Falcon, the international media group focused on the over-the-top (‘OTT’) video streaming market, is pleased to announce its shares have commenced trading on the London Stock Exchange’s (‘LSE’) Main Market under the ticker FAL. In conjunction with commencement of trading, the Company has raised £4 million, before expenses, through a Placing of new Ordinary Shares at 25p each.
The funds will be used to transform Falcon into a leading OTT broadcast media company based around Q-Flow, the Company’s revolutionary software, which is proven to prevent the frequent loss of signal or ‘buffering’ that currently affects the OTT video streaming market. Shard Capital Partners LLP acted as Joint Broker on the Placing together with Nuovo Capital LLP, which is also the Company’s Financial Adviser.
Following the successful re-admission of its ordinary shares, the Company will be renamed Falcon Media House Limited, for which a further update will be provided in due course.
Share Talk spoke with Executive Chairman Gert Rieder and Non Executive Director Richard Baker today about their admission to the LSE main market.
· LSE listing and £4 million Placing to support rapid growth strategy aimed at taking advantage of explosive growth in demand for digital video, streamed on-demand known as the OTT video streaming market
· OTT forecast to grow from US$28 billion in 2015 to US$62 billion market by 2020 as consumers, specifically the millennial demographic, increasingly demand access to personalised video content and packages ‘anytime, anywhere, and on any device’
· Revenue model based on licensing out Q-Flow, which is proven to deliver seamless video streaming, to network providers and using this technology as the foundation to build Falcon into a vertically integrated OTT business covering technology, distribution and content:
o Technology – provides a step change in consumers’ viewing experience and generates time and cost savings for network providers; contracts for Q-Flow signed with major international groups including Tata Communications and Frontline
o Distribution – Direct-to-Consumer (‘D2C’) branded OTT TV service delivers live and video-on-demand sports content in line with strategy to target sports and sports lifestyle programming
o Content – operates a media and production studio company that has secured unique content including Eastern College Athletic Conference (‘ECAC’), the largest US east coast sports college franchise which sponsors over 30 men and women’s varsity sports
· Management team has extensive telecom, digital media and technology experience combined with a proven track record in the equity capital markets
Falcon Director, Gert Rieder, said, “The OTT market has ushered in a broadcasting revolution that has irrevocably transformed the way that millions of people across the globe choose, access and watch multimedia content. Yet until now, achieving seamless streaming has evaded even the largest providers in this explosive market. Through our patented Q-Flow technology, Falcon has the capability to deliver an unrivalled, buffer-free viewing experience to a more demanding audience.
“With Q-Flow forming the foundation of our development strategy, we have built a global broadcasting group with the potential to deliver across the core areas of the OTT market: seamless streaming, direct distribution, and compelling content. We believe that our Teevee D2C network can be the ‘Netflix for Sports’, powered by Q-Flow and partnered with Teevee Makers, our media and production studio company. With deals already in place for Q-Flow with the likes of Tata, the world’s largest global network, and Teevee Makers with the likes of the ECAC, these agreements underpin the ambition of Falcon Media House and secure us rich content, scale and reach.
“By capitalising on our leadership team’s unparalleled telecommunications, technology and media experience, we are tapping into the insatiable demand for a more personalised and flexible multimedia experience, and in turn establish Falcon as the UK leader in the OTT market.”
By bringing together state of the art, patent protected, video streaming technology, unique, independent content and a purpose-built consumer distribution platform, Falcon is focused on responding to the explosive growth in the global over-the-top (‘OTT’) video streaming market. The Directors believe that the combination of these strategic assets with a high calibre international and experienced leadership team will create a global internet broadcast media group with multiple revenue streams; a global business that will be at the heart of a radical shift in the digital transformation of video and TV consumption.
Falcon’s objective is to build a multi-divisional global internet broadcast media group; an end-to-end OTT business with three distinct and complementary operational activities:
The Technology Company – Quiptel
Quiptel has developed a complete software suite called the Quiptel Media Platform (‘QMP’), which once deployed is an end to end Online Video Platform (‘OVP’) solution. The patent protected module, Q-Flow, within the QMP suite controls video flow in networks and enables high quality streaming of TV and video over virtual paths in the public internet across any network to any device. The solution enables B2B customers, such as network service providers, to deliver content over-the-top of existing infrastructure.
