February 4, 2016 12:10 PM UTC

Bitcoin Group Raises 5.9 Million AUD, Falling Far Short Of Its Goal As It Seeks ASX Listing

The Bitcoin Group, a Melbourne, Australia-based bitcoin miner, raised 5,927,168.40 AUD in an initial public offering for its long-anticipated listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), significantly missing its 20 million AUD target. The company announced it is working with ASX on the listing application process as it seeks to become the world’s first publicly-listed bitcoin company.

Despite raising less than a third of its goal, Sam Lee, the company’s CEO, characterized the sum raised as a “solid result” and said the company will execute its plan to expand its footprint by acquiring new mining equipment, according to CNBC.

Bitcoin Group has not yet quoted on the ASX, as scheduled on Tuesday. Shares priced at 0.20 AUD with a minimum subscription of 2,000 AUD and no maximum subscription.

Investor Notes Concern

Nicholas Debock, a venture capitalist at Balderton Capital in London, U.K., said he would be wary of investing in a bitcoin mining company. He said a lot of venture capitalists invested in bitcoin in the last three years with not a lot of money to show for it.

Most of Bitcoin Group’s operations are in China, which has low-cost electricity. This lack of diversification of operations could make the company vulnerable to regulatory pressures. Bitcoin Group produces about 1.2% of the global bitcoin mining output from six mining sites in China and Iceland.

Had Bitcoin Group met its fundraising goal, it planned to use 18 million AUD to invest in mining facilities and equipment and 2 million AUD for general corporate expenses, including listing costs.

A total of 1,839,511 new shares will be allocated from subscription through the ASX Bookbuild facility, leaprate reported. The new proposed public listing date is Feb. 8, 2016.

Lee told CCN in late January that numbers from the bookbuild do not include application subscriptions sent directly to the register accepting postal applications processed by the company. The company offered investors 100 million shares at 20 cents per share, hoping to raise $20 million AUD.

Success Tied To Currency Role of Bitcoin

As a bitcoin miner, Lee said the company’s success is tied to the future of bitcoin as a currency and a store of value.

Lee previously said there is a billion-dollar opportunity since bitcoin will make the financial world more accountable and cheaper to operate.

Bitcoin Group had hoped to list on the ASX by mid-November of 2015. A delay caused the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to warn the company against making public statements about its IPO before it lodged a prospectus.

The ASIC had halted a listing scheduled for July 2015 to require the company to issue a replacement prospectus which further delayed the IPO closure to Oct. 30, 2015. In the lead up to the launch of its IPO, the Bitcoin Group gained a cash boost through BnkToTheFuture, an investment platform, ahead of its Nov. 11, 2015 scheduled IPO launch.

ASX Delays Continued

The company then had to delay its listing date to December 2015 as it retracted public statements that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had personally invested in its IPO.

Another delay occurred when the company sought to verify a “bitcoin mining equation” put forth in the company’s second prospectus. The ASIC recommended the appointment of an “appropriately qualified independent expert” to report on the bitcoin mining process and equation established in the replacement prospectus.

The final delay saw the revised table set to Jan. 25, 2016. Another prospectus was produced, complete with the independent expert’s report.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Lester Coleman

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries.