Author Topic: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings  (Read 2258 times)

matthewd98

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« on: July 16, 2017, 01:04:43 PM »
Company name: BeWhere Holdings
Stock symbol: TSXV: BEW / OTCQB: BEWFF
Stock price: CAD$0.32
Shares outstanding: 51.5M
Market cap: $16.11M
Basic insider ownership: ~36%
Forward 2018 P/S: 3.75x
Forward 2018 P/E: 25x


Intro:

BeWhere is an Industrial Internet of Things ("IIoT") solutions company that designs and manufactures hardware with sensors and software applications to track real-time information on movable assets. It was founded in mid-2015 by seasoned entrepreneurs Owen Moore and Chris Panczuk, and is expected to be on an impressive $1.1M revenue run-rate in Q4 2017. Management has accomplished a great deal in the 2 years since the company was founded. They’ve designed and manufactured two IIoT products, have gotten two large contracts with big name clients (a worldwide armoured truck company and Aphria) along with smaller orders from various customers, are benefiting from a high conversion rate of pilot trials to larger orders, and have secured remarkable partnerships with industry giants Bell and Huawei, something very atypical for the vast majority of start-ups.

Products:

BeWhere offers variants of its two IIoT products: Bluetooth Beacons and mobile-IoT sensors. The former product is the only one commercially available today, and is the first product the company worked on. Furthermore, BeWhere’s software integrates easily with third-party applications using APIs.

Bluetooth Beacons:

With the advent of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in the last few years, it became possible to monitor real-time information on movable assets using Bluetooth. BeWhere is the first to have seized the opportunity by providing a beacon solution that is both significantly cheaper (in majority of cases) and simpler to work with than active RFID tags with comparable battery life (3-5 years) and range (250m+). Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) has historically faced some adoption challenges stemming from its high cost. With this antiquated technology, the customer is not only paying a little more for the active tags with the sensors, but also needs to purchase one or several “readers(s)” to read the sensor data off the tags. Typical RFID readers range from $100-$5,000+.

Contrary to RFID, BeWhere’s Bluetooth beacons don’t need a “reader” to read the sensor data and then transmit it to the server where the data will be stored and analyzed. Instead the beacons transmit their data directly to a cellphone, Bluetooth/WiFi gateway (akin to a router) or telematics device, which then take care of getting the data to the server. Therefore, it’s as simple as installing an application on employees’ phones or plugging in a gateway to get the sensor data from all neighboring beacons. The cost of a beacon with sensors is $35, and it includes 7$ of prepaid monthly service fees. The company charges $0.50 monthly per beacon or $5 yearly per beacon. BeWhere makes a healthy 60% margin on the hardware, and 80%+ on the service fees. As the number of beacons deployed increases, the service fees revenue segment will begin to dominate the hardware revenue segment, at which point revenues will be mostly recurring in nature for this business. Furthermore, the hardware revenue portion can be considered semi-recurring as customers will need to replace their devices once the batteries reach the end of their life.




Mobile-IoT (M-IoT) sensors:

With the huge IIoT market opportunity beginning, cellular carriers are wanting to get their piece of the pie by rolling out new cellular networks to allow for the direct connections of IoT devices, and collecting a small monthly connection fee per device. These cellular IIoT networks are either NB-IoT or LTE-M (also called CatM1) networks. Verizon was the first of the carriers to roll out its LTE-M network back in March. Others are following suit with targeted dates in July by Sprint, and early 2018 by Bell Canada. These networks are specifically designed for low-bandwidth applications needing a battery life of several years, e.g. smart cities, smart agriculture, supply chain management, fleet management, asset tracking/monitoring, etc.

BeWhere immediately recognized the market opportunity and designed a next generation beacon (or mobile-IoT sensor) to communicate sensor data directly with these new cellular networks. They are working closely with two industry titans: Bell and Huawei. BeWhere’s product is currently being tested by Bell, and should be commercially available in September well before Bell rolls out their LTE-M network in early 2018. Huawei is the manufacturer of the NB-IoT chipset found inside the product. They have been showcasing BeWhere’s product to their carrier customers mostly recently at the Shanghai Mobile World Congress. Huawei is looking to drive their chipset and NB-IoT network equipment sales growth this way.