Quiptel has successfully sold its TV and video platform to Mobicom and Frontline. These customers provide potentially important credentials as the Company seeks to develop further sales. For example, Mobicom, the leading telco in Mongolia, currently relies on Quiptel to power its TV and video platform and Frontline, an ISP in Canada, uses Quiptel to deliver over 250 streamed SD and HD channels to its customers.
The revenue model of Quiptel comprises initial one-off implementation fees followed by ongoing licence revenue based on the number of customers activated on the network. The ongoing licence revenue is known as a Software-as-a-Service (‘SaaS’) revenue model. In addition, Quiptel can receive individual change requests from customers for tailor made solutions and/or enhancements, which lead to further revenue. Such change requests are invoiced on a percentage completed basis.
Quiptel plans to expand its geographic reach significantly over the next 12 to 24 months. Special focus will be given to expanding the streaming distribution network in the US, in support of the D2C activities of Teevee, during early 2017 but equally the intention is to expand the existing customer base by closing current sales leads with potential customers in the emerging markets and the US. To capitalise on the sales pipeline, the sales force and technical support team will be increased. In parallel, the business is building out a reseller network with some of the major communication providers, data centre companies and solution providers, to leverage the deployment of Quiptel’s services and thereby scale the business.
Tata has been engaged to provide the network infrastructure that will power the OVP for the Teevee service, helping all Quiptel’s customers and positioning the Company as a stronger player in the market. The service will use the QMP software and Tata’s network infrastructure to deliver Quiptel’s online video service. This contract is for the provision of hardware, network and data centre services across the USA and Europe, with the future intention of expanding the service across Tata’s global network. The first phase is for a trial deployment in two US data centres, located in Santa Clara and New York, followed by further support for a full Teevee service launch in the first half of 2017. The number of subscribers is expected to grow rapidly and Tata will add hardware and data capacity as required to match the growth throughout the term of the contract. The contract is based on an opex model with hardware costs being amortised over 12 months, and the monthly charge rate being adjusted accordingly as further hardware is added. In addition to providing data centre hosting services, Tata will provide cloud based hosting for the OVP service management functions and VOD libraries, with fast access and transit throughout Tata’s global network, and video upload and ingest capabilities from live sports events.
Quiptel has registered several patents for its platform, primarily in the UK but also in Hong Kong, the United States and Canada. These patents cover various apparatus and methods of controlling the transmission rate of a data stream and redirecting client devices to a streaming server. The Directors believe these patents provide the Quiptel platform with effective protection against infringement of the Quiptel Group’s intellectual property in the relevant jurisdictions. Nonetheless, the Directors believe that the value of the Quiptel Group is not solely reliant on the existence or enforceability of the patents, due to the unique expertise and experience of the Quiptel Group management team.
The IP Distribution Company – Teevee
The vision for Teevee is to become the leading online destination for fans passionate about ”independent sport” not generally available on cable or satellite or other conventional TV channels. Teevee will show scripted sports programmes and licenced sports content from around the world. The content offering will include live, original and archived material. The mission is to offer people easy, affordable digital access to independent sports action – fast and reliable – anywhere.
The primary objective is to establish the Teevee brand as a consumer destination renowned for media streamed flawlessly to any device and to be a top three OTT US consumer destination for independent and alternative sports, live and on-demand.
Teevee is currently trialling a beta version of its service. A commercial service launch is planned for the first half of 2017. The Teevee launch is based on the branding platform developed by Teevee and the content and channel development undertaken before its acquisition. Teevee will launch its business based on freemium, subscription and advertiser sponsored business models. The Teevee business will be powered by the Quiptel Group’s technology for its quality and reliance and will partner with Teevee Makers for access to original and licenced content and curation.
The Content Company – Teevee Makers
Teevee Makers is a specialist media and production company producing content for Teevee and third party broadcast distribution, initially focused on the sports sector. Its initial focus will be on supporting the Teevee launch in the US with sports content.
