A new comms company is heading to AIM later this month, say hello to LoopUp. This is a 10-year old enterprise audio conferencing start-up with plans to drag what has been a fairly shabby service into the 21st Century digital age. The firm's patented remote meetings software is apparently a big, streamlined upgrade for hosts and participants alike on other platforms, which the company reckons ups the ante in terms of getting stuff done.
It works by charging customers on a pay per use basis, with an average client spend of £27 per month. That doesn't sound like much but when you extrapolate it across 2,000-plus businesses, it adds up.
From calendar year 2012 to 2015, revenues doubled to £10.1 million, and gross margins expanded from 67% to 75%. EBITDA moved from an estimated loss of £1.6 million to a profit of a fraction more than £1 million.
There are some pretty heavy-hitting customers too, Cable & Wireless Communications (now part of Virgin Media's US parent Liberty Global) and Travelex. To date most of the new business has come from LoopUp's own sales force based in offices in the UK, US, Hong Kong and Australia, but presumably, this is crying out for channel partners to network the system into a wider enterprise communications package. That would certainly expand the addressable market and potentially provide a more flexible cost base.
About 45% of income stems from North America, 41% here in the UK, the rest from elsewhere.
No details as yet on pricing, nor indeed on what sort of funds LoopUP is hoping to raise but something in the region of £10 million to £20 million would seem likely, giving the company capital to fuel presumably necessary ongoing platform investment, especially if it's to prosper versus the likes of Skype for Business and iMessage/WhatsApp etc.
'Audio conferencing services have surprisingly failed to move with the times, relying on antiquated long passcodes, dreadful music and the typical background interference from the participant dialling in from a train station or Pret a Manger,' points out Megabuyte's Philip Carse.
We'll try to stay connected to LoopUp's progress, stay on the line, investors.