Plexure CEO founder Scott Bradley exits at AGM after restructure, sees smaller first-half loss
By Paul McBeth
Sept. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Plexure Group chief executive Scott Bradley is leaving the company today, rounding out an overhaul of the business which is expected to help narrow the digital ad firm's first-half loss and generate positive cashflow this month.
Bradley set up the company, then called VoucherMob and later truncated to VMob, seven years ago and led it through a backdoor listing via NZAX-listed Velo Capital in 2012. Through that time he's helped build up annual revenue to $7.3 million in the year ended March 31 from just $28,000 in its first year of trading. Plexure has yet to turn a profit, though it narrowed its annual loss to $6.5 million in March 2017 from $6.7 million a year earlier.
This year the Auckland-based company embarked on a major restructure, slashing its workforce by a quarter, in an effort to generate positive cashflow, and Bradley today said that was an "ideal time" for his exit. Former Bank of New Zealand executive Craig Herbison will take over the reins from tomorrow, although Bradley will stay on as a director and significant shareholder and will work with Herbison over the next three months to aid the transition.
"I have worked with Scott since the business was established seven years ago and without his vision and personal drive, Plexure would not exist," chairman Phil Norman told shareholders at today's annual meeting in Auckland. "We have a great deal to thank him for and should all understand that being a technology entrepreneur taking a New Zealand based company to market internationally is extraordinarily demanding both professionally and personally."
Under Plexure's new structure it now has five arms, each of which is run by a senior manager, and is still growing revenue but on a lower cost base. The company today provided first-half guidance for operating revenue to rise 52 percent to $5.1 million in the six months ending Sept. 30 while narrowing its net loss to $400,000 from $3.7 million.
Plexure had been targeting a positive cashflow position by the end of the year but says that will now happen in September after an average monthly cash burn of $170,000 in the first five months of the financial year. As at March 31 it had $615,000 of cash and equivalents, after a year where operating cash outflow widened to $4.7 million from $4.5 million and investing cash outflow shrank to $2.5 million from $3.1 million.
Since then, the company raised $1.9 million through two capital raisings and renegotiated the terms of a $1.6 million convertible note last week pushing out the repayment date to March 31, 2019 from Nov. 3, 2017. The note's interest accrued to date was added to the current face value and future interest won't be charged.
"At this stage, we do not have any near-term plans to raise further capital, however any review of strategy could change this," Norman said.
The shares, which have migrated to NZX's main board, last traded at 12 cents and have more than halved so far this year, valuing the company at $13.4 million.