Teevee Makers has entered an agreement with the US Eastern College Athletics Conference, Inc. securing certain rights to stream live and archived sports and special events sponsored by ECAC. Under the terms of the ECAC Content Agreement Teevee Makers will derive income from advertising on a revenue-sharing basis and subscriptions to a dedicated Teevee channel showing a wide variety of sports from the ECAC. ECAC is a college athletic conference currently comprised of approximately 265 colleges and universities in the eastern United States. ECAC’s wide variety of sports and large number of colleges participating provides a potentially wide audience along the eastern states of the US with participating students, students supporting their colleges and all their families and networks being potential subscribers for the Teevee ECAC channel, in addition to sports fans generally.
Teevee Makers has also secured an exclusive licence for Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball Show, a celebrity sports chat show, for distribution on both Teevee’s D2C network and potentially on traditional US broadcast networks. Additionally, it has acquired the rights to produce a demonstration recording of a program entitled ”The Better Man Show” under the Better Man Content Agreement and subsequently to elect to proceed with full production of the show. Teevee Makers has the first pilot programme in production and is testing the interest of potential sponsors.
THE OTT MEDIA SECTOR OPPORTUNITY
The Directors believe that the parameters of the Group’s target market, the OTT media sector, have shifted significantly in the last two years with three macro trends converging to create a valuable opportunity for businesses with innovative ideas, technological solutions and commercial models.
Consumers are embracing streaming, everywhere
The Millennial generation is the biggest in history – in the US alone there are 92 million people now in the 15-35 age group. They are the first generation of ‘digital natives’ and have different attitudes to life, ownership and brands. By 2020 it is forecast that they will form 50% of the global workforce. Millennials have driven the shift from legacy channels and the living room TV screen, to seeking out the content they desire on whatever screen is most convenient ‘now’. From VOD (”Video on Demand”) to box set binging, consumers are changing the way they both find and consume audio and video entertainment. Discovery of new content is an important part of this development. A growing majority of Millennials use streaming video services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant, Maxdome, Clarovideo and others. However, significantly, the 35-74 age group is also now subscribing to S-VOD (”Subscription Video on Demand”) in greater numbers too. S-VOD is shifting from a trend to the new normal. A similar trend can be seen in the audio segment with services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music winning market share over digital downloads and CD sales.
Nearly half of US consumers now subscribe to a streaming service. Of these subscribers, 61% of consumers value their streaming video service among their top three subscription services. Per Deloitte, consumers aged 14-25 value their streaming service subscriptions more than pay TV.
The rapid emergence of OTT platforms
OTT services have responded to this demand for S-VOD. As uptake in mobile and smart devices has grown alongside ‘better’ broadband in developed markets, OTT allows people to consume audio and video content on whatever device they want, wherever they have internet. This has led to an explosion of OTT services. Juniper Research estimates that that the number of global subscribers to OTT TV will increase from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million by 2019, and although the North American market will remain strong and continue to dominate the field in terms of premium content production, the OTT growth will fan out around the world with the Far East catching up through rapidly increased production of local programming. RN Research predicts market growth from $28.04 billion in 2015 to $62.03 billion by 2020, at an estimated compound annual growth of 17.2%.
The Directors believe this growth in S-VOD has impacted heavily on platform and hardware innovation. OTT technology is focused on ensuring the end viewing experience is optimised and the increasing availability of Ultra High Definition (‘UHD’ or 4k) content will place more pressure on OTT platforms. IHS is forecasting that annual worldwide shipments of Ultra HD televisions will grow 719% over the next few years, from nearly 12 million in 2014 to nearly 96 million in 2019. They estimate there will be over 300 million UHD televisions in use globally by the end of 2019.
Inevitably, in Western Europe and the USA a growth in OTT subscriptions is impacting on Pay TV services. In June, last year Boston Consulting Group noted that, in the fourth quarter of 2015, 13.7 million US households had broadband but no pay TV service, up from 9.8 million in the first quarter of 2013. In addition, consumers are actively thinning the services they buy from multichannel-video-programming distributors.
The growth of independent content
As the barriers to distribution recede with the advent of OTT platforms, independent content is being originated to respond to consumers’ passions. Independent entertainment looks to appeal to existing fan communities and market observers point to the most emotive content leading niche segments, with sport leading the charge in the US. The independent content providers have the opportunity to tap into existing communities and to refine content based on becoming part of those communities.
