Home Business Russian e-scooter firm Whoosh raises $33 mln in Moscow IPO

Russian e-scooter firm Whoosh raises $33 mln in Moscow IPO

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MOSCOW — Russia’s Whoosh raised 2.1 billion roubles ($33.23 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, the electric scooter company said on Wednesday, pricing at the lower end of its initial price range.

Corporate Russia is watching Whoosh’s listing closely as the company braves Russian economic isolation with Moscow’s first IPO since the country sent troops into Ukraine.

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The placement at 185 roubles per share gives Whoosh a market capitalisation of 20.6 billion roubles ($326 million), the firm said in a statement, below its initial target of around $400 million.

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Whoosh will start trading later on Wednesday under the ticker and the free float will exceed 10%.

Whoosh said existing shareholders had provided shares worth 200 million roubles for possible stabilization in the secondary market, taking the IPO’s total volume to 2.3 billion roubles.

While breathing life into a moribund market, Whoosh’s debut also reflects the small volumes and dependency on retail investors which are likely to characterize stock market listings in a Russian market devoid of Western capital.

“In addition to institutional investors, more than 20,000 private investors became our shareholders following the IPO, which underlines the level of trust in our company and its ambitious goals,” CEO Dmitry Chuyko said.

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Whoosh, whose yellow and orange scooters are a common sight around Moscow until snowfall forces a winter break, plans to use the funds to increase the size of its fleet and expand into new regions.

As of Sept. 30, it operated a fleet of 82,000 scooters in 40 cities across Russia and ex-Soviet states, with 11.2 million registered users.

Russian companies harbored strong IPO hopes after a bumper year in 2021, which saw $3.7 billion raised and investment banks earn more than $100 million in fees, but the conflict in Ukraine has largely put paid to those ambitions.

($1 = 63.2000 roubles) (Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Olga Popova and Jake Cordell; editing by Jason Neely)

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