MoPowered. UnderPowered.

Just because the world has gone mobile doesn’t mean that it’s easy to make money.

MoPowered floated on AIM at 100p in January, gaining a cash injection of £4m and a market capitalisation of over £15m. Impressive stuff given that 2013 revenues were just £1m.

This year, Q1 seems to have been okay, but from May 2014 the company announced a series of profit warnings. The FD left suddenly, then MoPowered made an unexpected cash call last week. The company will now raise an emergency £3.5m at 5p per share, valuing the business at just £1m. The stock price doesn’t make happy reading.

mopowered

MoPowered has some interesting technology that screenscrapes e-commerce websites and repurposes them for viewing on mobile phone and tablets. It was early into this market and, although it has publicised its ambitions with SME’s, has some good enterprise customers such as Next and SuperDry.

From the outset, MoPowered made much of its lack of direct competition. While largely true, this igores the growing mobile savvy of the e-commerce platform providers as a whole. Any retailer buying a new site based on Magento, say, has mobile optimisation available out of the box.

So, MoPowered is fishing in an ever smaller pool of retailers selling on old technology. Revenues are up 40% YTD but that’s not been enough to cover expenses until break-even is achieved.

Sensibly its new strategy is to focus on larger retailers rather than SME’s. Helpfully, Beaufort Securities has MoPowered as a “speculative buy”, the same view it held in May when the stock price was 80p.

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