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Lateral Corp jumps 75% on debut in thinly traded compliance

Lateral Corp jumps 75% on debut in thinly traded compliance listing

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Shares of mobile payments company Lateral Corp jumped 75 percent in a thinly traded debut on the NZX's small-cap Alternative Market, ahead of a planned private placement in coming months.

The stock first traded at 35 cents, before settling back to 20 cents, with 21,000 of the 20.7 million shares changing hands, according to Reuters data. Lateral Corp joined the market at 20 cents in a compliance listing, valuing the company at $4.15 million. Chief executive Roger Grice told BusinessDesk the company sought the listing to provide greater flexibility to raise funds as it looks to build markets in Australia, the US, the UK and Canada, which are at the forefront of monetising mobile payments directly to a user's phone bill.

"We see this as a business that will grow quickly and move to profitability as well," he said, without giving a time frame. "A great deal of investment has been put into the platform."

The company plans to raise about $1.5 million in the coming six months from private investors, followed by a share purchase plan, from which it aims to raise a total of $2.625 million, according to its disclosure document lodged with the NZX.

Those funds will be used in marketing drives in overseas markets, which Lateral Corp uses to acquire customers with its partners and affiliates.

Grice said traditional telecommunications companies have been struggling to compete with customers demanding more and cheaper services and using over-the-top services, such as Facebook and Google. Lateral Corp's products tries to offset that by letting customers charge purchases to their phone bill rather than a credit card.

"We're very high margin - we're building products and services that fit that payments flow," Grice said.

The company currently derives about 60 percent of revenue from New Zealand, though Grice expects the majority to come from overseas markets in future.

(BusinessDesk)

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