THE PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
In order to understand the breadth of audience motivations in the OTT media space, it is necessary to look at how brands position themselves in it. The Directors believe that few businesses offer an end to end proposition; from audio and video streaming technology to content generation and curation, to the positioning and delivery of a network of subscription channels or services. However, audience wants and needs can be broadly defined based on the macro trends shaping the space.
The consumer’s perspective
OTT network subscribers are from a broad background with a neutral gender split across North America and Europe. Millennials have led adoption, but increasingly it is a shared mindset, shifting attitudes to entertainment consumption and perceived value rather than life-stage that drives adoption.
Personalised content. Personalised packages
From mobile phone operators offering pay-as-you-go as an alternative to a monthly fee, to gyms such as Pure Gym unbundling the gym subscription; from large enterprises like Universal Pictures and Microsoft unbundling employee benefit packages to health insurers like Vitality offering ‘tailored cover’, consumers are increasingly seeking out the opportunity to shape product offerings to better suit their needs. This is having an impact in the media space too. The ‘skinny bundle’ is also anticipated as the next trend in the OTT space. Accenture also points to a growing consumer desire to personalise subscriptions to secure best value for money.
In addition to personalised packages, the growth in demand for ‘niche content’ means that people are looking to ‘unbundle’ to enable them to better match the content they access to their own passions.
Anytime, anywhere, on any device
Market analysts are wary of over-stating the decline of entertainment consumption on the big (TV) screen with the growth of internet connected TVs. The Directors believe that households with a streaming video device or a smart TV are much more likely to subscribe to S-VOD than those that don’t have a SVD (”Smart Video Device”) or smart TV. However, the top three connected video devices for the 18-34s are smartphones, connected televisions, and the PC. The Directors also believe that mobile video will be the biggest contributing channel to the anticipated growth in cellular data traffic over the next five years.
With the growth of mobile, consumers are demanding a good viewing experience as well as the right content and for consumers in maturing markets the ability to transition from one screen to another is, increasingly, something worth paying for.
By 2020, mobile devices will account for 52% of global internet traffic and 40% of installed flat panel TVs will be UHD.
Perceived value of pay TV v OTT S-VOD and live solutions
In Q2 2015 cable and satellite operators lost half a million customers in the US alone. Boston Consulting Group writes of the US Market: ‘US consumers are dropping pay TV (or not subscribing in the first place) in larger numbers than ever before. In the fourth quarter of 2015, 13.7 million US households had broadband but no pay TV service, up from 9.8 million in the first quarter of 2013. In addition, consumers are actively thinning the services they buy from multichannel-video-programming distributors (MVPDs). These changes are not solely a result of sensitivity to rising prices; rather, the price-to-value ratio has depreciated. The price of pay TV continues to climb, while inexpensive (or free) alternatives to pay TV have proliferated, tempting viewers to find better value elsewhere.
In APAC, the growth of the OTT sector is driven by growing awareness of cheaper alternatives to pay TV. Although piracy remains an issue for content owners and distributors, a pirated box set can be broadly comparable to the monthly subscription fee for a local premium OTT service.
Figures from the US market point to consumers spending over US$6 (US$6.18) per month on Netflix, Hulu Plus and other subscription OTT video services. Parks Associates writes: ‘A typical price point for a subscription service is US$7-$10, but several niche services are available for under US$5. However, U.S. broadband households on average spend less than US$1 per month buying and less than US$1 per month renting digital video, indicating they purchase less than one digital video a year and rent between one and four videos per year.
Others place the monthly subscription price point higher.
The service provider’s perspective
In the media space, the term ‘service provider’ is often broadly used with broadcasters, telecoms providers, S-VOD services, streaming networks and even brands grouped under the same banner. The Directors believe that what unites these distinct business types is a focus on delivering content or an end-user experience, optimally. Legacy service providers such as telecoms providers and broadcasters have seen OTT players directly impact their revenues and many are looking to launch OTT services themselves to plug the gap. The Directors believe that the technology that enables service delivery will be key to success. Research shows that a poor viewing experience is increasingly the reason for subscriber churn in the OTT space. A recent survey by Accenture indicated that consumers in the US and Europe abandon video streaming if it is delayed by more than two seconds. The Directors believe that the availability of, and consumer demand for, 4k or UHD content will make ‘how content is delivered’ even more important in the future.
