The company, which has been an IPO prospect for some time as previously reported in Cabume, has just announced plans to float on AIM of the London Stock Exchange and raise £6m to use to seek new customers and enter new markets.
Its real time location system (RTLS) is currently being rolled out in fairly high end markets and is seen in increasingly large numbers on the factory floors of some of the world's largest manufacturers, including Boeing, Airbus, Aston Martin, BMW and GM.
However, CEO Richard Green, believes it's just a matter of time before the technology is adopted across a much wider base.
"If you remember back, GPS was initially a high end technology, adopted by the military for use in tanks, now it's in everything we touch, what we are doing will be the same," said Green.
"I can imagine it appearing in handsets, we are working with Texas Instruments, we use their chipset, so I can see it there in a few years time, it just takes time."
GPS (global positioning system) is at the heart of a growing number of popular phone apps such as Foursquare. It uses a network of space satellites to locate GPS enabled devices anywhere on the planet as long as there is an unobstructed line of sight to several satellites, which means it doesn't work indoors.
This is where Ubisense steps in. The RTLS technology is based on UWB, essentially a new name for radar, and can track devices indoors in three dimensions to within 15cm of their location.
This could benefit consumers by allowing them to navigate within large indoor areas such as shopping malls or stadiums, allowing all manner of phone apps to transfer indoors.
At the moment the technology is showing strong traction in its established markets, much of it to do with Atlas Copco, one of the world's largest supplier of industrial power tools who launched a whole generation of tools equipped with Ubisense location tags to improve efficiency and reduce errors during manufacturing.
For instance, BMW uses Ubisense tags to identify each vehicle on the line, which means that power tools can then be programmed automatically to the correct parameters when a specific vehicle enters a work zone.
BMW has now signed a global license to use Ubisense technology across all its assembly sites, which has led the company to recruit new staff in China.
However, the technology is already showing signs of diversification, though still at the more expensive end of the market. McLaren is using RTLS to improve the performance of elite athletes, in Chicago it is being used to track 1,900 buses as they arrive at the depot, so they can be correctly scheduled for the next day while the O2 arena has used it to optimise sound balance by tracking the singers.
As well as the £6m fund-raising, Ubisense raised £5m in November last year in what is now a pre-IPO round while the stock market IPO will provide it with access to further capital on the world markets.
There is also plenty of opportunity from purely organic growth. Ubisense has delivered compound annual revenue and gross profit growth of more than 35 per cent and 32 per cent since 2008 respectively and predicts the market for RTLS to push past $2.7 billion by 2018.
Results for 2010 show a 18 per cent increase in turnover to £17.7m and gross profits up 11 per cent to £5.9m. This year Ubisense plans to grow staff by almost one quarter, including in Cambridge where it employs a fifth of its 125 worldwide staff.
Greater funds make acquisitions within what Ubisense describes a fragmented geospatial market a distinct possibility too. Complementary to its RTLS division, geospatial concentrates on providing detailed mapping of complex networks for utilities, telecommunications and petrochemical industries.
"Business is going really well and we want to continue like that," said Green. "We are very happy with where we've gotten to and want to be the next big Cambridge success story."blog comments powered by Disqus