Just over six months after its December 2014 IPO on the Melbourne Stock Exchange, and some four months on from a rosy financial update, Australian-based Software-as-a-Service collaboration vendor Aconex is benefitting from the currently weak Australian dollar, according to various reports (eg: AFR).
According to Aconex, full-year revenue for the year to 30 June 2015 should rise to between Au$79m and Au$81m (up from a pre-listing estimate of Au$76.5m, as a weaker Australian currency gives it a higher-than-expected global revenue. Aconex will still post an after-tax loss, but this may be lower than the predicted Au$3.2m, perhaps as low as Au$2.7m. The company will report full-year results on 25 August.
What is still described as “the biggest-ever float of an unprofitable tech company on the Australian market” has proved some of its initial doubters wrong, with its share price currently up two-thirds from its Au$1.90 listing price last year. Aconex’s success is boosting the hopes of other upcoming IPO candidates; AFR reported yesterday on several ‘Rich List’ individuals, and, with Aconex the 21st best performer on the ASX All Ordinaries Index since 1 January, CEO Leigh Jasper’s stake is valued around Au$40m.
Update (24 June 2015) – Aconex has announced a three-year enterprise agreement with Bechtel, “one of the world’s largest engineering, project management and construction (EPC) firms”. The news release says Aconex plans to invest in the relationship “with the addition of product functionality that it believes will benefit all Aconex customers and users worldwide.”
Aconex’s review reviewed
The company’s application was recently reviewed by Lachmi Khemlani’s AECBytes, when it claimed adoption stood at over Au$800bn in projects, 1.3 billion documents, 600,000 users and 50,000 companies served in 70 countries around the world. Lachmi’s review includes a look at Aconex’s ‘Connected BIM’ module launched as a free service in December 2014.
While Aconex does differ from solutions (Bentley ProjectWise, Newforma) that are more familiar to Lachmi, it has rivals that do match it as a project-wide collaboration tool, frequently paid for by single customers, on an industrial strength platform, and with pure browser-based access (for example: the Europe-based vendors 4Projects/Viewpoint, Asite, Conject and Think Project! [I was pleased to meet up briefly with Think Project! CEO Thomas Bachmaier in London last week]). And the first two in particular have benefited from close involvement with the UK BIM drive to offer pure browser-based BIM tools too – also being developed by the latter pair – looking to capitalise upon the potential export of UK-based BIM expertise worldwide.
Lachmi identifies a need for Aconex to focus on integration with solutions such as ProjectWise, A360, Newforma, Primavera, Timberline, etc, that individual firms are deploying for internal project management, collaboration, accounting, scheduling, and so on (Aconex does offer SharePoint integration, but needs more, she wrote). Seamless internal flows across different disciplines is on the radar of Aconex rivals too. Viewpoint is already envisaging a unified SaaS system covering all its project management capabilities including cost control, an area which has long been a Conject strength, while Bentley’s acquisition of EADOC potentially brings cost management into ProjectWise.