Back from the brink: BuildDirect is now trading on the TSX Venture Exchange

The milestone follows strong sales growth in 2020 and a recent $20.5 million private placement.

Vancouver’s BuildDirect started trading as a public company on the TSX Venture Exchange (BILD) this morning, valued at approximately $160 million.

This follows yesterday’s announcement that the company completed a $20.5 million private placement and a reverse takeover by VLCTY Capital Inc., the public company that was created to combine with BuildDirect.com Technologies Inc.

“Becoming a publicly-traded company is an important milestone for BuildDirect, however, we believe our best days are ahead of us as we leverage our digital platform, expand our reach into bricks and mortar independent retailers and capture B2B professionals,” said BuildDirect Dan Park, a former Amazon executive who became CEO just weeks after joining the company as COO.

Building momentum

In 2020 BuildDirect saw online building material sales grow more than 30% year-over-year, as the company rode a wave of growth in the home improvement products industry, driven by a shift towards investments in the home and online growth in building material purchases.

With a potential addressable market of approximately $71 billion in the U.S. flooring segment, Park is bullish on the opportunity for BuildDirect to capitalize on serving the industry’s fragmented supplier and customer bases. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, but the future has never looked so bright for the home improvement industry and for BuildDirect,” Park said.

Park’s plan for continuing to grow the business focuses on harnessing technology to provide customers with a simplified home improvement industry experience, which includes providing a suite of products for jobsites or homes, with a comprehensive floor buying experience and customer support.

Turnaround tale

Anyone who’s followed the BuildDirect story might call this the halfway point in what could be a remarkable turnaround story. Founded in 1999, BuildDirect set out to be the Amazon of heavy-duty home-improvement supplies, matching buyers and sellers in a heavyweight construction goods marketplace. The company raised more than $100 million and sales exceeded that amount too in peak years.

However, the company’s 2014 expansion plan in which it overhauled its platform to integrate artificial intelligence tools was plagued by issues that reduced sales dramatically. BuildDirect ended up filing for creditor protection, and the episode ultimately cost founder Jeff Booth his job.

The company emerged from creditor protection in 2018 after securing financing from previous investors Mohr Davidow Ventures and lenders Beedie Capital, Pelecanus Investments and Lyra Growth Partners.