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NSW Government unlikely to receive $300,000 Kontented loan repayment, agency in liquidation

The NSW Government’s deputy premier John Barilaro has said it is possible the government will not get back the $300,000 investment it gave to agency Kontented as part of a Jobs for New South Wales loan.

According to information from Jobs for NSW granted under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, Kontented had defaulted on its $300,000 accelerating growth loan and converted to a regional growth loan on December 21 2017.

Kate Edwards, founder of Kontented, told Mumbrella the company was ‘reinvesting’ in December last year

In NSW Parliament yesterday, NSW opposition leader Luke Foley asked Barilaro why a $300,000 loan was given to Kontented, despite reports of staff taking legal action for unpaid commissions and payouts.

“The opposition wants to single out one investment,” said Barilaro. “In real terms it is possible the government will not get this investment back. That is the risk we have taken as a government. The opposition does not want to talk about the many other investments that have been made where prosperous businesses have grown and created jobs, especially in regional New South Wales. The opposition does not want to talk about the success stories.”

The website on October 25, 2018

Regional growth loans are direct, interest-free loans for ’emerging and fast-growth SMEs’ in regional NSW which face barriers in accessing finance from traditional lenders. By comparison, the previous loan, an accelerating growth loan, is available for fast-growing SMEs with a fixed interest rate of 9.2% for the term of the loan.

But according to a notice on the ASIC website, Kontented was put into liquidation on March 29 this year, a year after it received the original Jobs for NSW loan.

Barilaro’s comments come 10 months after Kontented and Snackable TV founder Kate Edwards said the business would reinvest in staff members following redundancies and a move to Byron Bay.

The company has been in liquidation since March

In February last year, months after Snackable TV was launched, Kontented was given a $300,000 loan from Jobs for NSW to expand its team to 50 full time staff within the next three years.

Snackable TV has not updated its Facebook page since March and content which previously sat on the website is no longer accessible on Snackable TV. The Kontented.com URL is for sale. According to LinkedIn, there are no current employees – other than Edwards and a film critic, Alex Gregg – working for Kontented or Snackable TV.

The website previously a number of different Snackable TV projects

Co-founder Shae Constantine’s LinkedIn reports he concluded his role as head of marketing at Snackable TV and GM and head of marketing at Kontented in February this year.

Mumbrella attempted to contact Edwards and co-founder Constantine for comment via email but did not receive a response. When Mumbrella called Edwards’ mobile, it was disconnected.

UPDATE Monday October 29:

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Industry told Mumbrella: “Kontented was approved an Accelerated Growth Loan on 3 February 2017 which was converted to a Regional Growth Loan in December 2017 (as they had moved from Sydney to Byron Bay (this was a change in loan type only and no additional money was provided).

Kontented advised it was entering into voluntary administration on 3 April 2018. Jobs for NSW helps startups and fast growth SMEs to overcome barriers to finance by providing grants, loans and loan guarantees to help create new jobs in NSW. Before any funding is approved there is a thorough due diligence process undertaken.

There is a rigorous approvals process for loan applicants, including an economic assessment and an independent credit assessment. The liquidation process for Kontended is still underway and Jobs for NSW are a secured creditor. To date Jobs for NSW has invested in over 500 businesses. The $190 million Jobs for NSW Fund is on track to create almost 20,000 jobs for the state by 2021/22.”

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