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9 Spokes International well placed to aid SME recovery post COVID-19

Snapshot

9 Spokes is available to SMEs directly through 9spokes.com and as a white-labelled platform for enterprise customers, including banks and other financial services providers.

9 Spokes International Ltd - 9 Spokes International well placed to aid SME recovery post COVID-19

Quick facts: 9 Spokes International Ltd

Price: 0.032 AUD

ASX:9SP
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $47.79 m
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9 Spokes International Ltd (ASX:9SP) has released its March 2020 quarterly activity report, detailing the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continuation of business activities.

While highlighting a big improvement in quarterly net cash burn of NZ$200,000 against the projected net cash burn of NZ$800,000, the report also stated that the company has had no business impact from COVID-19 to date.

This has enabled 9 Spokes to maintain its focus on supporting customers and growing the business.

As 9 Spokes is a cloud-native company, all employees operate remotely and prior to the country lockdown procedures, ‘work from home’ drills were undertaken to ensure no technical or operational issues presented.

Chief executive Adrian Grant said that the team continued to operate as normal and, similarly, operational platforms and management had not been affected by events.

He said: “We have so far been able to maintain our business despite the COVID-19 crisis.

“However, we have taken a cautious approach and forecast slower closure of new business as a result of COVID-19”.

Bank of America platform

During the March quarter, the primary business and channel development focus was on the Bank of America white-label 9 Spokes platform which launched in February 2020.

The platform complements Business Advantage 360, the bank’s digital cash flow management dashboard, by enabling data integration from key third-party business apps.

The platform launched with app partners Intuit® QuickBooks and RUN powered by ADP Payroll, Google G Suite and Google Analytics and five additional apps are planned to be integrated in the current quarter.

ASEAN Expansion

Over the quarter the company bolstered its presence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the establishment of an executive office in Singapore.

Audrey Chia was appointed senior vice-president (SVP), Asia Pacific, a strategic role that will focus on supporting 9 Spokes’ relationship with OCBC and driving momentum with other regional banks.

V2 platform migration

Product and engineering during the quarter focused on launching and migrating to V2.

At the end of the quarter, one bank partner and 9spokes.com were yet to migrate and are being actively progressed to completion in April 2020.

Financial outlook

During the quarter, 9 Spokes had operating receipts of NZ$2.6 million, operating expenditure of NZ$2.8 million, with a net cash burn for the quarter of NZ$0.2 million.

Net burn was lower than previous guidance with the primary reasons including a reduction in business expenditure as a result of international borders closing and the receipt of the New Zealand government COVID-19 wage subsidy.

Successful capital raise

During the quarter the company completed a successful A$4 million capital raise, through a two-tranche placement to sophisticated investors which resulted in cash equivalents at the end of the quarter of NZ$5.1 million.

Forecast net operating cash outflows for the next quarter are projected at around NZ$1.5 million.

The company is in the final stages of V2 platform migration

The June quarter

Looking ahead for June the company will focus on completing the build of a progressive web app (PWA) which will enable 9 Spokes to provide installable mobile apps from a single code base.

9 Spokes is also working on launching a monetised marketplace via the current app connection marketplace.

Additionally, in May, the company plans to launch its first open banking service via 9Spokes.com in the UK market where SMEs willl be able to make banking connections to all CMA9 banks operating in the market and users will be able to see all bank accounts in one place.

Resource for SME recovery

Grant said that 9 Spokes' core objective was helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use data to make better business decisions.

He said: “We see 9 Spokes as an additional resource for SMEs to aid recovery.

“Our capability to provide insights into business performance, and to aid loan applications and management, is vital for our bank partners and their SME customers.

“We can provide valuable data to banks as they seek to manage risk and exposure.”

Technology boosts productivity

Grant said: “Through previous difficult economic cycles, technology has demonstrated its relevance and ability to boost productivity; we expect this to be the case again. 

“During this time of change, innovation remains critical.

“The SMEs we work for are looking for ways to better their businesses performance – we can offer them the data they require to do this.

“Our bank partners are seeking ways to support their SME customers – we can provide unique insights to facilitate this.

“9 Spokes is developing new features to provide the support required.”

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