Investors warm up to Xurpas, shares up 50% on opening day

Xurpas apps snapshot from the company website

Philippine company Xurpas Inc’s shares soared nearly 50% on its first day of trading, Tuesday, as investors jumped at an opportunity to grab a piece of the first technology startup to list on the local exchange.

Shares of the company, which does mobile content like casual games, mobile stickers, messaging, among others, immediately hit the ceiling on its debut, with demand jumping 6.5 times the number of units on offer.

From the initial public offering price of P3.97, Xurpas’ share price closed at P5.95 on Tuesday’s trade. In fact, its shares were given a freeze trading order immediately after opening, after it jumped 50%, the highest allowable increase for a single trading day,

The company’s shares rose 41% again on Wednesday to close at P8.40.

Interestingly, the Philippine mobile content giant had initially priced its IPO below the ceiling price, in an attempt to raise $30.4 million (P1.37 billion) from its maiden share sale. Xurpas offered 344 million primary shares, equivalent to 20 percent of the company’s total outstanding capital stock.

Xurpas president and founder Nix Nolledo said Tuesday’s trading was a “victory for all technology startups in the Philippines” and vowed to help create more opportunities for Filipino startups.

“We will open the doors for other Philippine technology companies who look to harness technology to improve everyone’s lives,” Nolledo said, as he reiterated Xurpas’ plans to use the funds raised, for business expansion to Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Thailand.

“Xurpas will expand its reach to other markets. We will bring to the other countries, the best of what Philippine technology can offer. Our vision is to build a truly world class company. We want to put the Philippines on the global technology map,” Nolledo said.

“The future has arrived. With more than 110 million mobile subscriptions in the market, Internet access reaching 40 percent of our population, and smart phone penetration about to hit half of all mobile subscribers, the future could not have looked any brighter. We’ve waited 13 years for this moment,” Nolledo added, as he recalled the company’s beginnings in 2001, having their first office at his father’s tiny apartment with an initial investment of $1,400 (P62,500).

He also shared the view that new generation of technopreneurs could take on the challenge of building a better future as they are now armed not only with venture capital, but also a stock exchange that has its arms wide open to technology ventures.

“To every startup technopreneur out there, keep strong and believe that dreams do come true,” he said.

Xurpas was incorporated in 2001 as a sub-contractor of Sonera, a telecom operator in Finland. Xurpas started to create and provide mobile consumer content to Philippine telcos and other organizations after obtaining a license from the National Telecommunications Commission.

As of end-June, Xurpas, that was founded by three technology entrepreneurs – Nolledo, Raymond Gerard Racaza and Fernando Jude Garcia – had revenues of P189 million ($4.32 million) and net income of P105 million ($2.4 million), and the company expects to close this fiscal with sales of about P380 million ($8.46 million) and a net income of P210 million.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.