ShotSpotter IPOs, Facing Low Revenue and Losses

By Brian Karas, Published on Jun 09, 2017

A rare event for North American security manufacturers has happened.

ShotSpotter has IPOed on the NASDAQ, raising $30.8 million.

US IPOs, overall, have become much tougher since the dot com boom, with revenue and growth demands typically quite high for security manufacturers.

ShotSpotter has fairly low revenue, especially for being in business for more than 15 years.

In this note, we analyze ShotSpotter's IPO filing, issues, potential and competitors.

ShotSpotter *****

*********** *** * ****** *******, the **** ** ************** product/service **** ********* ****** find *********: ****** ******** with *********** ****** ********** a ****, *** **** use ********** ** **** police ** *** ******** of ***** ********. ** doing **, **** *** to **** ****** ******* shooters, *** *** ******* help ** ******* *******, and ** ********* ****** overall *****, *** *** cost ** ******* **** gunshot ******, *** ***** customers.

**** * ***** ********, *********** sells ***** ******* ** an ******* ******** **********, and **** * ******* subscription, ************* ********** * steady ****** ** ****-******* revenue, ******* ********** ******* for *********.

Current ******** ****

********* ** * ************ for ***********, *** ******* has ~** ***********, ********* in *** **, *** with **** ************* *********** as ****. ***** *** all ******/********* ********* ********* to ***********.

History ** ********* / *********

***** *** ******* ** gunshot ********* ** **** to **********, ************ ** with ******* ********** *** not **** ****. *********** has *** ******** ******* of *** ****** ******* to ******* ** *** promises, *********:

*** ******* *** ***** steps **** *** ***** to **** ******* ********, including ******** *** ***** own ********** ****** **** analyzes *** ***** **** suspected ******** ****** ********* police ** ******* ** reduce ***** ******.

*********** ** *** ******* success *******, ********* * recent **** ** ******, CA***** ****** ********** ***** ability ** ******* ******* to *** *********** ******.

Funding *** *********** ** ****

*********** *** ****** ~$*** since ** *** ******* in ****, *** ***** full ********** *** *** available *** *** ***** of *********, *** ******* has ****** ** *** never **** **********,  ******* losses ** $*.** ** 2016 *** $*.** ** 2015. *** ******* **** has ~$*.* ******* ** cash ** **** ** of ***** **, ****.

Revenue $**.* ******* / ***

***********'* **** ******* *** $15.5 ******* ***, ***** is ******* ********** ** a $*.** ******* *** business, ***** ***** ** solid *** ** *********** alarm ********** ******* *** not *** * ** backed **+ **** *******. As * ***** ** comparison,******** ***** ***, * ****** *******, smaller *******, *** ******* twice *** *** ** ShotSpotter.

Revenue ********** / ****** ********** **********

******* **** ************ *-* ********** * ******** ********* ***** **** the **** ****, **** a ~**% ******** ** revenue, ** $**.** ** 2016, ***** **** ********** operating ******** ~**%:

*******, ****** *** ***** quite ****, ** ~-**% of *******.

*********** *** ****** **** recent ******, **** ** indoor *** ********* *******, international *********, *** *** ability ** ****** *** markets/customers **** ** *********** campuses *** ******** ***** for *** ******* ** continue **** *****.

SaaS / *** ** *** *****

*********** ******** ***** ****** on * ************ *****, where ********* **** ******** to *** ******** ** order ** ******* *** product. ********* ** *** S-1 ******, *********** ****** renewal ***** ** ** high:

*** ********** *** ****, and ** ****** **** continue ** **, **** after *** ******* ************** of *** *********, ****** all ** *** *** customers ***** ***** ****** subscriptions, *** **** **** choose ** ****** ***** coverage ****.

***** ******** *********** ***** related ** ******* ******** deployment *** ************ *** ** ****, ** newer ********* *** ** satisfied ** *********** ******, it ** ****** **** will ******** ** ***** for * ****** ** more. **** ****-**** ************, and ******* *******, ** a *** ********* ** ShotSpotter's ***** ***********. 

Profitability *********

*********** ***** ************* ********* most ** *** ****** by ******* ***** *** ********* expenses, ******** *** ******* could ****** ********** ** they ******* ******** *** customers *** ****** ********* service ** ******** *********. While **** ** ******** (and *** *******), ** does ******** *** ********* *** profitability ** ********** *** bring ** **** *********, as *** *** ***** provides ****** ****** ******** from **** ********, **** little ********** *****/********* ****.