Management expects the revenue model for the mobile-IoT sensors to be an all-inclusive monthly recurring revenue on a 2-3 year contract with BeWhere getting 60% and the carrier 40%, as is typical in the industry. Based on my experience, I’d estimate the cost of the hardware to be around $20. I’d expect there to be several months to a year payback period, after which it would be all recurring revenue at 80%+ margin since the only direct costs are associated to the company’s networks (where the data is stored and analyzed), similar to a SaaS company. Management believes they can generate hundreds of thousands in revenue per month in 2018 from the mobile-IoT sensors.




Competitors & competitive advantages

BeWhere enjoys a market leader position in both the Bluetooth beacon market and mobile-IoT sensor market. In the former market, they have patented their unique methodology of using the Bluetooth protocol to communicate efficiently with over hundreds of beacons. Competitors using the Bluetooth protocol in its standard “pairing mode” are limited to a few simultaneous connections, a quicker battery drain and unreliable communications where packets are occasionally dropped – think of the times your cellphone had issues with the infotainment system in your car or with a wireless Bluetooth speaker. As such, BeWhere is the only company to offer Bluetooth beacons on a large scale. Competitors wanting to get large scale orders would have no choice but to license the technology from BeWhere.

As previously mentioned, the mobile-IoT market is in its infancy and BeWhere will be first to offer a commercially available product to the carriers. Its first mover advantage coupled with management’s multi-decade industry experience and a well-designed product, should secure the company’s position as market leader for the future. The nearest competitors are ~2 years behind as the company has been developing IIoT products since mid-2015. The knowledge and experience acquired from the Bluetooth beacons is relevant to the mobile-IoT sensors since one is the evolution of the other. Considering how big the IIoT market will be, it doesn’t matter if BeWhere doesn’t hold a major technological advantage down the line. As long as it can entrench its market leader position by continuing to be the first mover, providing excellent customer service and supporting its software, it is sure to do very well. A comparison can be made to the telematics industry today where some companies have billion dollar market caps, but don’t offer much more in the way of technological advancements compared to smaller competitors.

IIoT market opportunities:

The company targets primarily three verticals with its Bluetooth Beacons: i) Transportation & Logistics Services, ii) Emergency Medical Services and iii) Utilities, Construction and Rail. A video on the company’s website best explains the uses for the above mentioned markets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsEu33pL7l4. Nevertheless, the company is fully capable of supporting other applications and markets with its beacon technology.

The mobile-IoT sensors have a considerably more applications than the beacons. They can be used in smart cities, smart agriculture, smart infrastructure, supply chain management, fleet management and asset tracking to name a few large applications.

Management & BOD:

Owen Moore, CEO founded Grey Island Systems International which went on to be acquired by BSM Wireless (previously Webtech Wireless before its merger with BSM Wireless) for $38M. As president of Grey Island Systems, Owen drove revenues to $24M in less than 10 years. After the sale of his first company, he joined BSM Wireless as the executive VP of sales. Chris Panczuk, COO has been in the telematics industry since 1998 and was with BSM wireless until 2014. Chris’s role at BSM was VP of enterprise sales.

Between both founders, there is ~35 years of experience in the industry. Management is the principle reason for the business’s success to date. Without their industry experience, it would have taken years to build an equally robust distribution channel as the company has today.

Mark Kohler has recently been appointed CFO. Mr. Kohler is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, and a designated ICD.D with the Institute of Corporate Directors. He’s also a leader in the technology and financial services industry with over 29 years of experience as an investor, entrepreneur, senior executive, and board member at some of Canada’s leading public and private organizations. Recently, as the Executive Chairman of QHR Corporation, Mark championed that Company’s strategy and profitable transformation that led to its $170 million sale to Loblaw Companies Ltd.

BeWhere’s board is also very solid with two capital markets experts and one telematics industry leader. Its executive director, Greg Cameron is a capital markets leader and advisor, and is president of Colby Capital Limited. In excess of the past 20 years Mr. Cameron has been an investor in a number of high-growth businesses and has assisted in raising funds for small and mid-cap companies in Canada and abroad.

Financials:

For the FY2016, the company generated $225k in revenue and had adjusted net loss of $722k (adjusting for one-time RTO expenses, share-based comp and D&A). They started selling their product in mid-2016 as it took about one year of development to be commercially ready. Considering their product was on the market for half a year, they were able to convert some pilot trials to larger orders with a few customers rather quickly.

In Q1 2017, they announced 2 large contracts, one with an international provider of armoured car transportation for its US business, and the other with Aphria. The only companies which fit the description of “one of the most trusted security and logistics brands in the world” mentioned in the news release are Brinks and Garda. IMO, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that these are significantly large contracts otherwise the company wouldn’t have bothered announcing them. In addition, it’s stated in the press release of the contract with the armored car transport company that BeWhere looks forward to growing their business with them as they operate in over 100 countries worldwide. I don’t believe it would be too difficult for them to secure the rest of the company’s international business, and they seemed confident about accomplishing this as per the tone in the PR.

