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Thursday
Oct152015

2lemetry – Company Profile

Introduction

2lemetry is a technology company that focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT).  Primarily, the company is a provider of a software-based, open enablement platform.  Co-founded by Kyle Roche (CEO) and Chris Chiaponne (CTO) in 2011, 2lemetry has developed an IoT platform that is called ThingFabric.  The company was a member of the AllSeen Alliance. In March 2015, 2lemetry was acquired by Amazon.  The AllSeen Alliance is a nonprofit consortium that works to enable and drive the adoption of Internet of Everything products, systems and services through an open source development framework.

Purpose of 2lemetry

  • Helps its users make better sense of all the data that comes from connected devices in either a retail store or the workplace.
  • Offers a cloud-based platform that serves as middleware for large networks of IoT devices.
  • The platform is able to translate several protocols from the devices, set rules for messaging, as well  analyze the data traffic that is handled in order to deliver insights. 
  • 2lemetry markets its solutions as ones that are able to work with different protocols or hardware platforms.
  • The company also says that its platform is able to scale to millions of devices and automatically add new devices without hurting performance. 

ThingFabric Solutions

  • Powerful data analysis
  • Guaranteed data delivery
  • Mission-critical insights
  • Multipoint, multidimensional communication

Advantages of ThingFabric

  • Universal – Can be used on any device. There is no specific manufacturer preference.
  • Auto-Provisioning – Platform auto-provisions when new devices are connected or if new parameters are set.
  • Dynamic Environment – ThingFabric Platform creates less complex device configuration or database design, according to 2lemetry.
  • Scalable Solutions – Allows users to connect many devices, with no minimum or maximum number in mind. 
  • Data Storage – Platform has the ability to store data indefinitely. Data from any time period is able to be accessed from anywhere. 
  • Strong Performance – What is interesting about this IoT platform is that the number of nodes is increased on the network for the purpose of not having performance decline.
  • Low Cost – 2lemetry offers different solutions and systems, but each is marketed as low-costing.
  • Solid SecurityMaintains a high level of security.

IoT Solutions

2lemetry Integrate

Extends the power and simplicity of the ThingFabric platform by easing integration with the user’s key enterprise databases or applications. 

  • Saves time, by running within an hour (saves development time).
  • Jumpstarts the ability to connect device data to databases or applications.
  • Links with Salesforce and other platforms instantly.

2lemetry Incoming

Enables proximity and location sensing, facial recognition, as well as geo-fencing for people, places, and things.

  • Facial recognition with real-life analytics that records and measures gender and age data that can be used for a variety of things.
  • Proximity sensing that enables real-life engagement with customers.
  • Combines a range of applications to meet many different needs.

Technology Partners

Miscellaneous

ABI Research said earlier this year that 2lemetry was one of the vendors that stood out amongst IoT platforms.  The acquisition from Amazon was quite secretive.  It is believed that the main driver behind Amazon’s acquisition was 2lemetry’s Incoming service.  The reason being is because Incoming assists companies interact with their customers by using data that is gathered from proximity beacons, facial recognition and geofencing.  Significant customers of 2lemetry prior to its acquisition by Amazon include Honeywell, which produces many IoT enabled devices for the smart home, Demeter energy group and First Mile, a provider of office recycling services.

Thursday
Oct152015

AllSeen Alliance – Profile

Introduction

The AllSeen Alliance is a nonprofit consortium that works to enable and drive the adoption of Internet of Everything products, systems and services through an open source development framework. The consortium is looking to expand upon the Internet of Things (IoT) and help create more interaction and functionality amongst numerous brands and sectors, like healthcare, the connected home, automotive and enterprise, and education. 

Framework

The framework for the AllSeen Alliance is initially based on what is known as the AllJoyn open source project.  The AllJoyn open source project enables developers to create products, applications, and services that are able to communicate over different transport layers, such as power line, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi.  One of the benefits of this is that this is able to occur regardless of the operating system, manufacturer, and does not require internet access.  The AllSeen Alliance has in the past and will continue to make the software openly available for developers to download and run on platforms such as Linux and Linux-based iOS, Windows, and Android, including embedded variants. 

Reasons to Consider the AllSeen Alliance as a Leader in the IoT

  • Open-source code
  • Open to anyone
  • “Designed for AllSeen”
  • Works across several different platforms
  • Security
  • Commercial products ranging from LG HDTVs to LIFX smart light bulbs use AllJoyn
  • 170 member companies that include some of the top companies in the world

Notable Member Companies

  • Microsoft
  • Philips
  • Qualcomm
  • Sony
  • Affinegy
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • Many others

Mission of the AllSeen Alliance

AllSeen Alliance’s mission is “to enable widespread adoption and help accelerate the development and evolution of an interoperable peer connectivity and communications framework based on AllJoyn for devices and applications in the Internet of Everything.”

News

Recently, Arcelik Group, a leader in durable consumer goods, announced that it had joined the AllSeen Alliance as a premier member.  The AllSeen Alliance now has approximately 12 premier members that consist of:

  • LG
  • Canon
  • Panasonic
  • Philips
  • Sharp
  • Sony
  • Electrolux
  • Qeo
  • Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc.
  • Silicon Image
Wednesday
Oct142015

Transfer Pricing – Intellectual Property Valuations

With the expansion of globalization over the past decade, many companies have merged with foreign corporations, or established divisions or subsidiaries in foreign markets.  When a company contributes tangible and/or intangible assets to a related foreign company, or any company not in the same tax jurisdiction, the transfer prices set on the goods, services and intellectual property (IP) are of distinct interest to the respective taxing authorities.  The prices must be set at an appropriate arm’s length compensation level.

