Category: Business News

LocatorX – New CEO With A Focus On First Product To Market & Public Offering

LocatorX Looks To Be Found

LocatorX develops innovative GPS technology to provide location tracking services. Scott Fletcher, a 30 year IT veteran has just been named the new CEO. Scott has worked in IT for large multinational companies and has also played an instrumental role in building and leading startup tech companies – both large and small. His previous work history includes: Shell, PeopleSoft (currently a part of Oracle), Dun & Bradstreet Software and more.

Mr Fletcher will lead LocatorX as they continue to develop the next generation of GPS which incorporates the world’s first Solid-State Atomic Clock microchip.

As CEO, Mr. Fletcher will lead the company through the following undertakings:

  • bringing the LocatorX’s first product to market
  • commence microchip production
  • launch the company’s major marketing campaign
  • pursue additional technology patents
  • continue the push forward for SEC Reg A+ Direct Public Offering.

The full official announcement from LocatorX can be read here.

Dec 2018 Newsletter

As we near the end of 2018 (my, my what a year this has been), we would like to provide a brief overview of a few of the exciting partner companies in our portfolio (in no particular order). As you can see, we are industry agnostic so our portfolio ranges from the highest of high-tech to a delicious line of Rum. We have additional companies in our portfolio as well as multiple businesses for sale that we will cover in future newsletters.We are very fortunate and grateful that a boutique firm like NewGate Capital is able to attract such quality deals.


locator x company logo

LocatorX plans to disrupt the $27 Billion GPS location services market through their partnership with Oxford University which provides exclusive rights to the University developed Solid-state Miniature Atomic Clock. Once scaled, the patented Global Resource Locator will enable real-time tracking of any asset – both indoors and outdoors – at a low per-unit cost, without the need of installing expensive beacon systems.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues its rapid growth, the Global Resource Locator will seamlessly integrate into any device or product to enable accurate and timely location tracking.  While the Global Resource Locator is being developed for mass production, LocatorX is creating a suite of products to improve product and tracking information which will commercialize the back-end functionality of the final product and generate near term revenue.


threatlocker
ThreatLocker has developed an application whitelisting solution that allows businesses to control exactly what is running on their systems while giving them complete visibility. The ThreatLocker solution stops users from running unknown applications (i.e. viruses, malware) without explicit permission from the I.T. department. This results in the virtual elimination of malware and cyber breaches. Unlike traditional whitelisting solutions, ThreatLocker is easy to deploy, requires little management, and easy to permit new software when it is needed. ThreatLocker is fully developed and is in the market with customers and revenue.


A passion for Caribbean culture, coffee and rum. RumJava is a line of artisan crafted rums (4 dark rums and 2 rum creams) distilled in Florida from Florida cane and other natural ingredients. The rums, infused with five Java’Mon Coffee blends, are positioned in the growing flavored rum category and they compete with premium sipping rums. RumJava was awarded 3 Gold Medals at the Miami RumFest and was the highest selling rum at Miami RumFest, UK RumFest and the London Spirits Show. Created in 2017, RumJava has sold 24,000 bottles in 8 states, the UK and the Virgin Islands and is increasingly cashflow positive.

 


secureair

SecureAire has developed and commercialized today’s most advanced air purification systems to combat the growing problem of indoor air quality. SecureAire’s patented Particle Control Technology is able to filter out critical contaminants including viruses, bacteria, mold, VOCs and dissolved gasses (CO2). SecureAire technology has been proven through several supervised pilot projects in hospitals and commercial buildings.  SecureAire is currently manufacturing and selling units for commercial and residential applications.


SuperCooler Technology

SuperCooler Technologies focuses on precision refrigeration and beverage supercooling. They hold numerous patents for chilling, storing and serving beverages. SuperCooler’s flagship product keeps liquids just below their freezing point to offer a perfectly cooled beverage with an instant slush.  A version of this product is being offered in partnership with Coca-Cola branded as Artic Coke. Two of the first Artic Coke Supercoolers in Florida have been placed in Disney Springs at the Coca-Cola Store.


Rentivity is developing the first end-to-end digital marketplace for single-family rentals. A highly automated single point of entry SaaS platform integrates all users, streamlining the entire asset lifecycle. Originated from experience, Rentivity is designed to scale while mitigating risks, improving rents, reducing vacant time on market, and controlling costs.  The Rentivity platform is fully developed, has completed testing, a pilot launch and will be fully released with live customers before year’s end.


GeoToll

GeoToll has created a mobile phone app that replaces the window stickers and other devices used for electronic toll collection. Not only easier to use than SunPass, EZ-Pass, Peach Pass, and all the other toll passes but your one GeoToll app can handle them all. GeoToll has you covered whether you are driving locally, cross country or in a rental car.

GeoToll technology has been proven through multiple pilot tests and is now entering two go-to-market launches in California. The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and the LA County Metropolitan Transportation have awarded GeoToll exclusive contracts and have committed over $350k to proving customer acceptance and operational benefits.


We want to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful Holiday and a very prosperous New Year.

