Australian online retailer Booktopia has raised $20 million to further invest in automation and enhance the capacity and efficiency at its Sydney distribution centre. 

The equity was raised from a consortium of private investors led by Su-Ming Wong, Co-Founder & CEO of Champ Ventures who will join the Board of Booktopia and John Sampson, Founder & CEO of JBS Investments. The founding shareholders retain majority control and Booktopia will continue to be an independent Australian-owned business. 

The raise follows an unsuccessful equity crowdfunding campaign, which had hoped to raise $10 million. 

In an announcement today Booktopia said it posted revenues of $131 million in FY19 and is currently on track to deliver revenues of $175 million in the 2020 calendar year. 

“Booktopia has come so far and the team is rightly proud to have built this 100 per cent Australian owned business to scale from within our own internal resources. We are thrilled to have this round of funding in place,” founder and CEO Tony Nash. 

“The funding will allow us to accelerate our growth in a controlled and measured way by investing in our ability to deliver to Australian book consumers through expanded distribution infrastructure and stock. This has been a proven high growth and predictable model for us for 16 years and we are not about to change. We know that’s what our customers want from us.”

The funding will provide working capital for the business as well as enabling further investment in automation to scale its inbound and outbound capacity from 30,000 individual books per day to 60,000 per day. Booktopia also plans to increase the amount of stock held at its 13,000 sqm distribution centre. 

The 16-year-old ecomommerce pioneer also recently acquired the collapsed University Co-operative Bookshops business, a transaction which was independent of the capital raise. 

“We were already very well advanced with our private investors before The Co-op went into administration and as tertiary academic sales were already a significant portion of our revenue it was deemed that if the numbers worked then we would purchase it from within our own financial capacity,” he said.

The capital raise, completed with the assistance of AFSG Capital, also included a portion of long-term debt.

Mark Paton, Managing Director of AFSG Capital said Booktopia’s track record of rapid, profitable growth made for a compelling investment opportunity.

“The capital raised will go exclusively toward funding growth over the next few years and establishes a solid foundation for future capital market engagement,” he said.

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