Vivotech plans 2012 stock market launch

NFC and contactless specialist Vivotech is planning an initial public offering (IPO) as early as 2012, CEO Mick Mullagh has told Bloomberg Business Week.


The company — which one analyst believes could be valued at as much as US$1billion — is aiming to tap into the “absolutely huge” market on offer for mobile contactless payments and expects to be profitable in mid-2012.

With sales already in “double-digit millions”, the company has 80% of the US market for NFC readers, sometimes offered under other companies’ brands, according to Mullagh.

“Mobile commerce will be bigger and grow faster than e-commerce did,” Mullagh says. “This market will be absolutely huge.”

The spread of NFC has spurred investor interest in mobile payment stocks, Tom Taulli, an independent technology analyst, said. “Vivotech could be on its way to a $1billion valuation,” he added.

Vivotech has raised US$80m from investors to date. They include Citigroup and venture capital firms Alloy Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company also has the backing of Nokia Growth Partners, Sprint Nextel, NXP Semiconductor, First Data and NCR.

“The company is poised for greatness,” Tim Draper, managing director of California-based Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said.

Earlier this month, Vivotech released VivoNFC Software Suite 3.0, the third generation of its NFC infrastructure and provisioning solution.

Meanwhile, in December, Monitise and Vivotech partnered to offer banks in the US an NFC payments solution that combines Vivotech’s over-the-air software with Monitise’s Mobile Money technology.

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