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This ex-army officer and former farmer tried his hand at building a big data tech company -- today it lists on the ASX

Aeeris CEO Kerry Plowright. Image: Supplied.

Before he founded geospatial tech company Aeeris, Kerry Plowright was an army officer and a farmer.

Like many founders before him, Plowright has big failures under his belt. Before the dotcom bust he was about to float one of Australia’s first ecommerce outlets, ezimerchant.

Since then, he’s had another crack at building a tech company and today Aeeris lists on the Australian Stock Exchange following successful completion of a $3.5 million IPO capital raising at an issue of $0.25 per share, giving it a market cap of $13.7 million.

The Aeeris IPO nearly got off the ground at the end of last year but in the chaos of the Medibank float and the other IPOs that were vying for oxygen at the time and it was abandoned.

Based in Byron Bay, on the north coast of New South Wales, since 2007 Plowright has amassed a roll call of some of Australia’s best-known companies including ANZ, Australand, BHP Biliton, Caltex, Linfox, Lendlease, Origin, SEQ Water, NSW State Water, Elders Insurance, Leighton Contractors, AGL, Metcash, BlueScope Steel, Thiess and Suncorp.

“We have gone from strength to strength since our beginning in 2007 and we are now in a position to further grow our operations and client base. We have a very strong pipeline of corporate clients and whilst we will continue to deliver the superior standard of service we have achieved to date we intend to further expand our range of products on offer and grow our customer base,” Plowright said.

Aeeris has 100 corporate and government paying subscribers as well as over 250,000 free social media and app users which use its geospatial data to provide targeted warning services around severe weather, bushfires, tsunamis, power outages and traffic conditions.

Plowright’s background in farming – he had 1500 acres in Queensland where he ran Brahman cattle – gives him a practical insight into the industry.

“You lived and died on the weather with that sort of [agriculture] business,” he said.

“We have a unique capacity to map, track and monitor millions of assets, operations, devices and threats in real time, enabling us to issue millions of warnings to those that need it, through multiple channels within an accuracy of three feet.”

Plowright said today’s listing was a landmark for the company which signifies its next phase of growth.

“Our vision is to become the pre-eminent data aggregator and principal disseminator of information relating to all geospatial threats and weather related hazards globally by providing a service to solve disaster awareness problems and mitigate the impact on infrastructure, people, government and business to reduce physical damage to property and to prevent loss of life,” he said.

The cash will be used to up the company’s headcount and invest in new products which it hopes to launch shortly.

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