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Unicorn Tears by Jamie Pride

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CHAPTER 6FOUNDER FITNESS

On 9 July 2015, I listed my first company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). REFFIND, a human resources technology company, allowed businesses to better communicate with their employees. It had a web portal for company content and a mobile application for employees to use. I had founded the company in 2014 and had good early success with some high-profile customers.

At the time, some great technology companies listed on the ASX, so we decided to list our business through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The next four months are a blur. I spent weeks travelling between Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore briefing institutional investors on the IPO. I was packing in eight to ten meetings a day, not to mention countless lunches, dinners and drinks. To add to the load, I had to step in as interim CEO just before listing. On the day of listing, I weighed 120 kilos, felt like shit and was completely exhausted. Then the hard work began!

The IPO was a success: we raised the capital easily and were many times oversubscribed, meaning there was far more demand than stock available. In fact, we had more than $50 million in demand and only $8 million of stock available.

The stock performed well at first, but investors then sold off hard. Over the course of the 30 weeks following listing, our stock price went from 20c to almost $2 (reaching almost $200 million in market capitalisation) and back again. It was the worst time of my professional career. As ...

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