In the recent months, we have seen a new breed of ‘service provider’ compete for consumer attention. In April 2016, the National Football League announced its decision to partner with Twitter – transforming the social media platform into a ‘broadcaster’ overnight. And on 15 September 2016 they streamed their first live American football game to 2.1 million viewers. Bloomberg reflected that this strategic move was in recognition of the cord-cutting trend increasingly threatening the traditional broadcast model: ‘The league is aware that a growing number of households are comfortable streaming video over the Internet, and this is an opportunity to appeal to so-called cord-cutters, as former cable-TV subscribers are known.’
The advertiser’s perspective
The Directors believe that OTT networks are set to see an increase in interest from advertisers as their ability to connect brands with finely segmented consumer profiles is increasingly recognised. The trend of ‘niche’ is of direct appeal to advertisers, increasing potential to convert views to sales through consumers’ increased engagement with the content and therefore, associated offers.
The Boston Consulting Group observes: ‘Spending on digital media has been booming in social and video formats, but the technology to deliver advertising in the online TV ecosystem lags behind usage. Nevertheless, advertising will eventually catch up. Online players are developing innovative ways to lure advertisers hungry to reach large and different digital audiences.’
COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE FOR THE GROUP
The Directors believe that the synergies between the three business lines, technology, IP distribution and content, will result in significant differentiation to any competitor operating in one only of the comparable vertical silos to the Group’s three business lines. The Directors believe that there are very few companies trying to integrate the synergies of technology, IP distribution and content for the benefit of end customers.
The global market for video streaming and video on demand services is large, complex and very fragmented. Consequently, the Board believe it’s the perfect time to enter the market with a cohesive strategy to bring next generation technology and more efficient access to independent content together through a global distribution destination brand for consumers to stream what they want, when and where they want it.
The digital media eco-system is made up of broadcast brands, independent content companies, infrastructure companies (telecommunications providers, content delivery companies), through to encoding companies, media player companies and digital rights management companies, and advert insertion companies, to name just some of the main participants. Products from these companies can be both software and hardware in nature and operate in local and global markets. Frequently, in this digital market, participants will enter partnerships, syndications and collaborations, to win and deliver business.
As previously discussed, a key characteristic of the Falcon Group structure is the creation of the three distinct operational activities: The Technology Company, the IP Distribution Company and the Content Company. This structure is designed to allow the Group to be agile, responsive and de-risk its overall business strategy. The benefits of this structure enable each business unit to identify and develop products and services that are market leading in each case but truly best of breed when combined.
Competition – The Technology Company – Quiptel
In delivering a software based CDN solution, Quiptel will see itself competing against the traditional CDN suppliers in the market. Among the leading CDN suppliers are Akamai, Limelight and Amazon CloudFront. These suppliers are all global suppliers delivering their services in multiple countries and in multiple product areas. These suppliers traditionally service the Tier 1 telecommunication companies, global e-commerce sites, news portals, media and entertainment companies and broadcasters.
Although competing against the CDN suppliers, the Quiptel software solution could also be a supplement to the CDN solutions and enable efficient delivery of content to mobile devices. As well as competing against CDN suppliers, Quiptel is also competing against OTT Video Platform Providers. Among the most renowned providers are Kaltura, Ooyala and Quickplay. All of these suppliers are offering turn-key OTT TV solutions embedded with video monetisation, flexible customisations, and social interactions and distributing TV on demand and live-to Video on Demand. The market for OTT Video Platform Providers is very fragmented without clear global market leaders.
Competition – The IP Distribution Company – Teevee
Teevee is ultimately competing against any firm which seeks to carve out a slice of a households’ entertainment budget. That means Teevee is up against not only subscription based OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu, but also any other non-essential entertainment activity (such as rentals, music, cinema etc.). The Directors believe it is unlikely that a household will increase its total entertainment spend to accommodate a Teevee subscription, but rather people may unsubscribe from one service and choose another. Therefore, the Directors believe it is crucial for Teevee to deliver an end-to-end experience that is better than the one it might potentially replace.
