Mobile Connectivity Provider uCloudlink Debuts in Quiet $36 Million IPO

The Hong Kong-based company rushed to become publicly traded in New York as Wall Street turns hostile to Asian listings.
Capitalwatch StaffJun 13,2020,06:55

Hong Kong-based uCloudlink Group Inc. (Nasdaq: USL) celebrated its IPO in New York Wednesday and ended the week in red territory as concerns over the new bill targeting foreign audits loom over Wall Street.

A marketplace for mobile data traffic sharing, uCloudlink sold 2.01 million American depositary shares at $18 apiece, thus raising $36.2 million in a downsized offering. Early upon debut, UCL peaked at $24.77 per share, then slipped below issuance level. On Friday, UCL stock closed at $16.53 per share.

Underwriters on the deal are I-Bankers Securities Inc., Valuable Capital Ltd., and Tiger Brokers (NZ) Ltd. They may acquire an additional 301,500 shares in a greenshoe option.

UCloudlink uses its cloud SIM technology to distribute mobile data from 230 network operators in 144 countries. The platform allows users to connect to local network operators in those countries without the need to switch SIM cards.  As of March 31, uCloudlink owned 50 patents in the cloud SIM technology field, according to its filing.

In 2018, uCloudlink held 41% of the market share as a provider of portable Wi-Fi service for international roaming for Chinese outbound travelers, the company said in its prospectus, citing commissioned research by Frost & Sullivan. In 2023, the total market size of international roaming service is expected to reach $34.8 billion and the mobile data connectivity service industry is expected to reach $1.2 trillion, according to the research firm.

The mission of uCloudlink: "to enable people to use mobile data traffic freely anytime, anywhere like breathing the air."

The company has been battling rival Skyroam Inc. in U.S. and Chinese courts. In October 2019, the Southern District Court of New York ordered uCloudlink to pay $8.2 million in damages to Skyroam over intentionally infringed patent rights. Currently, intellectual property lawsuits between the two are ongoing.