Sezzle Inc., the Minneapolis-based electronic payments firm that listed in Australia in 2019, is taking steps to sell shares in the United States.
In a securities filing late last month, Sezzle told investors and regulators in Australia that it intends to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO.
Details were pending, including the timing, size and how the company would use proceeds from a U.S. stock offering. The company declined to comment on Tuesday.
Sezzle raised $30 million by listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in July 2019, choosing a country where investors and consumers were familiar with the buy-now-pay-later type of payment system it offered to retailers. The largest provider of such payment services is Australia-based Afterpay Inc.
Sezzle's shares debuted at A$1.22 and nearly doubled on the first day of trading. They've climbed sharply since then as the company and its competitors like Afterpay, Affirm and Klarna saw usage soar along with e-commerce in general during the pandemic.
Sezzle shares peaked last August at around A$11 and recently have been trading in a range of A$8 to A$9. That puts its market value at A$1.7 billion, or $1.3 billion.
In an interview last fall, Charlie Youakim, Sezzle's chief executive, signaled that investors in the U.S. had taken notice of the company's growth and the broader boom in the payments segment of e-commerce.
"American investors are becoming more interested, absolutely," he said. "Investors in Australia totally got it. But now investors in the U.S. are interested in this space. There definitely has been increasing awareness, but it really is this funny Australian game at this point."
By listing in the U.S., Sezzle will expose itself to a much larger pool of capital and investors. It could also raise its profile among retailers that could use its payment system.
Earlier in April, the company made a detailed financial disclosure to the SEC using Form 10, a step taken at the behest of Australian regulators. In it, the company showed its 2020 revenue grew to $59 million from $16 million the year before. It had a net loss of $32 million last year.
Form 10 triggers a stock registration procedure that other tech companies, such as Spotify and Palantir, have used for a direct listing of shares that doesn't involve raising capital.
However, Sezzle's public statements suggest it will go a traditional route for its IPO, aiming to raise more money with a formal registration, called an S-1, followed by time reaching out to institutional investors.
Afterpay announced last month that its executives were considering a U.S. listing. Affirm went public in January but has seen its shares fall sharply since February.
In the Twin Cities, three companies have taken advantage of the abundant capital now flowing in U.S. equities markets by undertaking IPOs this year: Sun Country Airlines, SkyWater Technology and Agiliti Inc.