In Teevee’s initial chosen niche of US sports OTT services the Directors believe there are a vast number of direct competitors, ranging from national to regional networks. Competing US Sports OTT service providers comprise at least 36 National Sports networks; including ESPN and One World Sports, and single sport focussed providers such as the NFL Network, the Tennis Channel or the World Fishing Network; and over 13 Regional sports networks such as Fox Sports Networks and Spectrum Sports.
According to Parks Associates, 16% of US households have a sports OTT video subscription. Although it does not stream live games, NFL Game Pass is the most highly adopted service, with 6 per cent of US broadband households having a subscription compared to 4 per cent for the WWE Network and MLB.TV. Parks Associates concludes: ‘For sports content owners, OTT is a viable way to expand audience reach, but there are technical issues to consider. The user experience is of paramount importance to the viewer for sports content’.
Competition – The Content Company – Teevee Makers
Teevee Makers will be competing in a very fragmented competitive landscape of international and local studios and production houses. The focus of Teevee Makers will be supporting the distribution strategy of Teevee with a focus on sports related content in the US. Teevee Makers will produce the curated shows and programmes for which the Falcon Group has acquired the rights. Among the more well-known sport and lifestyle content houses in the US is Red Bull Media House producing content for the Red Bull network and customers. Likewise, several of the major sports leagues in the US, like the NFL, have their own studio and production company.
KEY DEPENDENCIES – CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS
The Group is formed with initial revenue streams expected both from the Quiptel Group and Teevee Makers. Quiptel is expected to grow beyond its initial customer base promptly in 2017, and already has a good pipeline of target customers. These target customers are expected to be clients for the medium to long term and accordingly churn (or leave) rate is anticipated to be low. Sales Account Management for the Quiptel business is critical to regular sensitivity reviews on customer health and growth plans. The Quiptel business operates a customer relationship management system that enables management to track and monitor activity. The combination of ongoing account management and the rapid conversion of the sales pipeline into operating contracts are the two critical tasks to continue to manage the risk of an evolving customer base. If Quiptel is successful in acquiring 30 new clients within 24 months in accordance with its target, the expected customer profile means it is unlikely to be dependent upon a small number of these customers.
For Teevee, development and launch of the streaming service is the most critical task on the business roadmap. The win and uptake of subscriber customers to the Teevee service is dependent on the launch of the service and quality of the marketing strategy to alert the consumer market as to the availability of this new streaming service. The Directors believe that the Teevee and wider Falcon team have the expertise, project management and marketing experience and industry relationships to de-risk this task.
For Teevee Makers, the Content Agreements will produce ad sales and revenue share income. This existing content can produce further income from on-boarding additional advertisers and the Group has a head of advertising sales in New York to drive an increase in business with effect from Re-Admission. The number of shows that this business unit can produce and sell is the other main driver of, not only income generation, but also competitive differentiation in the market. Identifying and securing unique and exclusive content is a key performance objective for this business unit. With the combination of a focus on advertising sales around existing media assets acquired and an open regular search for new content, the Directors are confident Teevee Makers can generate additional earnings in this business unit in the near term and remove the reliance on the early revenue streams.
Gert Rieder, Executive Chairman (born 2 June 1962 aged 54)
Mr Rieder, who is based in Zurich, Switzerland, has over 20 years of experience as a senior executive and consultant building companies, markets and revenues globally while heading up start-ups, advising on board positions, and leading business development and growth for companies and customers in Scandinavia, Europe and the Middle East. After graduating from Aarhus School of Business, Mr Rieder joined leading telecom provider Tele Danmark where he took on a series of commercial roles finally becoming a Product Director. He then moved to a telecom start-up Sunrise Communications in Switzerland where he joined as Chief Commercial Officer and was later promoted to Chief Operating Officer leading the product roadmap activities and successfully developing the initial product launch plan. At Danish TDC Fixnet Nordic he served as Executive Vice President and Member of the Executive Board focusing on restructuring the organisation with emphasis on strengthening customer service and sales operation. He was also responsible for optimisation of distribution channels by redefining a nationwide chain of retail shops and call centres. He was also a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Vopium, a global voice over internet protocol player, helping to prepare the company for listing on Euronext Paris. Mr Rieder also served as Chief Executive Officer of Batelco in Bahrain one of the leading telecom providers in the Middle East and Africa region and as Chief Executive Officer for Comendo Group, the leading provider of cloud-based IT-security solutions in Scandinavia – both publicly listed companies that focused on acquisitive growth.
