Lauren Evans: Hi. This is Lauren Evans for the Finance News Network. Today, I’m speaking with Matt Macfarlane, Managing Director and CEO of icetana (ASX:ICE). Matt, I think we last spoke in July. It’s nice to see you again.
Matt Macfarlane: Great to see you too, Lauren.
Lauren Evans: Welcome back to the network. So, first up, for new investors, could you provide an introduction to icetana?
Matt Macfarlane: Sure. So, icetana is a video analytics software company. We build software that plugs into surveillance systems, preferably large surveillance systems with lots of surveillance cameras. And we help the people who are running those systems to start to see in real time what’s happening in front of those cameras. So, we take surveillance operations from being, principally, just recordings, into something where you can start to respond in real time. And we use AI software technology to do that.
Lauren Evans: And could you mention a few of your clients, and comment on the market opportunity for your products?
Matt Macfarlane: Sure. So, this year there’s actually a billion cameras globally in the surveillance space. It’s a booming industry. Lots and lots going on. People have started using cameras to know whether face masks are being worn during COVID, that sort of thing. So, it’s a really interesting space where more and more customers have started to realise what you can use cameras for. Some of our customers include very large shopping mall chains. So, for example, Majid Al Futtaim is a huge shopping mall group in the Middle East with about 16 shopping malls on icetana. Prosegur is a security company based out of Spain, but we operate with the company in Singapore and look after a number of their guarding services clients. And, also, in Japan, we’re working with a company called Sankei, which is the third-largest guarding services company in Japan, looking after large building facilities. So, you know, a wide range of different clients, including Melbourne’s iconic Crown Casino is one of our clients.
Lauren Evans: So, on to recent news, you’ve just announced a placement of $2.7 million. What are your plans for the new funding?
Matt Macfarlane: We had some challenging times during COVID. We see a reopening after COVID as a huge opportunity for us. So, the money is principally going to be directed towards increasing our sales and marketing capability. But also, we’ve got a really exciting new product on the horizon, which we’re planning to launch very early in the new year. And this product takes our system to the next level. So, we have historically been reporting on anomalous and unusual activity. We’ve now built in a whole bunch of new capabilities, and we’re really excited to get that into the market. Also, we’ve put in place a lot of structures to make our onboarding and our sales process much faster. So, if we can accelerate how quickly we turn leads into revenue, that’ll make a big difference for icetana. So, it’s a pretty exciting year ahead, and that’s why we got the capital raise away.
Lauren Evans: So, you’ve just announced a deal with NEC in Argentina. And, two months ago, there was a similar deal with Panasonic in Japan. What do these deals mean for the company?
Matt Macfarlane: These are great because they’re endorsements from very large companies who have extremely large bases of camera systems and clients saying that our technology is basically sufficiently different from all the other players in the market that they want to get into a development collaboration with us. The opportunity with Panasonic is principally Japan-focused. With NEC, we’re starting in Argentina, but we are hopeful, if we do a good job, that that will expand to a really much larger footprint. And it’s great to be working with companies of that kind of scale when you’re such a tiny business really, based out of Perth, attracting that sort of attention. So, part of the fund raise will be making sure that we execute brilliantly on those relationships through the course of 2022.
Lauren Evans: And, last question from me, what can investors expect from icetana in 2022?
Matt Macfarlane: Oh, look, we’re really excited about launching the new product early in the new year and also getting these collaborations with companies like NEC and Panasonic and others who we are talking to now active and generating revenues. So, it’s really going to be a year focused on growing our revenues, increasing our sales force, and taking full advantage of the post-COVID situation where many of our clients are opening up not only their own facilities, but people are returning to these facilities and they need to be surveilled. So, yeah, it’s a pretty exciting year ahead. We’re looking forward to it.
Lauren Evans: Well, Matt Macfarlane, thanks for the update. I hope you have a great festive season and I look forward to speaking to you in the new year.
Matt Macfarlane: You too. Have a great festive season. See you later.