Shareholders at scandal-hit Sheffield tech firm WANdisco have overwhelmingly approved plans to raise $30 million.

The company, which previously warned that its funding runway will end in July, said 98% of shareholders voted in favour  of launching an equity fundraise this month “to build balance sheet strength and take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead”.

WANdisco has appointed high-profile tech executive Stephen Kelly as interim CEO and is cutting its workforce by 30% – reducing its annualised cost base from $41m to circa $25m – following the revelation that a senior sales employee falsified purchase orders.

An internal investigation by WANdisco, which is being probed by the Financial Conduct Authority, concluded that recognised revenue of almost $15 million for FY22 was false, and that sales bookings of around $115.5m recorded in FY22 were also false.

Trading in its shares remains under suspension and is likely to remain so under after the fundraise, if successful.

The scandal resulted in the departure of founder and CEO Dave Richards as well as finance chief Erik Miller. Former Blue Prism figure Ijoma Maluza joined as interim CFO before the arrival of Kelly.

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“The passing of these important resolutions is a critical milestone for funding the company and supporting the re-listing process, which I believe is important for the benefit of all our shareholders and stakeholders,” said chairman Ken Lever. 

“I would like to thank our shareholders for their overwhelming support.  This follows a fulsome consultation where I have personally met a large majority of our shareholder base and received strong support for the board’s plans.

“We will now move to the next stage of our capital raising plans which will include an investor roadshow later in June and will keep our shareholders informed as appropriate.”

WANdisco, which helps businesses to harness the power within their unstructured data using analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence, is headquartered in both Sheffield and California.

The FCA investigation into the firm, which had announced plans to explore an additional listing in New York before the news of potential fraud broke, is ongoing.

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