The construction industry's increasing appetite for collaboration and web-hosted tools is playing out on the New York Stock Exchange. On June 7, spirited trading of Textura Corp.'s initial public offering sent shares shooting past their original price of $15: Opening at $24, they hit $25.19 before settling at $20.91.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based company makes web-based collaboration software that can be accessed from most browsers. Textura's business includes its Construction Payment Management tool, which some call the PayPal of the construction industry. The company is rapidly expanding to help teams manage estimating, bids, pre-qualification, green certification, claims and other data.
"This is a huge, global market, and it has the potential to be a very profitable business," said Patrick Allin, CEO and co-founder of Textura, which now trades under the symbol TXTR. The IPO demonstrates a pent-up demand for collaboration tools in an industry that can be slow to change but is embracing more web tools. "We're getting on the bus," Allin said.
Since its initial offering, Textura's market capitalization is about $500 million, a strong sign that construction technology and cloud-based tools are moving into the fast lane with users and investors.
"The construction workforce is primed for a revolution," said Doug Chambers, CEO of FieldLens, a construction software and mobile-app maker founded in 2011. "This IPO empowers startups."
Financial backers include Northwater Capital Inc., First Midwest Bancorp Inc. and Aon Risk Services Cos. Inc.
Allin, who was formerly finance chief for PricewaterhouseCoopers' global consulting practice, sees Textura playing a larger role in the $7-trillion global construction industry, which industry experts expect will grow to $12 trillion a year by 2020. Last year, Textura sold $21.7 million in software services, an annual increase of 106%, but booked a net loss of $18.8 million. The company is on track to reach $30 million in sales this year and may turn a profit as soon as next year, Allin said.