Mitchell confident of 'huge upside potential' as Vipera debuts on Aim
Mitchell, who is chief financial officer of Vipera, owns around 5 per cent of the Swiss-based mobile payments business which he invested in through a "friends and family" fundraising carried out by one of the founders four years ago.
Vipera is joining Aim through a reverse takeover by Ricmore Capital, which has been a shell company since selling its operating business.
The deal will value Vipera at 10 million, with Mitchell owning 4.73 per cent of the company - a figure which could rise to 5.47 per cent if he exercises warrants owned.
Although the market valuation will represent what is thought to be a significant increase in the value of his initial investment, current stock market interest in the mobile banking sector could see further gains.
"We are in this for the long term and the challenge is to grow that initial 10m valuation. There is huge upside potential if we execute our potential well," said 46-year-old Mitchell, who is also chairman of Leith-based brand communications agency Navyblue.
Excitement around the potential of mobile banking has seen shares in Aim-listed Monitise, which operates in a similar market to Vipera, almost double since December and it is now valued at 118m despite being loss-making.
The mobile payments market worldwide is expected to grow rapidly from an estimated 67 million users in 2008 to 977 million by 2013, driven in part by the increased use of smartphones and network improvements to allow high-speed data transfer.
"We are in a very high-growth marketplace, and there are few of those around these days. There has been a lot of talk about mobile payments and banking but I think we are now getting to the inflexion point," said Mitchell.
"The stock market is valuing assets in this sector very highly and we wanted to take advantage of that at a time when we are seeing a lot of demand for the company's services."
The reverse takeover deal came about through Mitchell's existing contacts with directors of Ricmore.
The deal will provide Vipera with around 1m in cash resources to invest in further roll-out of its products.
Founded in 2003, Vipera has an established market position in the Middle East, is developing its presence in Asia-Pacific and is also working on opportunities in Europe.