Irish software firm Zutec pips ahead of Spotify for a Nasdaq IPO

6 Mar 2018

Nasdaq bell in Stockholm. Image: John Kennedy

Zutec’s listing is due to take place on Nasdaq First North on 15 March.

Dublin construction software company Zutec is to become the first Irish-founded company to list on Nasdaq First North.

This means that an Irish technology company will have secured a Nasdaq listing ahead of music streaming giant Spotify, which plans to list on the NYSE exchange in New York in the first half of 2018.

Zutec makes cloud software solutions for the construction, engineering and facilities management industry and has offices in Europe, Asia and the US.

Its technology helps to manage processes and workflow, and avoid paperwork errors and delays in construction projects.

The company is understood to be in the final stages of a €5.7m share sale ahead of its pivotal listing in Stockholm.

The listing marks a critical new juncture in how Irish tech firms secure funding, eschewing the traditional venture capital route in favour of an IPO.

Zutec was founded in 1999 and recorded revenues of €2.4m in 2017, compared with €1.56m the previous year.

The company is engaged in more than 300 projects around the world, including Wembley Stadium, the Shard Tower in London, Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, and the port and airport in Doha, Qatar.

Why Nasdaq First North?

Nasdaq Nordic president: ‘IPOs are next stage of Europe’s start-up journey’

Nasdaq Nordic offices, Stockholm. Image: John Kennedy

First North, a division of Nasdaq Nordic, is Nasdaq’s European growth market and is designed for small and growing companies.

Nasdaq Nordic has been named the most active exchange in Europe, with €7.7bn raised from 69 IPOs in 2016. The largest IPO on the Nasdaq Nordic exchange here was Dong Energy, which raised €2.3bn.

During a fact-finding mission to Stockholm last year, the president of Nasdaq Nordic, Lauri Rosendahl, told that the exchange has something interesting and alternative to offer European fast-growth companies because of a sophisticated and established investor base as well as an appetite among ordinary Swedes for retail investment.

A crucial factor, Rosendahl explained, is the solid investor base made up of institutional and retail funds. The Swedish appetite for investment is helped by government policy, which encourages Swedes to invest at least 5pc of their retirement funds in shares.

“The average return for the Main Market and the First North from IPOs has been 40.3pc and 22.2pc, respectively,” Rosendahl explained at the time.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years