Shares in Sezzle Inc., a Minneapolis-based financial-technology firm, rose sharply as they began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange Tuesday morning in Sydney.
Trading in Sezzle opened shortly after noon Sydney time, about halfway through the Tuesday session. A few hours later, Sezzle closed up 80% at 2.20 Australian dollars from the offering price of 1.22 Australian dollars.
The company, a provider of alternative e-commerce payment methods for consumers without credit records, raised about $30 million with the initial public offering.
Sezzle plans to use the funds to expand to more retailers in the U.S. and Canada and add staff to its office in Minneapolis, where it now employs about 80 people.
The company was formed in 2016 by Twin Cities entrepreneurs Charlie Youakim, Paul Paradis and Killian Brackey. It took the unusual step of listing in Australia because the market for its buy-now-pay-later payment scheme is more established there.
It issued about 36 million shares in the initial public offering, about one-fifth of its entire share base.
Sezzle’s largest rival, Afterpay Touch Group, is based in Melbourne and is expanding quickly in the U.S. Its shares debuted in Sydney in June 2017 at around 3 Australian dollars and have since risen more than ninefold in value. Sezzle, Afterpay and other firms provide a no-interest alternative to credit card payments for online shopping. The firms derive revenue from retailers that pay transaction fees, similar to credit card and other payment systems.
In its listing document, Sezzle reported $1.6 million in revenue in 2018. It showed merchant fees in the first quarter this year of $1.4 million.