Online education platform to list on ASX

Derek Rose
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Sydney-based online education platform OpenLearning plans to list on the ASX following a $6 million initial public offering, shrugging off the cancellation of four much larger IPOs this year.

Founded in 2012, the company provides a platform for institutions in Australia and Malaysia to offer both short courses and online degrees.

It has had over 2.4 million enrolments across 8,900 courses provided by 3,300 educators.

“Education is changing,” chief executive Adam Brimo said.

“These days people are going back and doing short courses just a few years after they’ve graduated.”

Most of the company’s Australian students are working professionals, while its Malaysian ones are younger full-time students, Mr Brimo said.

The company, which describes itself as one of the world’s largest online education platforms and an education software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, has 1.65 million unique registered learners.

The company’s website currently has 173 courses on offer including ones on cybersecurity, contract law, coffee, genomics and water safety.

The University of NSW has 52,743 registered students on the platform for classes that include one $90 five-week course for high school maths teachers called “Archimedes & The Law of The Lever”.

All courses are project-based and involve peer-to-peer interactions, Mr Brimo said.

“It’s starting to take off and it’s a good time to bring the company to market,” Mr Brimo said on the same day two much larger IPOs were pulled from the market after interest failed to meet owners’ expectations.

Online realty company PropertyGuru was hoping to raise up to $380.2 million, while Boost Juice owner Retail Zoo was reportedly seeking to raise money at a valuation of $300 million.

Latitude Financial’s $3.2 billion float was pulled last week, as was another earlier this month by coal seam gas services business MPC Kinetic.

If OpenLearning’s offer is successful, the company hopes to debut on the ASX in late November under the ticker code OLL.

Funds from the offering will be used to pursue growth and enter new markets.

The board includes the David Buckingham, the former chief executive of Navitas; Kevin Barry, the managing director of Thakral Capital Australia; and Spiro Pappas, the chairman of Splitit.

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