ROSIE THE ROBOT HELPS FINTECH START-UP FLAMINGO TO A $24M IPO
Written on the 29 September 2016 by Lin Evlin
ROSIE the artificial intelligence robot, created by Dr Catriona Wallace of Flamingo, has been helping companies since its inception in 2014 to turn around shockingly low online sales conversion of financial services products. Now, Flamingo is subject to an initial public offering (IPO) ahead of a $23.8 million ASX listing next month.
Dr Wallace (pictured), a serial Australian entrepreneur, has used her extensive background in human technology interaction to establish Flamingo, an intelligent online guided selling platform to help financial services companies tackle the issue of low online sales conversion rates, which she says is around one to three per cent.
"I saw that there was a huge gap in what customers wanted particularly from financial services companies and what these sorts of companies were able to deliver in relation to online sales."
"There was an opportunity to sell a software product that allowed businesses, particularly financial services companies, to intelligently guide customers through the purchase of complex products that would significantly overcome a common problem many businesses have which is very low online conversion rates and also give customers a much better sales experience."
This guided platform, fuses together webchat conversations, webforms and artificial intelligence to provide an intelligent assistant - Rosie - who guides and assists customers through their decision making process.
Flamingo will officially list on the ASX on or around 14 October 2016. Dr Wallace says the IPO, led by Ostana Capital, will raise $3 million, and it is already oversubscribed in terms of commitments.
The listing process includes merging Flamingo with existing ASX listed company Cre8Tek Limited and then relisting the merged entity which will remain as Cre8Tek. The company is offering 75 million shares at an offer price of $0.04 per share.
The funds from the capital raising will be put towards research, development and marketing.
"Two-thirds of that funding will be used to continue to build our artificial intelligence capability and a third of that will be used to begin to take the product to market through sales and marketing."
"What we are looking at doing with the company and the product is building the world's really first significant conversational commerce platform company and we have very strong revenue targets for the next three years for this to be a global business providing intelligence assistance to financial services companies globally."
Despite the business operating out of the US since its inception, Dr Wallace believes listing on the ASX is advantageous given Australia's close proximity to Asia and our nation's growing interest in technology companies.
"I was assessing where would be the best place for the business to be scaled out of globally and we've got huge interest from the Australian and Asian market."
"I was really thinking that it would be good to be domiciled in Australia and run the business globally from Australia, still keeping a focus on the US market."
"There is perhaps greater liquidity in Australia where we have seen money moving from the mining sector to the tech sector whereas we were seeing a slowdown of investments in tech stocks in the US and seeing an increase of that in Australia so we think this is an ideal opportunity."
Following the ASX listing, Cathie Reed, co-founder of Epic Group, will chair Cre8Tek and Dr Wallace will be the CEO. Interestingly, Cre8Tek will be only the second ASX listed top 500 company which has a female chairperson and chief executive.
Dr Wallace believes that hard work and "getting results" will pave the way for women in technology in the future.
"The combination of Cathie Reed and I - our focus is to make this business incredibly successful from our client's perspective, financial perspective and our investors' perspective and we just won't take our eye off that. That's how we can demonstrate that backing female leaders, CEOs and entrepreneurs in the future is a clever thing to do."
As for the future of Flamingo, Dr Wallace says it is looking bright.
"2017 will be the year of bot strategy and 2018 (will be) the year of big money being spent on artificial intelligence."
"We have more pipeline than we know how to handle now, but we will be well ready (in 2018) coming into being a mature company. "