BeWhere Holdings CEO Owen Moore Podcast Interview (1)
Written By: James West
James West: Owen, thanks for joining us today.
Owen Moore: Thanks very much for having me, James.
James West: Owen, give us an overview of the value proposition for investorsin BeWare.
Owen Moore: So BeWare has developed, using new technology, low-energy Bluetooth beacons that provide information on goods, equipment, tools, assets in transit, and at facilities. The value proposition for potential investors is the sheer size of this particular market. We are interested in putting beacons on pallets, on goods in transit, on equipment, and if you look at the US market opportunity for just the pallet market alone, you’re talking about 1.3 billion pallets in the US, and no technology currently operating at the pallet level to monitor goods for information such as exposure to impact, exposure to temperature extremes, location information, and a variety of other data that we collect off the beacons themselves.
So it’s the sheer market opportunity that is represented for BeWare that floats my boat, and has me really excited about the opportunity.
James West: Sure. Okay, so just for clarity’s sake, you’re basically producing a device which communicates with sensors in a variety of environments, that gives you the ability to transmit data and information relative to the condition of a device in shipment, or something in storage, or anything that you can attach this little device to, essentially. Is that correct?
Owen Moore: That is correct. We provide our clients with 100 percent visibility into their supply chain. So we monitor equipment, goods in transit at facilities from point of manufacture through to distribution centres, and then from distribution centres ultimately to the point of sale. And provide them very finite information on those goods, and ultimately let them optimize their supply chain so they understand that if they have any choke points that causes delays, any points that are subjected to damage, and ultimately allows them to improve their entire supply chain and thereby provide a significant return on investment.
James West: This isn’t your first rodeo in the production of this type of technology, if I’m not mistaken. Is that correct?
Owen Moore: This is not my first rodeo. I was co-founder and president of a company called Gray Island (phon) Systems that did vehicle tracking. We had two solutions; one was called Nextbus (phon) that provided real-time transit information to the ridership. Our clients included the Toronto Transit Commission, City of San Francisco, Washington DC, and so on and so forth.
I did learn from some of my earlier initiatives in that the market opportunity is really what will ultimately drive your growth, so we had $12 million contracts with the TTC, $16 million with the City of San Francisco, but you’re taking about the top five or six transit agencies, and to really expand a company, you know, we were maxing out early on. This particular product – go ahead, James.
James West: Just curious: what did you sell the company for?
Owen Moore: We sold it for in and around 40 million to another publicly listed company called Webtech (phon) Wireless. We brought it from inception to about just under 25 million in revenues, and ultimately sold out for about 40 million to Webtech.
James West: So Owen, tell me: when do you think that BeWare will become a profitable company?
Owen Moore: Our expectations are to be profitable in mid to late 2016; our current burn rate is fairly manageable, and we have a number of opportunities that we think will take us over the hump.
James West: Okay. So who are the biggest competitors in the space, and how much of a threat are they to you, or are you to them?
Owen Moore: Okay. So this is using new technology in an emerging market. Currently, there are no significant competitors here in North America; we understand there is a company trying to do similar things out of Israel. It’s traditionally an industry that had been served by RFID or radio frequency identification, and there’s a number of advantages to use Bluetooth over some of the older technologies; specifically, being able to monitor your goods in transit, which was something that wasn’t provided with radio frequency identification, where you were just getting identification information as goods travelled through a specific choke point in a warehouse or distribution centre.
So it’s new technology, it’s emerging technology, and while I do expect competition to come into the space, it hasn’t appeared yet in any significant format.
James West: Okay. So what are the types of companies that are going to want to use this technology? Like, can you give me some examples of some of the bigger industrial categories?
Owen Moore: Sure. There’s four specific markets that we’re targeting with the technology, and maybe I can start on the smaller market opportunities and then move right through to the larger ones.
So we provide, and have contracts in, the emergency medical services industry monitoring defibrillators, stretchers, medicine bags, equipment bags, and other equipment that goes in an ambulance. We provide the information to the paramedics, so they have the comfort that they have all the equipment on board to do their necessary job, and we provide that information through a website to the operations managers back at headquarters. So emergency medical services is one of the industries that we’re targeting.
We also target utilities and construction for monitoring their equipment and tools on a particular construction site or on a particular site where work is happening for a utility organization, and then ultimately, the largest opportunity resides in the transportation industry, where you’re looking at potentially putting beacons on pallets to monitor goods in transit. And once again, that’s the market opportunity that excites us the most, just in terms of the sheer volume potential that’s there.
James West: Wow. So then there’s nobody else out there doing this; what do the companies do now to track, for example, in the emergency medical services, how do they keep track of their inventory of equipment and supplies, and how do they do that in construction equipment jobs and all of that.
Owen Moore: So it’s primarily paper-based in the emergency medical services industry. It’s operations managers providing counts at the vehicle level or at the ambulance level. This automates that process and once again provides the peace of mind to both the operators and the paramedics themselves that they have all their equipment necessary to do their job. So no technology is being used for that today.
If you look in the transportation industry for a number of years, including my old company and competitors to my old companies, people have traditionally focused on monitoring the vehicles themselves for idle times, for stop durations…what this provides is the ability to monitoreverything that’s carried in the vehicles. So monitoring goods, equipment, tools, inventory that is being transported in those vehicles. So that’s the emerging opportunity and the area that we’re focused on.
James West: So it sounds like one of the key benefits of this technology is that a lot of stuff that used to sort of fall off the back of the truck is no longer going to do so, because it’s going to have a tracking system on it.
Owen Moore: Well, and if it does fall off the back of the truck, we’ll let both the paramedics and the operations managers know exactly where that happened.
James West: Okay, well, that’s great, Owen. That’s a great first interview. Let’s leave it there for now. We’ll come back to you in another quarter and see how you’re making out. Thank you for joining us today.
Owen Moore: Thanks, James. Thanks very much for having me.