May 2018 Newsletter

Local Mergers and Acquisitions

Early last month, there was a good piece in the Orlando Business Journal about the recent M&A activity in Central Florida and the complexities that go into those types of transactions.

More insightful, though, than the various structures and unique terms a given deal may include was the psychological toll that the sale of a business can take on its owners — especially when those folks are the people (or are related to the people) who started the business.For many business owners, their identity, time, and much of their wealth and livelihood is tied up in their business.

The Conway Center for Family Business estimates that the average lifespan of a family-owned business is 24 years. For most of us, that represents roughly a third of our lifetime. So it’s no wonder that the idea of transitioning away from a family built business comes with a boatload of stress. You worry about your employees and your family’s financial and personal future, there’s a lot of emotion involved.

It doesn’t help matters that the due diligence process is often arduous and chalk-full of scrutiny. So why go through the process at all? Why not pass it on to the next generation? Well, according to Bloomberg Business Week only 40% of U.S. family-owned businesses are passed on to the second generation. For third-generation, it’s a meager 13% — and those numbers are trending down. Meanwhile, the number of folks reaching retirement is at an all-time high. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day; many of them are business owners.

If the most historically common method of business-succession is trending down and more business owners than ever are looking to move towards retirement, how can a business owner plan to move forward? Private Equity and strategic competitors seeking consolidation are becoming the new norms for business owners looking to move on to the next chapter of their lives. One stark proof point: deal activity in U.S.

Private Equity hit new highs in 2017 in both deal count and deal value, and Pitch Book believes a new record could be hit in 2018. Due to low-interest rates and an influx of money into PE funds, there’s more capital than ever that needs to be put to work. How does that affect business owners? Higher valuations! Monetarily, it’s one of the best times ever to be the captain of a profitable private business with your eyes on the exit door.

That doesn’t erase the fact that the sale process comes with the aforementioned challenges. But like all great outcomes, the obstacles are there to be overcome and if you’re working with an experienced team of advisers, it can make the journey much more palatable (and profitable).

 

If you or anyone you know is considering raising growth capital or selling/buying a business, please let us know. We’d love to chat.

 


Portfolio company that just closed out its seed round

 

Rentivity.com

Rentivity, a Florida based real estate technology company, successfully completed a fundraising round with NewGate Capital Partners of an undisclosed amount. Rentivity is launching the first end-to-end digital marketplace for single-family home rentals. Their solution integrates and supports all users (owners, landlords, property managers, tenants, vendors, etc.) in a single, mobile friendly, platform. Rentivity will save time and money for both renters and property owners while providing detailed reporting and a digital audit trail of all transactions.

 

You can visit them and stay up-to-date on their full market launch atrentivity.com.

 


 

Machine-Part Manufacturing Company for Sale

 

Image result for Machine-Part Manufacturing

 

NewGate Capital Partners has recently listed for sale a manufacturing company that is focused on producing machine parts for envelope, plastic bag, and notebook manufacturers. The Company was founded in 2005 and currently employs 11 people.

It is headquartered outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a 10,000 square foot facility and mostly serves clients throughout Pennsylvania. Their niche-focus is a competitive advantage that has resulted in year-over-year sales growth of 13%. They finished the 2017 calendar year with just over $2 million in sales and an adjusted EBITDA of $600k and are expecting similar or better results for 2018.

 

The owner is currently looking to retire but has management in place that can take over post-transition.

The sale of the business includes the land and manufacturing facility.

 


 

 

 

Possible scenario(s) of the future of various industries

Change is inevitable

I imagine some of this will not turn out quite as planned, but it’s interesting to think about, just the same.
In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.

What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years – and most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again?

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.  Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.  So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 mi (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million mi (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.nIt then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.  Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.  In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell what mood you are in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they are telling the truth and when they are not.

Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency. Of the world.

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already sold for $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.? Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child learns at school in First World countries. We have already released our software in Indonesia and will release it in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this Summer, because I see an enormous potential. We will give the English app for free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half a year. Boom!

 (Author unknown)

Digital Disruption: How It Changes A Business

What exactly is Digital Disruption?

Today digital technologies are influencing the evolution of successful business models.
Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

Digital disruption has already happened and will continue happening; changing the way business interacts with customers and each other.
Here are some instances of business models evolved from digital disruption:

* Most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)
* Worlds largest taxi company owns no taxis (Uber)
* Largest accommodation provider owns no real estate (airbnb)
* Largest phone companies own no telco infrastructure (Skype, WeChat)
* Worlds most valuable retailer has no inventory (Alibaba)
* Fastest growing banks have no actual money (SocietyOne)
* Worlds largest movie house owns no cinemas (NetFlix)
* Largest software vendors don’t write the apps (Apple & Google)

 

Check out this video
Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Why That Ex-IBM Exec Could Be One Giant, Cash-Guzzling Liability to Your Startup

Picture this.

Young, starry-eyed startup founder comes in to pitch investors for funding.

He clicks crisply through his deck. He describes his product (patent-pending, of course), its features, benefits, and how 1% market share is enough to place everyone in the company on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.

