Aconex secures A$107.5 million from VC Francisco Partners

22nd Sept 2008. Aconex has secured a AU$107.5 million (US$85 million) funding deal from leading US-based technology investor Francisco Partners. The investment represents one of the largest private equity capital raisings by an Australian technology company. It is Francisco Partners second large scale investment in Australia, following its $315m acquisition of Mincom announced in January 2007.

Aconex will allocate this round of funding primarily into product development, acquisitions that broaden the company’s geographic reach and product suite, and entry into new markets. The investment in product development will see the creation of around 50 new positions within the company’s software engineering team.

Martin Hosking, Chairman of Aconex, said: “There has been considerable interest in Aconex from potential investors in the US and elsewhere. Following discussions with a number of companies, it was clear that Francisco Partners offered an excellent strategic and cultural fit.”

Hosking added: “Francisco Partners have a depth of expertise that will help Aconex through its next growth phase. They have invested in sectors that are adjacent and complementary to ours, including project management and asset management software serving the construction and mining services sectors, and have extensive experience in assisting technology companies to structure and prepare for initial public offerings.”

Leigh Jasper, CEO and co-founder of Aconex, said: “The funding will allow Aconex to continue to grow rapidly and to consolidate its position as the clear global leader in its field. A significant portion will be invested into our product and the technology that underpins Aconex, so our immediate priority is to expand our engineering and technology team. We already have the most widely-used platform in our industry and are looking forward to accelerating our product roadmap.

“In anticipation of this investment, we have also put together a team that is evaluating acquisition opportunities, including vendors of products complementary to ours that can add value to our clients.”

Jasper added: “We look forward to Francisco Partners being involved in the business and to their joining our existing shareholders, who have been extremely supportive as we’ve grown to this point.”

With nearly US$5 billion of committed capital and offices in San Francisco and London, Francisco Partners is one of the world’s largest technology-focused private equity funds.

Brian Ruder, Partner at Francisco Partners, said: “The principals of Francisco Partners are excited to be involved in the next phase of Aconex’s growth as viral uptake continues and its robust SaaS platform delivers returns to scale. We look forward to supporting Aconex as it sets the standard in an expanding collaboration marketplace.”
Listen to ZDNet podcast – Renai LeMay interviews CEO Leigh Jasper about the recent growth funding.

28-Aug-08 Aconex wins BRW ANZ Business Award
Aconex has been named ‘Most Successful Private Business Trading Overseas’ in the inaugural BRW ANZ Private Business Awards. The awards, run by magazine Business Review Weekly and sponsored by ANZ Corporate Banking, celebrate the performance of outstanding private businesses in Australia.

Since securing its first international project in 2003, Aconex has doubled its revenue, staff numbers and user-base each year to become the world’s largest provider of online collaboration to the construction and engineering industries. The company has over 35 offices that service $210 billion worth of projects in 65 countries. More than 150,000 industry professionals worldwide use the system to manage their project information.

Accepting the award, General Manager Marketing, Frank Carron, said: “This award reflects the vision and determination that has made Aconex the global leader in its space. It is a tribute to the talent and hard work of our 350 employees, who are based as far afield as Denver, Libya, Romania and Brisbane.”

Projects using Aconex include the $40 billion Yas Island development in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Metro, the world’s largest light rail project, and Las Vegas Sands’ multi billion dollar casino developments in Macau and Singapore.

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