Having listed with a share price of $1.51, ReadyTech closed its first day of trade at $1.78.

Former private equity owner Pemba Capital has held onto a 41.6 per cent stake and Mr Washbourne and his family have retained 5 per cent of the business.

The company’s flagship product is a cloud-based student management system, which has a strong presence in TAFEs and mid-tier universities, but it started out providing technology to employment firms that helped disadvantaged people find work. It has also expanded into payroll technology and other HR software.

Prior to the listing, institutional investors who wished to remain anonymous also raised concerns about the selldown of management and Pemba Capital in the float, as well as subdued customer growth.

But Mr Washbourne believed the company could become an Aussie tech success story to rival Afterpay or WiseTech.

“Potentially we have been misunderstood. We think there’s enormous benefits in being a portfolio technology comapany,” he said.

The business has forecast $32.4 million in revenue and a $2.4 million net loss for the 2019 financial year, on a statutory basis.

Mr Washbourne said the business had plenty of runway left in Australia, but in a few years time it would look to expand offshore.

“We’ve seen tech companies and other businesses that have tried to go offshore into other markets too soon which has caused problems for the local business,” he said.

“In the future, [international expansion] will happen in three years’ time and we’ll be able to make that step and do it in a measured way.”



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