Then the team slide comes up on the screen and the entrepreneur puffs up his chest, clears his throat, and announces that (just so you know) the CTO (or some other C-Suite position) of the company is an ex-IBM executive (or an ex-HP executive, or any other big, public company).

He pauses and looks around the room proudly. Almost as if he was expecting a standing ovation.

Oh, by the way, the company has raised $20 million so far, burned more than 50% of that on overhead (logo design, focus groups, salaries, and such), and hopes to have a minimum viable product in 24 months. Just as soon as this round of funding is completed.

See any problem with this picture?

Several actually. Let’s address just one today.

If you haven’t taken your product and service to market, if you do not yet have product-market fit, hiring an ex-Google COO to impress potential investors will almost certainly spell doom for your startup.

Here’s why.

One, your startup IS NOT a smaller version of a big, public company (HT Steve Blank). Your social media startup and Facebook are two totally different animals. One is a cute, needy kitten; the other is a full-grown lion. Your startup (the kitten) has different needs and needs a different set of competencies than a fully-functioning company.

Second, drawing from one above and quoting Ben Horowitz in his must-read book, “the job of a big company executive is very different from the job of a small company executive.”

To a big company executive (used to big budgets), that $2 million you plan to raise to take your product to market is just furniture allowance.

Former big company executives come with big company habits that could be deadly to your startup. Habits like sending everything to focus groups, analysis paralysis, bureaucracy, ego mania, and waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen (among others).

Bottom line: buyer beware.

Yes, you might need an Eric Schmidt or Sheryl Sandberg for adult supervision, however, hire one with your eyes wide open and only when your startup has taken off and is approaching cruising altitude.

Why EBITDA is Not Cash Flow

Why Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) is Not Cash Flow

Published  by Axial  November 2013 by Cody Boyte

 

There is often a misconception that EBITDA is synonymous with cash flow. While most seasoned deal professionals are careful to remember the distinction, some company owners (or entry-level analysts) can benefit from a friendly reminder.

The EBITDA metric gained prominence with the arrival of the LBO industry in the 1980’s, as buyout firms used it to estimate how much debt a company could take on, a key component of the LBO strategy. While EBITDA has become standard in company valuation – purchase prices and loan covenants are often quoted as multiples of EBITDA – the metric is not uniformly defined under GAAP standards and its calculation varies from company to company. This variation can lead to disparities and misunderstandings about the true cash-generative abilities of a business.

EBITDA does not take into account any capital expenditures, working capital requirements, current debt payments, taxes, or other fixed costs which analysts and buyers should not ignore. The cash needed to finance these obligations is a reality if the business wishes to grow, defend its position, and maintain its operating profitability.

Here are three costs that are not included in the EBITDA calculation, and their omission tends to overstate operating cash flows:

Capital Expenditures

Certain industries like heavy manufacturing, shipping, aviation, telecom, clean technology and oil and gas require heavy ongoing or up front investments in equipment. EBITDA does not take into account capex, the line item that represents these significant investments in plant and equipment. Ignoring capital expenses to inflate EBITDA by $3.8B precipitated the bankruptcy of WorldCom. Essentially, the company capitalized operating expenses, allowing them to be depreciated over time, thus decreasing operating expenses and boosting EBITDA.

Depreciation

“The biggest problem I encounter is an over or underestimation of capital expenses for asset-heavy companies such as trucking. Adding back all depreciation for a company like this without leaving an allowance for capex can grossly overestimate the available cash flow. However, not adding back any depreciation can underestimate the cash flow, especially if the company uses accelerated depreciation,” advises Axial Member Jaime Schell of Plethora Businesses. There have been more insidious cases of companies manipulating depreciation schedules to inflate EBITDA, such as?Waste Management in the mid-nineties extending the useful lives of its garbage trucks and overstating their salvage value.

Working Capital Adjustments

Businesses need to invest revenue back into the company to keep expanding. EBITDA does not account for changes in working capital and the cash required to run the daily operating activities. Ignoring working capital requirements assumes that a business gets paid before it sells its products. Very few companies operate this way. Most businesses provide a service and get paid in arrears. Ideally a business collects up front for its services and pays in as much time as possible to remain as liquid as possible and to quickly reinvest cash into profitable investments like inventory purchases. This relationship between sources and uses of cash speaks to a company’s ability to take on more projects such as higher debt payments in the case of an LBO.

While EBITDA is useful in that it allows for a back-of-the-envelope comparison of two companies with similar business models or in the same industry, a 2000 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders written by Warren Buffet put EBITDA in its place: “References to EBITDA make us shudder…We’re very suspicious of accounting methodology that is vague or unclear, since too often that means management wishes to hide something.

David Simmons at Forbes magazine once called EBITDA the “device of choice to pep up earnings announcements.” It does not exist in a vacuum and is irrelevant on a standalone basis. It does help when comparing similar companies under time constraints, but is by no means a thorough valuation tool when making an important investment decision.

 

compliments of: http://www.axial.net/