Failed Australian-based music streaming service Guvera is under investigation by a corporate watchdog after 3,000 investors questioned where their $180 million in investments have ended up.
The ABC reports that some of Guvera’s investors have been questioned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) after allegedly being promised huge returns on their investments, which haven’t come to fruition.
The Gold Coast-based Guvera, founded in 2008, reportedly used a network of accountants to convince investors to buy shares in its streaming service, which stopped operations less than 12 months after its listing on the share market was blocked by the Australian Securities Exchange.
“We’re asking the question: where did all the money go?” says Queensland-based investor Ben Morris, who bought $90,000 of Guvera shares in 2014. “They should be held accountable. We should have answers.”
The ABC understands that the ASIC investigation involves alleged commissions and other fees which were supposedly paid to accountants for referring their clients to a Guvera-linked investment company called AMMA Private Equity. ASIC is also believed to be looking into whether Guvera’s marketing techniques breached the Corporations Act.
A number of accountants have denied receiving commissions for referring clients to AMMA Private Equity, but have confirmed that they were given accommodation on overseas holidays.
Guvera’s co-founder and CEO Darren Herft says he company has not “abandoned” its shareholders.
“We have a platform and access to music rights and a company to fix for 3,000 people,” he says.
Guvera shut down operations in Australia last year, but is now reportedly trying to get a listing on the Macedonian Stock Exchange.