Patrick Grove plans to float $100 million e-commerce company iBuy

Nassim Khadem Reporter

Patrick Grove plans to float $100 million e-commerce company iBuy

Published 24 October 2013 11:44, Updated 24 October 2013 13:23

BRW Young Rich entrepreneur Patrick Grove is preparing to float his latest venture, e-commerce company iBuy, before the end of the year. Grove will list iBuy through broker Canaccord Genuity, a global investment bank focused on growth companies. The float of iBuy, a holding company of leading e-commerce sites selling branded consumer products at big discounts throughout south-east Asia, is expected to have a market capitalisation of $100 million.Grove, 38, who was valued on this year’s BRW Young Rich list at $95 million, on Thursday morning told BRW: “We have interests in a number of successful e-commerce companies in Asia and are always considering different strategic options and partners to bring them to the next level.”

Grove intends to invest $US150 million on online businesses in the region covered by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the next five years.

True to his word, he’s been busy buying up Asian e-commerce businesses under his investment holding company, Catcha Group. The company that Grove co-founded with his friend and now business partner, Luke Elliott, has a portfolio of online assets worth more than $US300 million.

Some of these are ASX-listed companies, including ASEAN’s leading network of automotive portals, iCar Asia, and Asia’s No. 1 property classifieds website, iProperty Group.

With iBuy, Grove may be able to mimic in Asia, the local success that brothers Hezi and Gabby Leibovich have had with their leading Australian online group buying site CatchoftheDay.

Grove’s investment strategy is based on looking at online businesses that work in the West and taking them to the East.

Catcha Group’s online and property classifieds sites are rapidly growing. Based in Kuala Lumpur, iCar Asia is the largest network of online automotive sites in the ASEAN region, reaching 2.5 million people every month across Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

The company listed on the Australian stock exchange in September 2012 at 20¢ a share.

In March, the No. 1 Australian car classified site, Carsales, took a 19.9 per cent stake in iCar Asia. That’s helped iCar Asia’s share price hit the 95¢ mark.

iProperty Group owns and operates Asia’s No. 1 network of property websites. It’s also based in Kuala Lumpur, with 18 property websites around the ASEAN region.

Grove is also expanding into the Middle East e-commerce market.

In June, Grove told BRW he signed a deal to become one of the largest shareholders in propertyfinder.ae, the United Arab Emirates’ leading real estate website, which was formerly owned by Australia’s REA Group.

The portal, which is available in Arabic and English, services the region’s wealthy real estate developers and brokers.

Grove, an Australian who spends his time in Singapore and Malaysia, says he won’t rest unless he is the undisputed leader in all the e-commerce markets he’s targeting.

“One of things we realised about the classifieds model is, it’s a great model, but only if you’re No. 1,” he told BRW in an interview this year.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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