Overview: Collaborate Corporation Ltd (“Collaborate”, “CL8”, “the Company”) is an Australian technology company operating in the sharing economy enabling the peer-to-peer rental of assets. The Company’s primary asset is Intellectual Property surrounding a peer-to-peer sharing & identity verification platform. Collaborate allows private and corporate car owners to access new revenue streams for vehicles through its operation of online marketplaces including DriveMyCar (peer-to-peer car rental) and www.Carly.co (car subscription). CL8 has partnerships with Uber, RACV, Subaru, Peugeot, and Custom Fleet. Wise-owl first initiated coverage in April 2017.
Catalysts: Following a period of operational challenges and industry headwinds, Collaborate is committed to reviving its business with the recently announced car subscription service Carly, strategic addition to its established DriveMyCar marketplace. Carly is tapping into a potentially significant market, which is gaining good traction in the US and Europe, and customer acquisitions and strategic partnerships are short-term value-drivers. The Company has continued to reduce its operating cash burn over time and there is potential to derive significant value from its growing ecosystem including automotive manufacturers, dealerships, and leasing companies.
Hurdles: A number of external factors limited growth in Collaborate’s core business over the past 12 months, resulting in underperformance of DriveMyCar. While recent initiatives are designed to revive the growth of the business there is no guarantee that these difficulties won’t take long to resolve. The Company remains reliant on external capital to fund its operations and there is no guarantee that the required funding can be procured at favourable terms to existing shareholders. Collaborate may be subject to increasing competition
Carly could be a growth driver in 2019
Investment View: Collaborate offers speculative exposure to demand peer-to-peer vehicle sharing. Following a period of underperformance and subsequent decline in the value of its securities, we see the potential for a turnaround following the imminent launch of Carly. Collaborate has a strong track record of attracting high-profile strategic partners, and while some past initiatives have not delivered the expected outcomes, the value proposition remains compelling and the business has strong existing foundations for this launch. We believe that effectively zero value has been ascribed to the recently announced Carly subscription service, which has the potential to trigger a re-rating of the stock price upon launch of the offering in March 2019, more so if initial traction exceeds expectations. We, therefore, resume coverage on Collaborate Corporation and place our valuation under review as we expect to provide further updates shortly once we get a better understanding of the potentially significant opportunity in the car subscription sector.
Collaborate has recognised the rising demand for collaborative consumption and developed proprietary technology to enable the peer-to-peer rental of assets. Collaborate owns a portfolio of assets including DriveMyCar, MyCaravan, and Mobilise. The Company’s portfolio is soon to be complemented by www.Carly.co (“Carly”) a car subscription offering that allows drivers to access cars through flexible monthly subscription fees without signing long-term or fixed-term contracts.
Collaborate’s most advanced asset is DriveMyCar, a peer-to-peer marketplace allowing private and corporate car owners to rent vehicles to third parties. Each of these platforms is supported by the Company’s identity verification platform PeerPass.
Carly represents a strategic expansion of the Company’s presence in the automotive mobility sector and significantly leverages the backend technology, platform, and resources that exist within the DriveMyCar business. Collaborate recently announced that the strategic focus will be applied to the mobility sector and its car-sharing platform.
While the Company’s IP is capable of servicing multiple industry verticals, recent market announcements suggest a renewed focus on exploiting evolving opportunities in the automotive mobility industry through DriveMyCar and Carly.
Carly is marketed as Australia’s first flexible and comprehensive car subscription and launches at a time of increased scrutiny around lending practices (including car loans) as well as evolving consumer expectations.
In Australia, approximately 90% of all car sales are acquired with finance. Demand for alternative offerings such as Carly is poised to accelerate following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investment Commissions (“ASIC”) into the $8 billion motor vehicle finance industry, which is expected to result in a tightening landscape for car financing.
Forbes estimates that in developed markets like the UK and the US, subscription-based ownership models have already crossed 10% of monthly household incomes with consumers looking for more flexible methods for accessing goods and services, without committing to upfront purchases or bank loans.
Carly addresses both of these trends – offering an alternative to traditional car financing solutions and responding to consumer demand for flexible subscription models. Research and Markets estimate that the market for car subscription services will experience explosive growth through 2022 at a CAGR in excess of 70% per annum.
By 2025-26, vehicle subscription programs could account for nearly 10% of all new vehicle sales in the US and Europe, with over 16 million vehicles predicted to be part of a vehicle subscription service. US car subscription provider Fair recently raised US$385m led by Softbank.
While the adoption of car subscription services in the US and Europe has already gathered pace, the market in Australia appears to be presently unexplored. Through the launch of Carly and through its existing footprint in the market, Collaborate seeks to capture market share in this fast-growing market with an early mover advantage.
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