Gold Coast-based streaming service Guvera, which admitted defeat three weeks ago with both co-founder Claes Loberg and major backer Steve Porch exiting, is being dragged through the media mud once more.
After nine years of operations, during which it raised $185 million from private investors, was rejected for an IPO and was spending $6.6 million a year, Guvera has further maddened investors with the release of a new report by the Australian Financial Review.
According to AFR, Guvera co-founder and CEO Darren Herft was on a salary of $264,000, while his founding partner Claes Loberg was on $300,000 – handsome salaries for a company operating in the red.
“So many mums and dads have been burned,” Deakin University tax expert Adrian Raftery told the AFR. “It would have been tenfold if the regulators let [the IPO] through.”
What’s more, the AFR reports private equity business AMMA (which facilitated investments) was paid $22.5 million for the fundraising, at a commission rate of 12%. Darren Herft is the the sole director of AMMA.
According to the Courier Mail, self-managed super fund investors were connected with Guvera by their accountants. Those accountants were reportedly offered share options and subsidised trips to company events, including 5-star accommodation.