Shares in WANdisco have been suspended after the UK software group said it had discovered potential fraud by a sales employee that will cause a significant hit to its 2022 revenues.
The company, which this week said it was exploring an additional listing in New York, is conducting an investigation into the work of a single senior sales employee after discovering “significant, sophisticated and potentially fraudulent irregularities”.
On Thursday, WANdisco requested its shares be suspended from trading on the UK’s Aim market while it conducted an investigation.
The Sheffield and California-headquartered company warned that anticipated revenues for 2022 could drop as low as $9mn, compared with the $24mn it previously reported.
WANdisco added it also had “no confidence in its announced FY22 bookings expectations”, warning the discovery would “lead to a material uncertainty regarding [the company’s] overall financial position”.
The company declined to comment further and said that it would work with “external legal and professional advisers” to conduct the investigation. The suspension could last as long as six months.
WANdisco’s shares had risen by just over 40 per cent this year before trading was suspended, pushing the company’s valuation to above £900mn this week.
The investigation comes just days after WANdisco became the latest UK company to announce plans to list shares in the US. The company said on Monday it was in the early stages of exploring a “long-stated” ambition for a dual listing.
WANdisco, which was founded in Silicon Valley in 2005, employs more than 180 people in Sheffield in the UK and San Ramon in California. Its customers include Google and Amazon.
It specialises in large migrations of data to the cloud and it announced a string of contracts in 2022. In a full-year trading update on January 11, the business reported a 229 per cent rise in unaudited revenues from 2021 to 2022, up from $7.3mn to $24mn.
George O’Connor, a technology analyst at Goodbody, said WANdisco had “hit a purple patch” in the second half of 2022, signing a string of contracts, including a record $31mn deal announced in December with a telecommunications company.
“Behind this had been 10 years of product development. It seemed the ship had come in,” he added. “The company will now be hunkering down, looking at itself and its processes to understand what went wrong. You’d think any thoughts of the Nasdaq have gone to one side for now.”