EghtesadOnline: Tehran’s stock market will host the initial public offer for the country’s second largest Iranian ride-hailing company, Tap30, in the coming weeks. It will be the first of its kind to go public.
The listing is seen as a breakthrough for new startups as they have been facing major hurdles entering the stock market, according to the state-owned news agency IRNA.
One key issue is that their assets could not be identified and assessed. Unlike other listed companies that own tangible assets, those of startups are largely intellectual property and brand names, which apparently could not be easily assessed under normal valuation procedures.
ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi earlier classified IT companies under two categories, those under the telecommunication sector and startups, noting that the former are already listed. Iran Telecommunication Company and Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran are such companies.
"Tap30 and Snapp [ride-hailing company] are big enough and want to be listed… but the listing had been postponed due to issues related to determining their assets," the minister said.
Tap30 apparently removed the hurdles and is in the process of joining the stock market. This was first announced by the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Mosoud Khansari. In a twitter post he wrote: "As the first startup company, the ticker symbol of Tap30 will soon be displayed on the bulletin board of Iran Fara Bourse". IFB is the junior equity market based in Tehran.
Milad Monshipour, the Tap30 boss predicted that his online taxi company will hold the IPO in a month.
More startups are on the IPO waiting list. Alireza Daliri, an official with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, said earlier that five startups and knowledge-based companies are in the process of listing.
The Rouhani administration has often publicly said it supports the startups given their gradually increasing role in the economy. Support for tech firms are aimed, among other things, at curbing Iran's dependence on oil export and developing the technology ecosystem.
Observers say the bourse is a good venue for financing startups and reducing their dependence on the lethargic banking system.
Lenders paid 137.6 trillion rials ($530 million) in loans to startups and knowledge knowledge-based companies in the last fiscal year that ended in March.
According to the Iran National Innovation Fund, affiliated to the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology, 4,800 knowledge-based companies are active and have a 300,000 payroll.