The Melbourne-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor (now sporting a shiny new corporate identity) is said to be working with investment banks UBS and Macquarie Capital to prepare a road show for fund managers in Sydney, Melbourne and Asia, which could see the company’s shares on the ASX by the end of 2014. The story is repeated by SmartCompany, which says any such move will put it alongside technology contemporaries Atlassian and Xero.
The company was founded in 2000 by Leigh Jasper and Rob Philpott, and rapidly expanded internationally during the early 2000s, establishing offices across Asia and Europe, and more recently moving in to the north American market. In September 2008, it received a private equity injection of a AU$107.5m (then around £49m) from California, US-based Francisco Partners.
The company’s fortunes were buffeted by the global financial crisis as the recession savaged the worldwide construction industry, and the company has also had to deal with some outbreaks of boardroom bickering. Revenue growth was flat for a while (see January 2012 post), and, while the last two years have seen an upturn in revenues (in the year to 30 June 2013, it reported earnings of Au$52.6m (then £28.4m or US$46.8m), its international expansion also meant the business’s losses have steadily grown.
In revenue terms, Aconex, however, remains roughly twice the size of its nearest SaaS pure play rivals in construction collaboration, and it is, arguably, the only one with a genuinely global reach.
Update (23 July 2014) – The Australian Business Spectator reports Aconex received favourable feedback from Asian investors on a roadshow this week. It did a two-day non-deal roadshow in Hong Kong, is meeting Melbourne fund managers today (Wednesday), and heading to Sydney tomorrow (Thursday). It is reported the company expects to deliver $80 million of revenue in financial year 2015, with an annual growth rate of 20 per cent, and that “Asian investors particularly like the story of taking Australian expertise global.” The IPO is slated for some time this year, but the size of the offer has not been disclosed.