Leaner selfie drone maker IoT focuses on Latin America for Christmas
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Selfie drone maker IoT Group is expanding into Latin America and hoping a new board will give it the thrust it needs for a strong Christmas.
IoT (ASX:IOT) makes pocket-sized flying cameras (or “selfie drones”) such as its latest model the Air Selfie, which can fly 10m into the air to snap pictures.
IoT today announced a deal with Maximum Export Import, a company recommended by its new US sales representative Spring to Market, to sell drones in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
The news comes after a board makeover and $180,000 cash injection from an anonymous investor.
Recently appointed US-based chairman Robert C. Smith lasted three weeks, while Ian Duffell, financier Tod McGrouther, and Real Energy’s Scott Brown all resigned in August.
Mr Duffell’s LinkedIn page still lists the former Virgin Entertainment CEO as a director of IoT.
Director and founder Sean Neylan said IoT had reduced its board to three directors who were focused on sales.
“The attitude of the board is that if you’re not on that way of thinking, you’re out,” he told Stockhead.
Mr Smith, a New York financier with ties to children’s charities, didn’t work out because he was more interested in the “bigger picture” rather than short-term sales, Mr Neylon said.
IoT needed an immediate focus on the approaching Christmas sales period, he said.
“We’ve got great products, and we’ve got good retailers wanting those products, so we’ve just got to execute on that.”
Mr Neylan is now the only board member who was working with the company in 2017, when it was forced to sack its CEO and fight two lawsuits.
“It hasn’t been an easy run over the last 18 months, but it’s a matter of persisting. The products are fun, and we’re not spinning our wheels anymore,” he said.
The new board, led by Australian retail marketer Steven Kayalicos, is hoping to fly high over the next four months.
Mr Neylan declined to outline expected sales numbers in Latin America. However the deal with Maximum Export Import should provide immediate sales for IoT because LatAm retailers tended to move quickly when introducing new products, he said.
Maximum Export Import also distributes brands such as audio product maker Kilpsch, smart lighting company Sengled, and drone camera maker TRNDLabs.
IoT would fund the expansion via funds in the bank, a trade finance facility and “extremely good terms” with suppliers and distributors.
A recent $180,000 share placement to a single existing, but anonymous, shareholder in September was necessary to provide working capital.
IoT had $1.6 million in the bank at the end of June.
The placement gave the shareholder an extra 3.65 per cent stake in IoT Group.