Business Irish

Friday 15 November 2019

Kollect poised to list in Stockholm, expand in Britain

Kollect CEO John O’Connor
Kollect CEO John O’Connor

Shawn Pogatchnik

Waterford waste management firm Kollect appears poised to go public in an expected IPO in Stockholm.

The Irish Independent has confirmed that the start-up - which provides online booking for waste collection services nationwide - has registered in Stockholm as Kollect on Demand AG and appointed three board members with expertise in IPOs and Nasdaq.

Kollect last week announced that Johnny Fortune has been appointed its chairman with immediate effect.

Mr Fortune was previously chief financial officer of Skillsoft, where he played a central role as it became the first Irish company to complete an IPO on Nasdaq New York in 2000.

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Chief executive John O'Connor confirmed yesterday that Kollect has just appointed Stefan Wikstrand and Maoiliosa O'Culachain to its board.

Mr Wikstrand is the chief financial officer at G5 Entertainment, a Swedish mobile game firm which went public in a 2014 IPO in Stockholm.

Mr O'Culachain was previously a top Ireland-based official for Nasdaq, directing its private business development in Europe. Nasdaq in Europe is focused on Nordic markets, particularly Stockholm.

The Kollect website has published a page dedicated to Nasdaq First North, a Stockholm growth market for small European start-ups.

Nasdaq officials in Stockholm declined to comment.

An industry source with knowledge of the situation said it appeared highly likely that Kollect would list on First North soon.

"You're the only one to connect all these dots. Nothing you've picked up is in any way incorrect," said the source, who spoke on condition he would not be identified.

Mr O'Connor said he and other senior Kollect executives visited the Stockholm Stock Exchange last year with help from Mr O'Culachain and are keenly interested in tapping finance in Sweden, where equity and VC interest is strong for tech and green startups.

He could not confirm that Kollect intended to mount an IPO, but conceded that the firm's publication of First North market information on its own corporate site strongly suggested this direction.

Kollect in September opened its first overseas office in Manchester.

Mr O'Connor's ambition is gradually to extend Kollect's business model to 75 cities across Britain.

Mr O'Connor says he wants his four-year-old company to become "the Uber of the waste industry" and sees "a big opportunity to disrupt the waste industry online".

For now the firm, with 39 employees, provides services throughout Ireland and the Greater Manchester area only.

He says Kollect's UK expansion will require an injection of growth capital soon.

"We are going to do a raise in the next few months," he said, with VC support or an IPO both cited as possibilities.

Irish Independent

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