The cloud software used by flexible office operators has raised £14m for shareholders and the same again for the company to clear its debt and invest in growth, through a listing on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.
The software-as-a-service producer was established in 2006 by IT and telecoms expert Mark Furness who still runs the business.
The listing of 38.5% of the business at £1.51 a share values it at £72.6m. The share issue was twice oversubscribed. Essensys is headquartered in London with offices in New York and Los Angeles and an offshore development centre in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Furness has made £9.9m from taking his business public, reducing his stake from 71% to 43%. Several other directors and co-founders stand to benefit from the sale as well.
Essensys said its services were used by 160 clients at 750 workplaces in 13 countries, with 76% recurring revenue last year. It will tap further into the “high growth flexible workspace industry” with funds from the sale. In its prospectus to investors ahead of the listing said the “global coworking market is expected to grow at a seven-year compound annual growth rate of 21% to 2022, from 17,725 centres in 2018 to 30,432 centres in 2022.”
Trading in Essensys shares began on Wednesday. N+1 Singer acted as sole placing agent and has been retained as adviser and broker.
In a statement to accompany the IPO, the company said it was “cash generative” and had a “historic track record of profitable growth.”
The last company accounts before listing, for the year to the end of July 2018, showed turnover of £11.5m in the UK, producing a £302,000 profit. In the US, turnover was £4.5m and there was a £520,000 loss, however during the year the North America business became profitable on a monthly recurring basis, the accounts state.
Mark Furness, CEO of Essensys, commented: “Today is a landmark day for Essensys, marking the start of the latest and most exciting phase of our journey to date. The positive reception we have received from investors has been hugely encouraging, and serves as an endorsement of the strength of the business we have built as well as the significant long-term opportunities that lie ahead of us as a UK-listed company with global ambition.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped essensys achieve this successful flotation, especially our committed, passionate employees who are the true heartbeat of our business, and our loyal customer base who have allowed us to play an exciting role in the evolution of the flexible workspace industry.”