said. "We've got a strong and mature pipeline for us to now service.

"Being a publicly listed company adds to the value proposition for our clients."

TikForce's flagship product, Tik.me, is a cloud and mobile platform which connects companies with appropriate contractors and workers by way of skillset, location, and availability.

The company has previously flagged Australia Post as a user of its products, and Melbourne-based train operator Metro also uses the Tik.me platform to validate contractors working across its 869-kilometre network.

TikForce is currently in advanced negotiations with three other potential clients to use its Tik.me platform to verify the qualifications and identity of their workforce. The company told shareholders Tuesday these clients include leaders in the sharing economy and contracting/labour hire industries where TikForce said there is a pressing need for a quick and cost effective solutions to ensure their workers are compliant to relevant state and federal regulations.

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