Five V’s big miss! Marketing tech business Metigy hits the skids

Metigy was founded in 2015 by David Fairfull and Johnson Lin, and was named by combining the name of the Greek goddess of wisdom and thought Metis with the word strategy.

It was set up to provide small business clients with an artificial intelligence-fuelled platform that could provide insights on their potential customers for marketing purposes.

A recent presentation from one of its investors said Metigy had grown revenue at more than 300 per cent in both the 2020 and 2021 financial years, and had more than 25,000 clients across 92 countries.

Investors used Metigy to show the strength of their pre-IPO investment portfolios.

Metigy has more than 30 shareholders, according to documents lodged with the corporate regulator, with the biggest investors including its founders and their associates.

However, the company picked up capital from a raft of institutional investment firms in recent years including Adrian MacKenzie and Srdjan Dangubic’s Five V Capital and Thorney Group.

$1b valuation

Five V, for example, invested $2.5 million in 2020 and another $5.3 million last year. The manager talked up Metigy’s prospects as an Australian technology sector unicorn with a valuation at $1 billion, according to a presentation given to its investors in May.

Such a valuation implied a 10-times money gain for Five V and a 508 per cent return on an IRR basis (all unrealized). That’s all looking uncertain, given Metigy’s administration. Other investors were much more cautious, carrying Metigy on their books at $500 million or less at June 30.

Investors including Five V and Thorney landed on Metigy’s share register as its backers spoke openly about targeting a float on the ASX, saying it could happen from 2022.

It is not known what prompted last week’s call to the administrators on Friday night, however investors were scrambling for answers come Monday. Staff were also dumbfounded.

The situation comes amid a stark change in fundraising conditions for private and public technology companies, both in Australia and offshore.

An inability to raise capital has sent others to the wall, including fintech Volt Bank which returned more than $100 million deposits to customers in late June and is now seeking a buyer for its assets.

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