Experienced Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration executive Milton Walters has joined Textura Australasia as CEO.
Melbourne, Australia-based Walters was at Aconex and then general manager of TeamBinder at QA Software, before, in August 2012, establishing a Melbourne-based company, Project Collaboration, to sell the 4Projects SaaS solution in the Australasian market. This successful reseller arrangement lasted until early 2014 before Viewpoint, who acquired 4Projects in February 2013 and already had an office in Melbourne selling its ERP solutions, decided to move to a direct sales model. Project Collaboration by then had also became a reseller of another Newcastle, UK-based company’s SaaS solution: the Kykloud mobile survey and asset management application (March 2014).
Construction Payment Management
Textura is clearly looking at strong experience in the SaaS construction space to support its international expansion. In July 2014, it announced that former BIW and Conject Group CEO Colin Smith had been appointed to head Textura Europe. The US-based business is a leading provider of construction payment management, CPM tools offered on a SaaS basis. This addresses an often notoriously slow and inefficient process relating to submission and approval of subcontractor payments – a frequent cause of late payment.
Recently, on 2 December 2014, Textura announced an innovative US alliance with Greensill Capital to enable general contractors to provide accelerated payments to subcontractors in the US. The ‘Early Payment Program‘ (EPP) is supported by Textura’s CPM technology with Greensill performing the underwriting and providing the funding, including engaging Morgan Stanley to securitise these payments to provide preferential funding to select parts of the programme. Turner Construction (US subsidiary of Hochtief) worked with Textura and Greensill in the development of EPP, which will launch in early 2015.
The arrangement has parallels with the controversial ‘reverse factoring’ system instigated by UK main contractor Carillion in March 2013, when it also doubled its maximum payment terms (Building article).