In 2013, after Tungsten Corporation acquired OB10 (a leading European e-invoicing provider), bought a bank, and went public with a market cap of £225 million, I wrote that this grand experiment would be fun to watch. It has been even more fascinating than I expected.
When I last looked at Tungsten’s stock last November, the price was up 40% from its offering. I was regretting being snarky and more than a bit skeptical about their chances of success. Since then, however, the roller coaster stock price has started moving in the opposite direction.
Following weak stock performance to begin 2015, today the company lost another 26% of its value on 10x normal volume. The only reason I could find for this precipitous drop was an article mentioning an investment website which had questioned Tungsten Corporation’s business model and balance sheet. Tungsten responded with a press release basically saying that Tungsten Early Payment and Tungsten Analytics would be its growth engines in the future and that “the board continues to be confident in the long-term growth prospects of the company.”
I suspect the roller coaster will continue. Tungsten Corporation is trying to do something darn near impossible in full view of public shareholders. Most of the rest of the folks in the space are part of larger, public companies (e.g. SAP, Bottomline, Basware) or still private (Taulia, C2FO, Oxygen Finance, Tradeshift) and many others). Building B2B e-invoicing or payment networks is not for the faint of heart or the short-term minded investor!