East Rutherford-based Amber Road Files for IPO, Hopes to Raise $75 Million

Photo: James Preuninger of Amber Road is taking his company public. Photo Credit: Courtesy Amber Road
James Preuninger of Amber Road is taking his company public. | Courtesy Amber Road

NJTC (New Jersey Technology Council) Venture Fund-backed Amber Road (East Rutherford), which licenses software as a service (SaaS) software to automate international import and export processes, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO). The company is expected to begin trading March 21, 2014.

Amber Road, which hopes to raise $75 million, will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AMBR.

The company announced its terms earlier in March. It will sell 6.5 million shares at a price range of $10.50 to $12.50 per share. According to an article on NASDAQ.com, at the midrange of this stock price Amber Road would command a fully diluted market value of $313 million.

The company was founded in 2002. According to an article on the website Seeking Alpha, Amber Road made two important acquisitions in 2005 to complete its global trade management portfolio: BridgePoint and NextLinx Corporation.

“NextLinx added 11 years of global trade compliance technology and content, which is Amber’s key selling point to customers. The company [which began as Management Dynamics] was rechristened Amber Road in 2011,” the article says.

The Seeking Alpha article notes that as of the end of 2013, Amber Road had 463 customers: 172 enterprise companies contributing at least $100,000 each in annual revenue and 291 midmarket firms contributing less than $100,000 each in annual revenue. The company employs some 500 people.

An article by Lawrence J. Aragon on Reuters PE Hub reports that Amber Road’s primary venture backers include Cross Atlantic Capital Partners (Radnor, Pa.), which holds 6,685,160 shares (34.8 percent of the total); Updata Partners (Washington, D.C.), 3,561,856 shares (18.6 percent); Goldman Sachs (New York), 2,987,756 shares (15.6 percent); NJTC  Venture Fund (Mount Laurel), 1,355,051 shares (7.1 percent); and Orix Ventures (Dallas), 245,946 shares (1.3 percent).

“As a group, the five investors own 14.83 million shares (or 77 percent of the total) prior to the offering. Assuming they don’t exercise options to buy additional shares, the investors collectively plan to sell about 1.2 million shares in the IPO,” the Reuters article states.

In January 2014, the NJTC’s TechNews interviewed Jim Preuninger, founder and CEO of Amber Road. Preuninger discussed some of the early challenges his company had faced, including selling a cloud product when no one else was doing so and convincing large companies like GE and Wal-Mart to buy it.

Another challenge he noted was that “one platform, a cookie-cutter approach, doesn’t work.” However, customization for each customer was unsupportable. The answer: “We had to develop a technology that was highly adaptable and had a high degree of configuration so it could be a tight-glove fit for Wal-Mart as well as a small company in a different industry,” said Preuninger.

[Update: Amber Road raised $96 million by offering 7.4 million shares (35 percent insider) at $13. The company had originally planned to offer 6.5 million shares. Insiders bought all of the additional shares. The company now has a $356 million market cap, according to an article by Renaissance Capital on Nasdaq.com.]

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