WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc. (Nasdaq: WIMI), which this month celebrates its IPO anniversary, is establishing footprint in the U.S. market, the company announced last week.
As stated in the April 1 release, WiMi’s electric vehicle holographic AR product, WiMi HoloAR HUD, has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enter the U.S. market. “The certification documents state that the exterior designs, data transmission protocols, and radiation patterns of ‘WiMi HoloAR HUD’ have been tested and certified by the FCC,” WiMi states. That marked the second product from WiMi approved for use in America – the first being a holographic head-mounted display product called WiMi Hologram Soft Light.
According to the company: “The ‘WiMi HoloAR HUD’ can use [optical processing, image processing, voice interaction, night vision imaging, AR, ADAS, and cloud services] to read a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics data, run apps in the background, such as WeChat and Gaode Map (or Mapbox in overseas markets), display tire pressure, as well as enable Bluetooth connection, voice control, big data analysis, and more.”
WiMi became publicly traded in New York a year ago in a small $26 million offering – it was among the few Chinese companies to be brave enough to pursue a listing amid the raging Covid-19 outbreak. Perhaps, righteously so, as the IPO was initially expected to take place a half-year prior, in July 2019, but was unexpectedly delayed.
Now, as WiMi eyes entry into the U.S., it’s time to take a closer look at the company and its stock performance since the company’s listing. Where was WiMi led by the “new journey,” as its general manager of science, Michael He, called the IPO at this time last year?
First off, WiMi raised less capital than it anticipated. After the woes of Covid-19, WiMi’s IPO was downsized from the expected $38 million to $26 million and priced at $5.50 per American depositary share. In July 2020, WiMi completed a follow-on public share offering, raising an additional $8 million.
More recently, in late March 2021, WiMi announced the closing of a private offering via institutional share sale of $83.8 million worth of stock, with plans to use the proceeds for R&D, strategic acquisitions, and general corporate purposes. The ensuing dilution had weighed the shares lower, which WiMi attempted to boost by announcing its entry into the U.S. market.
Indeed, WiMi periodically reports on its developments in the holographic industry, from patents in the field to partnerships with companies in the tech, telecoms and education industries. However, the technology of the future has yet to grow its market presence and monetization.
Despite the Covid-19 challenges, in the first six months of 2020, WiMi was profitable, posting $3.2 million in income on $24.1 million in revenues. Income declined 71% from the first half of 2019 while revenues grew 8% year-over-year, according to the report. The majority of the revenues were derived from augmented reality (AR) advertising, which increased y-o-y. The company also generates a small portion of its revenues from its AR entertainment segment, which declined in the first half to $2.1 million.
In interviews with CapitalWatch, WiMi has shared big plans to bring holographic AR to the fields of education, 5G mobile networks, and cinema.
Since its IPO a year ago, WIMI shares once mysteriously hit $29.50 per share under unexplained circumstances, but, for the most part, the company’s stock has traded at under $10 per share, with the average volume at 5.5 million. On Monday, the stock closed at $6.45 per share. The company's P/E ratio sits at 24.
Among other developments, WiMi also entered the semiconductor industry and delved into the development of holographic vision intelligent robots. As the company prepares to release its second half results for 2020, investors are left hoping to see the results from the new developments and capital raises. Perhaps we’ll even see holograms in EVs in the near future.