MaterialsXchange (MX) is a startup digital marketplace for raw materials, initially focused on lumber and wood products. The exchange was founded in 2019.
After a few years of developing and refining its concept, the MaterialsXchange team felt the time was right to launch its exchange in early 2019. Although the lumber industry was ripe for innovation, it also presented a challenge: the cash raw materials market for lumber was fragmented and had numerous challenges around price discovery, delivery, and settlement. The MX team had deep domain expertise in the raw materials sector, but needed a partner who could build the technology to fit into this ecosystem — and build it quickly to prove the concept.
MaterialsXchange’s timing coincided perfectly with the launch of Connamara’s EP3 matching engine technology. EP3 was the ideal technology solution for bringing the efficiency and transparency of modern capital markets to the fragmented and cumbersome cash market for raw materials. MX selected Connamara as its technology partner, and in the summer of 2019, Connamara began working with MX founder and CEO Mike Wisnefski and his team to build the exchange.
With MX, as with all clients, Connamara followed agile methodologies that have been developed over the past 20 years. With the mindset of dynamic improvement, these disciplines include: test-driven development, continuous integration, automated builds, and testing. Wrapped around these methods are the agile project management process of feature prioritization, complexity estimation in points, and completion dates that are calculated through team velocity tracking. This methodology ensures Connamara always delivers certainty to clients through the entire software development lifecycle, and instills the confidence that the project will result in the highest-quality software, delivered on time and on budget.
MaterialsXchange — with EP3 as its foundation — completed its first transaction on October 28th, 2019, just over four months after beginning work with Connamara. While new venues often take over a year to complete their first trade, EP3 allowed Connamara to build MX on a very compressed timeframe, enabling MX to launch ahead of schedule and start onboarding new customers. While MaterialsXchange was initially created as a minimum viable product, EP3’s built-in scalability and throughput will allow the exchange to scale to the size of the market without changing the underlying technology.