Currently Mr Rieder is a non-executive director of Challenger Acquisitions Limited, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange that is focused on the attractions sector. In this role, he is responsible, together with his colleagues, for sourcing, negotiating and executing appropriate investment or acquisition opportunities. Mr Rieder is highly experienced in consumer marketing having built his career creating and selling products and services.
Richard James Baker, Non-executive Director (born 27 June 1972, aged 44)
Mr Baker has had a distinguished career spanning over 20 years in the digital media, telecommunications and financial services industries. After founding Rebtec Limited, a commercial and technical consulting practice to the digital media and telecommunications sector, Mr. Baker, whilst acting as a consultant, became acting CEO of Quiptel in 2012 and became Chairman in February 2015. In the role of Chairman, he steered the video platform software company’s vision and strategy, driving the growth, funding and development of its OTT video platform ”Quiptel Media Platform”. Mr Baker resigned from this role with effect from 31 October 2016.
Having begun his career in 1991, Mr Baker has held a number of senior level positions, playing an instrumental role in the leadership of a number of companies in the technology and media market space. Mr Baker most recently was a co-founder and CEO of a regulated financial futures electronic execution-trading platform called Cleartrade Exchange (CLTX) based in Singapore and London, where his responsibilities involved the oversight and direction for all aspects of strategy, development and governance. CLTX was sold to the European Energy Exchange (EEX), a Deutsche Bourse company, in March 2016.
In addition to his role as a non-executive Director of the Company, Mr Baker provides his additional services to the Group through a consulting agreement between Zero 32 Associates Limited and the Company and is responsible for the overall strategic roadmap of the Group, specifically focussing on brand development, technology and product strategy and assisting the Company to identify future possible partnerships, investors and other acquisitions.
William Clark Kennish, Non-executive Director (born 26 May 1966, aged 50)
Mr Kennish is a London based investment banker and adviser who has specialised in the Telecoms, Media and Technology space for over 20 years. Since 2013, he has been a managing director of TAP Securities, where he advises on transactions in the Telecoms sector, which continues to be his principal activity.
Prior to joining TAP, Mr Kennish was a Senior Managing Director and Head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa TMET investment banking practice at Macquarie Capital in London. From 2006 until 2010, he was a Managing Director and Head of the EMEA TMT investment banking group at Citi. During his career, Mr Kennish has had extensive experience in telecoms M&A and capital raising and has advised on a variety of landmark transactions in the sector.
Mr Kennish graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1989 with a degree in history and economics and received an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College in 1994.
Markus Dieter Kameisis, non-board Chief Financial Officer (born 24 November 1978, aged 38)
Mr Kameisis is a Swiss-based German finance executive with over 10 years of experience in the banking and financial industry. After graduating with a ”Diplom- Kaufmann” in Auditing and Controlling from the University of Trier, Germany, Mr Kameisis joined UBS in Luxembourg and following promotion to Associate Director, he moved to UBS in Switzerland where he worked on a finance IT platform project for UBS across Europe. Afterwards, Mr Kameisis took over as Head of Accounting of UBS Leasing AG where he was responsible for implementation of the Basel II internal rating based approach. He was then promoted to the Chief Financial Officer role within UBS Swiss Financial Advisers AG, a broker regulated in both Switzerland and the USA, serving US clients in Switzerland where he was, amongst other things, responsible for the implementation of a new software system, the regulatory reporting and all corporate tax filings.
In 2013 Mr Kameisis was recruited by Gutenberg Group AG, a FINMA regulated financial services group with a banking licence, specifically to oversee the Gutenberg Group’s finance and reporting function. Shortly after his assignment, Gutenberg Group AG decided to give back its banking licence and Mr Kameisis agreed to support the group during this transition as the Chief Financial Officer.