I recently spoke with management, and they guided that revenues would be doubling QoQ for the next few quarters. I suspect that Q2 and Q3 revenue will be mostly from the two aforementioned contracts given the necessary installation time. In my financial model below, I assumed that revenues would more than double QoQ for Q2 considering the small revenue base of Q1. To remain conservative I assumed a double QoQ for Q3 and ~60% QoQ growth for Q4. I also used 50% blended gross margins since I’m presuming that discounts were given on the hardware for the two large orders. Additionally, management told me expenses would be slightly higher in the coming quarters due to the R&D with the mobile-IoT sensors. OPEX is expected to normalize back to $400k/Q in 2018.

In Q4 2017, I have the company on a $1.1M revenue run-rate and ~$150k net income run-rate. All revenue in 2017 is assumed to be from the Bluetooth beacon business given that the mobile-IoT sensors aren’t available yet. Annualizing the estimated Q4 revenue and net income run-rates yields a forward P/S of 3.75x and a P/E of 25x. I easily think they could double revenues in FY2018 as the Bluetooth beacon business should keep growing, and the mobile-IoT sensors will be available for sale in September. Therefore, I see 100%+ upside on the stock by early next year. More importantly I see revenue growth continuing in the long-term and I expect share price appreciation to carry forward for years. BeWhere is doing everything right to secure its seat as the market leader for the future.

The company’s balance sheet is solid with no debt on the books and $1.4M in cash on hand. Should they need to do a raise to fuel the mobile-IoT growth, it would be on favorable terms considering that their last private placement in mid-2016 was oversubscribed and money had to be turned down. With all the business progress that has been made since then, it’s almost impossible to think that they couldn’t raise money on great terms if needed.




PRs:
•   Bell partnership: http://www.bce.ca/news-and-media/releases/show/Bell-to-launch-LTE-M-network-to-transform-the-way-Canadians-use-the-Internet-of-Things-1
•   Huawei partnership: http://www.huawei.com/ca/news/ca-en/201706281st-Canadian-Mobile-IoT-Sensor
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 10:43:36 PM by Parsad »


Devils_Shadow

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 03:07:02 AM »
A technology product that takes just a year to develop and commercially deploy would likely not have much of an entry barrier.

matthewd98

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 05:06:15 PM »
A technology product that takes just a year to develop and commercially deploy would likely not have much of an entry barrier.

For their Bluetooth Beacon products, there is a barrier to entry by way of their patents around using the Bluetooth protocol to communicate efficiently and effectively with hundreds of beacons. Bluetooth pairing is very battery intensive, unreliable as packets are occasionally dropped, and you are limited to 8 simultaneous connections. The company is using the Bluetooth protocol in a way it was never intended to be used to get around these limitations and hence why it's patentable.

As for the mobile-IoT business, like I said there doesn't need to be a major technological advantage as long as they are the first movers and get scale quicker than others. So far they are ahead. Management's cumulative ~35 years experience in the industry helped a lot with securing partnerships with Bell (BCE), Huawei, Geotab, etc. Look at the telematics companies like Fleetmatics or the others, all they do is offer GPS units for fleet tracking along with software yet Fleetmatics is a $2B+ company.

Quote
As previously mentioned, the mobile-IoT market is in its infancy and BeWhere will be first to offer a commercially available product to the carriers. Its first mover advantage coupled with management’s multi-decade industry experience and a well-designed product, should secure the company’s position as market leader for the future. The nearest competitors are ~2 years behind as the company has been developing IIoT products since mid-2015. The knowledge and experience acquired from the Bluetooth beacons is relevant to the mobile-IoT sensors since one is the evolution of the other. Considering how big the IIoT market will be, it doesn’t matter if BeWhere doesn’t hold a major technological advantage down the line. As long as it can entrench its market leader position by continuing to be the first mover, providing excellent customer service and supporting its software, it is sure to do very well. A comparison can be made to the telematics industry today where some companies have billion dollar market caps, but don’t offer much more in the way of technological advancements compared to smaller competitors.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 05:08:34 PM by matthewd98 »

beerbaron

  • Lifetime Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1372
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 06:50:44 PM »
Matthew, I heard from the grapevines that the next generation of Bluetooth would incorporate a Zigbee like protocol. What are your toughts on the impact on their business model?

johnny

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 03:52:23 AM »
Do they describe (or better yet, identify) what they believe their key patents are?