In most, if not all cases, IP is transferred to a foreign subsidiary.  Intellectual property defines a host of intangible assets including but not limited to patents, inventions, know-how, processes, formulas, copyrights, trademarks, brand names, licenses, contracts, procedures, customer lists, and technical data. 

Typically, the domestic company will transfer all or a portion of its IP to a related foreign company.  Then, the two will enter into a cost sharing arrangement to share the costs of further developing and maintaining IP.  Alternatively, the two could enter into a licensing agreement where the domestic company would pay a licensing fee to the related foreign company for use of the IP.  The initial transfer of IP must be valued to establish the value of the intangible asset transferred.  This initial transfer is known as the platform contribution transaction (PCT). 

Per Internal Revenue Code Section 482, the PCT must be valued using an income approach.  In other words the value of the intangible must be a function of the income attributable to the intangible.  Typical valuation methods include the comparable uncontrolled transaction method (CUT) and comparable profits method (CPM).  The CUT compares the amount charged for a controlled transfer of intangible property to the amount charged in a comparable uncontrolled transaction.  The CPM compares the operating income level resulting from controlled transactions to the operating income level achieved in uncontrolled transactions.  Under both methods a controlled transaction is defined as one in which both parties are under common ownership while an uncontrolled transaction is defined as one in which the two parties are not under common ownership.  With respect to the CUT method, transactions are considered comparable if they used in connection with similar products and processes and fall within the same general industry or market.  Under the CPM method, transactions are considered comparable if they perform similar functions and have similar risk profiles.  However, product comparability is only considered in the sense that it contributes to the functional and risk comparisons. 

There are other income methods less commonly used such as a profit split method and what is referred to as an “unspecified method”, which is basically any other method that may be applied if it produces the most reliable means of measuring an arm’s length result.

No matter which method is applied, the ultimate goal is to provide support detailing the level of transfer prices for the use of IP is set at an appropriate arm’s length compensation level.  

Friday
Oct092015

Concirrus – Company Profile

Introduction

Concirrus is aiming to be one of the leading players in the Internet of Things (IoT) market through its cloud-based platform offering. The company markets to organizations which help people and businesses harness technology needed to control connected devices, such as a device that allows users to heat their home from their iPhone. Concirrus hopes that its cloud-based platform can provide a competitive advantage to organizations with a focus on IoT. 

Advantages of Concirrus

  • Marketed as one of the leading IoT suppliers
  • Ideal interface for organizations
  • Customizable solutions
  • Security
  • Scalable
  • Business & sector expertise
  • Proven track record as a supplier
  • Technically capable
  • Technology agnostic
  • Award winning

Platform

A scalable platform that enables users to connect any device or data source, develop/format any data type desirable, as well as issue commands when necessary. 

Applications

  • Fleet management
  • Smart energy
  • Asset security
  • Patient monitoring

Funding

Back in July 2015, Concirrus announced that it had received a £3 million ($4.61 million) Series-A investment round with Imperial Innovations Group plc.  This investment will allow Concirrus to continue to build out its suite of products, which address industries such as insurance, fleet and industrial asset markets.  Along with the investment, Concirrus has acquired the intellectual-property (IP) and certain assets of its former subsidiary, Concirrus Cloud Ltd.  The company will now operate as a single entity. 

Thursday
Oct082015

Atlantic Tele-Network Announces Acquisition of Innovative Group of Companies

On Thursday, October 1st, Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATNI) announced that it had acquired Caribbean Assets Holdings, LLC, the holding company for Innovative Communications Corporation (ICC) that provides cable TV, Internet and landline services primarily in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  ATN acquired the assets from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). 

Transaction Facts

  • ATN will pay approximately $145.0 million for the transaction.
  • The deal will be financed primarily with $85.0 million payable in cash and the option to finance the remaining $60.0 million of the purchase through a loan from an affiliate of CFC, the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (RTFC).
  • Deal is expected to close in mid-2016.

Deal History

  • In 2006, ICC was forced into involuntary bankruptcy after defaulting on RTFC loans; RTFC had loaned more than $500m to ICC between 1987 and 2001.
  • CFC purchased ICC’s assets through bankruptcy in 2010.
  • ICC majority shareholder Jeffrey Prosser appealed the sale to CFC to the Virgin Island Supreme Court, which upheld the sale to CFC in 2012.
  • Prosser co-founded of ATN in 1987 with Cornelius Prior Jr., current chairman of the board for ATN.
  • Prosser and Prior led ATN’s acquisition Virgin Island Telephone Company (Vitelco).
  • Management differences at ATN led to a split of the company’s assets with Prosser retaining Vitelco (dba Innovative).

Financial and Strategic Considerations

  • ATN is a provider of telecommunication services to rural, niche and other under-served markets and geographies in the United States, Bermuda and the Caribbean and owns and operates solar power systems in select locations across the United States. 
  • Enables ATN to offer quad play--wireless, broadband, cable and wireline telephone—in U.S. Virgin Islands. 
  • ICC’s company-wide operations revenue was approximately $100.0 million for its most recently completed fiscal year that ended May 31, 2015.

JSICA’s Take

  • The EV/TTM Rev in this transaction represents an implied multiple of 1.5x, a discount to recently observed ILEC deals in the U.S.    
  • Deal signals ATN’s desire to expand its operations in Caribbean after winding down is U.S. based wireless operations in recent years
  • ATN subsequently announced that it had agreed to acquire 51% of Bermuda based KeyTech Limited providing entry into the Cayman Islands market