IoT Group, a Sydney-based tech company selling affordable wearable devices such as a $99 smartwatch sold in Coles, has nearly trebled the share price of small minerals explorer Ardent Resources after it announced plans to acquire the business.
IoT’s executive director, business strategy, is Englishman Ian Duffell, a former Sony marketing exec who launched the Walkman and compact disc, before going on to become MD of HMV, and CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group.
The business, based in Sydney’s Martin Place and founded last year, launched its $99 Viper Phone Watch in the supermarket retailer this month and has more than 20 products in the pipeline, including a GPS safety smartwatch for children, a smartwatch for tradies and an automated flying camera system dubbed a “selfie drone”, set to hit the market this Christmas, as it focuses on tech for smart home automation, smart clothing and holographic display systems.
Having launched the Walkman, Duffell told Business Insider that disruption is not a new thing.
“Before the iPhone there was Napster, and before that there was the CD, and of course cassettes and vinyl,” he said.
“We are now at the dawn of the emerging Internet of Things, which will bring equally exciting innovations and changes to the way we use technology in everyday life. Our goal is to get the latest technology developments and make them affordable to everyday people.”
Ardent announced plans to acquire 100% of IoT in a share swap for more than 696 million fully paid ordinary shares in Ardent yesterday. The deal still needs shareholder approval.
The miner plans to raise $500,000 in equity for the initial subscription, then another $5 million via prospectus to expand IoT’s product range and develop the business.
Duffell, chairman Richard Woods and IoT CEO Simon Kantor will join the Ardent board.
Kantor said IoT was the only Australian company making actual physical Internet of Things products for the public. The business targets products under the $300 mark for popular appeal.
“This listing will be the first real opportunity for Australians to invest in the Internet of Things and wearable technology markets, and will be a great way for them to cash in on the boom of mobile devices, smart technologies and gadgets,” he said.
Shareholder approval for the deal is set down for October 30, with the prospectus set to open on November 16.
In late trade Ardent Resources shares are up 158% for the day to 3.1 cents, having at one stage jumped 250%.
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