Simple search gives me one, but maybe there are others?

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/d9/f6/74/a8efda98d8726c/US20160307154A1.pdf

Bluetooth has a reputation for being an absolutely nightmarish protocol to work with. So, on the one hand, I can see real value in somebody successfully wrapping it up and making it reliably useful to a non-engineer end-user. But the other hand: I'd default to an assumption that they've not nailed it.

They should give out sample devices with investor information packets.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 03:56:19 AM by johnny »

matthewd98

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 04:35:20 PM »
Matthew, I heard from the grapevines that the next generation of Bluetooth would incorporate a Zigbee like protocol. What are your toughts on the impact on their business model?

Great question. I'm not entirely familiar with Zigbee as it's not a very common protocol and I don't see it displacing the incumbents like WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular. Chipset manufacturers aren't fully on board with Zigbee, they prefer to devote development resources to the aforementioned protocols. From what I know of Zigbee, it's range is limited to 10-100m and requires line-of-sight. That's not good for industrial IoT ("IIoT") applications, which usually requires a larger coverage area.

Bluetooth did announced today that it added mesh networking capabilities. It will be interesting to see how it works in real-world applications -- Bluetooth still hasn't worked out all the kinks with its "pairing" mode (or connection-oriented communication). I'm inclined to believe that it won't be as effective as BeWhere's methodology which uses a star bus-topology (all beacons connect to one or multiple points, aka Bluetooth/WiFi gateways or employee's cellphones, where the data is then transmitted to the server). Mesh networking is harder to implement, generally slower as the packets must pass through several nodes sometimes and since there's more packet routing involved, it would lead to lower battery life I'd imagine. There's also more room for routing error when compared to star bus-topology. Furthermore, it would still take a competitor sometime (~1 year+) to develop their Bluetooth Beacons with the mesh networking capabilities. Let's not forget that one of BeWhere's major competitive advantage also stems from their 35 year industry experience which resulted in partnerships with BeWhere, Huawei and Geotab -- all three very large companies.

Star-bus topology:
VS. Mesh topology:
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 05:32:41 PM by matthewd98 »

matthewd98

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 04:44:46 PM »
Do they describe (or better yet, identify) what they believe their key patents are?

Simple search gives me one, but maybe there are others?

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/d9/f6/74/a8efda98d8726c/US20160307154A1.pdf

Bluetooth has a reputation for being an absolutely nightmarish protocol to work with. So, on the one hand, I can see real value in somebody successfully wrapping it up and making it reliably useful to a non-engineer end-user. But the other hand: I'd default to an assumption that they've not nailed it.

They should give out sample devices with investor information packets.

I can explain the way their methodology works since it's patented. Essentially, they stuff the sensor data into the advertisement packets. The advertisements packets are used for the pairing process. When you try to connect two Bluetooth devices together, you have to have them search for each other and in doing that, they are both transmitting their device name, signal strength along with other data -- that's the "advertisement" packet. So it's a burst communication. BeWhere simply stuffs the sensor data in that and is read by the Bluetooth/WiFi gateway or employee's cellphones or telematics units to send the data off to the server to be analyzed.

johnny

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 08:09:41 PM »
Their patents actually preclude anybody else from coming up with their own way of data-stuffing the advertisement? I am not smart enough to fully comprehend the patent filing, but you seem like you've read up on this. How narrow should we expect the method protection to be?

matthewd98

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 09:17:21 PM »
Their patents actually preclude anybody else from coming up with their own way of data-stuffing the advertisement? I am not smart enough to fully comprehend the patent filing, but you seem like you've read up on this. How narrow should we expect the method protection to be?

@Johnny: Yes exactly. I actually have an electrical engineering background that's why I'm familiar with the technology. They have multiple patents, some design and other utility ones. Some are still pending, but should be approved in 1-2 months. The utility patents cover stuffing data from any sensor (e.g. temp, humidity, movement, light, etc.) into the advertisement packets so it's quite broad. The design patents are around the placement of the sensors and batteries within the beacon. I'm no patent expert, however the patents look solid to me.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 09:18:54 PM by matthewd98 »

rukawa

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 494
Re: BEW.TO - BeWhere Holdings
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 09:01:20 PM »
I decided not to invest in BeWhere Holdings. DangerAhead Corp just seemed more attractive.