Company ********* ********

*** ******* *** *** yet ********* * *********, making ** ********** ** analyze *** $**.** ****** offering ******** ** *** company *******. ***** *** $70M ******** *******, ******* with ******* ******, ********* is ****** ** ** relatively ***.

Use ** *****

*** ********* ******** **** the ***** ***** ****** will ****** ** **** to ******** *****/********* *******, potentially ********* **** ***-*** enforcement *********, **** ** universities.

Challenging ******

*** ******* ********* ****** has *** **** ************ large, *********** *********** ** one ** *** **** well-known ********* ** **** space *** ***** ******** are ****** ** ****. The ******* ***** *********** from ********* **** ******* ********* ******* *** ****** ******** **** ********* ****** ******* detection, ** **** ******* ********* **** ** targeting ***** ******, *** ******* ***** companies **** ******. ************, ******** ** machine ********/** **** **** neural ******** *** ****** it ****** ** ** audio/video ******** *** **** extraction, ***** ***** ****** new ******* ********* ** target ***********'* ******, *********** reducing ************ ****** ** making ******* ********* ********** more ** * *********.

*********** ****** *** ******* more ***** ****** **** will ***** * ************* point, *** *** **** likely ** ********* **** challenges ***** *** *** to *************. *******, *** company **** **** *** benefit ** * ***** installed **** *** ************* of *** ****** **** their ****-**** *********** ** gunshot *********.

Update - ***

*********** ***** ** **** 7th ** $**, *** up **.*% ** *** first *** ** $**.** and ** *** *** of **** *** ******** modestly ** $**.**, ***** above *** *** *****, giving *** ******* * market ********* ** $*** *******.

Comments (14)

What impact will the use of a Suppressor have on the Type 2 error rate?

That is a good question, especially considering some of the current trends to position suppressors as hearing protection devices, making them much easier to obtain. 

At a minimum, it would likely require many more microphones in order to get a good sound capture, as you would lose the loud and distinctive 'bang' sound. 

Brian - does IPVM have any plans to do an independent test on any of the gunshot technology?

As much as Rhodes and myself would love to do a live outdoor gunshoot detection test, I am not sure that would be practical.

I think that to properly test the outdoor systems you would need to do it in a large metropolitan area to account for sound reflections, positioning accuracy, etc. 

 

And therein lies one of the challenges. The efficacy of this technology needs to be quantified in a credible way. Preferably with an ROC curve like a biometric system. But testing it thoroughly and scientifically is difficult. Sound waves disperse, ricochet and are a tricky signal - and very dependent on the environment. So we are left to take the manufacturer's word for their own product's performance. 

We actually have talked about it internally, especially given the low cost/free offerings now available for simple detection (not location), like Louroe or those included on the Wisenet X line. 

But like Brian says, I'm not sure it would be totally representative of actual performance, since we'd likely do it a range, not an indoor or urban area. And we'd have to try any number of different guns, etc. So it's somewhat impractical. Not out of the question, though.

Wait...  So "Samaritan" or "The Machine" hasn't covertly bought up the company in its bid for global awareness?  

 

What is the cost for equipment per sq mile covered?

What is the recurring cost per year per sq mile covered?

Does the benefit of being alerted to gunfire outweigh the costs incurred?

i.e. could those same costs provide more value spent on other 'safety' technologies available to LE and/or muni?

I don't think it is priced based on raw area coverage, as different locations will need more/less equipment, depending on environmental factors.

It is probably more valuable in cities that have a lot of gun-related crimes vs. those where gun crimes/shootings are relatively low.

 

Update: 

ShotSpotter IPOed on June 7th at $11, was up 30.7% on its first day to $14.38 and by the end of June had reverted modestly to $12.79, still above the IPO price, giving the company a market valuation of $116 million.

Update: ShotSpotter has more than doubled in market capitalization since they IPOed:

Though still reports of system problems recently: ShotSpotter CEO responds to end of Fall River agreement

I see them as becoming more and more part of the toolkit that the Police use. Once that happens, it doesn't need empirical data or even work. Other agencies will blindly follow. If its good enough for NYPD & CPD, its good enough for everyone else

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