In August 2014, Mr Kameisis founded an outsourcing and advisory firm for SME companies called Icelia AG, for which Mr Kameisis is the Chief Executive Officer and a director. Currently Mr Kameisis is Chief Financial Officer of Challenger Acquisitions Limited, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange that is focused on the attractions sector.
Peter Manh Hong Do, Chief Research and Development Officer (born 16 May 1975, aged 41)
Mr Do, who is a director and Chief Technology Officer of Quiptel, based in Hong Kong, has been appointed as Chief Research and Development Officer for the Group. Mr Do has more than 18 years of experience in developing technology products, improving organisational processes and integrating complex back-office systems. Mr Do has held a number of senior technology positions during this time. Prior to joining Quiptel in 2008, Mr Do was Chief Technology Officer at Orbitalcom Multimedia Corporation where he was charged with developing an encrypted voice over IP communications system and lead a team of over thirty technical engineers. Mr Do was also Chief Technology Officer at Five9sNetworks where he was responsible for performing engineering tasks in design and development leading a team of more than 10 engineers.
Sandip Sarda, CEO of Quiptel (born 22 September 1967, aged 49)
Mr Sarda, who, as Managing Director, EMEA region of Quiptel, based in Hong Kong, is currently responsible for establishing market entry into the EMEA region, will, upon Re-Admission and the acquisition of the Quiptel Group, become CEO of Quiptel. Mr Sarda is an experienced entrepreneurial senior executive with global leadership experience and over 25 years’ experience across the Telecom, Technology & Media sectors.
Mr Sarda has presented at various conferences and was voted among the Top 50 People in Europe by Cable and Satellite. He has a thorough understanding of TMT with strong industry relationships with most major technology vendors, systems integrators, studios and content owners worldwide. He was instrumental in helping set up the IPR exploitation process within the BT Group, through the establishment of Asset House Technology (a spin-out of BT plc) which was successfully sold to Amino Communications in 2008. As Senior Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Amino Communications, Mr Sarda developed a solution strategy which reduced the dependency on middleware companies and resulted in new business, thus extending Amino’s market share.
In 2010, Mr Sarda founded Exploitmedia Ltd, a specialist TMT consulting business with a focus on the converged media space. Exploitmedia Ltd provides business insights to the likes of Airtel (India), BT plc, Shemaroo, and Harris Broadcast as well as working with VCs on due diligence processes for both investments and acquisitions. In 2011, Mr Sarda moved to Qatar to work with Ooredoo and to help build its Media House Division and launch a TV service in the region.
James Martin Bates, CEO of Teevee Makers (born 29 May 1956, aged 60)
Mr Bates, a shareholder (indirectly through Caladium Corporation) of Digital Realm (the seller of the Teevee Sale Shares under the Teevee Acquisition Agreement and the seller of the Advertising Spots to Teevee Makers under the Advertisement Placement Agreement) and one of the founders of Teevee, based in the United States, has been appointed as CEO of Teevee Makers. Mr Bates has established a successful track record in digital media, cable, sales, distribution, marketing, and advertising in a number of companies. Mr Bates was previously Executive Vice President at HRTV, the start-up cable television network subsidiary of Magna International Developments and Churchill Downs, where his responsibilities included budget management, and the development of the company’s strategic plan. He cultivated a number of relationships with advertisers, programmers and distributors in the cable and satellite industries. Mr Bates was also Senior Vice President of US and International Distribution at The Golf Channel where he was responsible for worldwide distribution. He led a sales and marketing team of 25 people and developed sales strategies for the company. Most recently Mr Bates has been Principal at Blue Line Ventures, LLC where he has advised businesses on strategies in the digital and cable industries, including advising on the establishment of Teevee.
THE PLACING AND USE OF PROCEEDS
The Company was formed to undertake acquisitions of target companies, businesses or assets in, but not limited to, the mobile and online television and video broadcasting sector with a focus on the OTT market. The Net Proceeds of £3.1 million, being the gross proceeds of £4 million raised through the Placing Less Costs (£892,000), will be used to capitalise on the strategic key industry trends to drive growth and pursue the Company’s mission to establish the Group as the leading OTT broadcast media solutions company.
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