Friday, 31 May 2013

Snipp Interactive looks to become one-stop shop for mobile marketing - UPDATE

***Updated with comments from chief executive***
Snipp Interactive (CVE:SPN) has grown first quarter revenues by 85 per cent year-over-year as the mobile marketing firm continues to bolster its presence, as well as search for acquisitions that would make it a "one stop shop" for mobile marketing tools. 
"We are very pleased that our go-to-market strategy continues to be validated as our sales revenues continue to grow rapidly and propels us ever closer to being operationally cash flow positive," said CEO Atul Sabharwal in the release Friday. 
"The fact is that we are at the beginning of a mobile revolution that presents an unprecedented opportunity for companies like ours."
Indeed, the company figures that as an increasing number of people spend more time carrying out traditional web-based activities such as shopping and social interaction on their mobile devices, every company will need to start implementing a "mobile optimized layer" for their business to support this growing trend. 
Sabharwal likens the trend to the introduction of the Internet several years ago, saying this is the beginning of the same investment cycle, as less time is spent on desktops and more time is spent on mobile phones or tablet computers. "Companies will have to optimize all of their content and systems to work on mobile devices, and we offer a bunch of tools that will allow them to do that both cost effectively and easily," says the chief. 
For the three months to March 31, net income rose to $135,163 from a net loss of $697,959 in the prior year period. The company, which works with several major brands to market products through mobile, said the latest results were mainly due to a non-cash gain.  Before non-operating items, net loss was wider than a year ago at $398,235 versus $229,719 as the company dedicated more resources to sales and marketing as well as to investment in its platform. 
And this investment has paid off. Revenues jumped to $174,331 from $94,235 in the same quarter last year, attributable to new sales channels, additional sales contracts from existing customers, as well as new clients and the launch of new products like SnippCheck - a mobile receipt processing service - and SnippWine. 
The company's newest product - SnippWine - provides a full suite of mobile-based marketing tools for wineries, including shipping alerts, a mobile site builder, social sharing functionality, the SnippCeck mobile receipt processing service to process rebate and coupon programs, as well as a contest engine. 
Snipp is also working on the "soon-to-be released SnippShip" -a logisitic solution that provides mobile delivery alerts to customers - and other similar products, it said. The company's "Mobilize Me" platform collectively allows brands to interact with their customers through mobile across the entire purchase lifecycle.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C. and established in 2007, the company has provided its services to several Fortune 500 companies and other major brands, advertising agencies and publishers, including Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Ford (NYSE:F), Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB). It also worked on new campaigns last year with Taco Bell & ESPN, Meredith Corp, Arm & Hammer, and James Hardie, and launched Snipp in Mexico and the Middle East, executing successful campaigns in both markets. 
In the first quarter, Snipp said its product team finalized two new offerings that will launch in the second quarter, which will be consumer-focused self service tools, allowing the company to expand into new market segments. Currently, the Mobilize Me platform is only available on a full-service basis to large brands.
In the release Friday, it said several key initiatives "are expected to bear fruit for the company", any one of which can drive significant revenue and profitability gains, including an organic acquisition strategy, the launch of new products and the continued development of its overseas relationships.
"We're looking for complementary companies in the space that will add to our toolkit and make us a one stop shop," says the chief executive. 
In addition, in the second quarter, Snipp will be integrating its SnippWine suite into eWinery's platform, meaning customers of eWinery, which has more than 600 clients, will be able to launch and manage mobile programs through the eWinery interface. eWinery currently controls over 70 per cent of the $600 million direct to consumer wine business in the USA, according to the statement. 
"This deal is really critical and we're going to get a lot of traction through it. Importantly, the relationship we have with eWinery - we can do this with any brand," says Sabharwal. The chief executive expects the company will see the effects of this deal, and other international partnerships, beginning in the third quarter. 
The SnippShip mobile delivery tool, which is due out shortly, is also expected to work well with the alcohol industry, reducing returns (alcohol deliveries are not allowed to be left at one's doorstep) and thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
The company also said that SnippCheck, its other new product that replaces the mail-in rebate process, has submitted proposals for over ten million potential transactions for the coming year. 
Snipp, which ended the first quarter with current assets of $660,947 and liabilities of $228,940, will continue to ramp up international sales as well, with plans to launch a number of products and campaigns for the Middle East region in the coming months, and a big potential deal in the works in Mexico. 
"We're hoping some really cool stuff happens in these regions with some new products to be launched," the CEO says, adding that the company is also looking at potential partners in Brazil, Australia and Colombia. 
"Now that it's been more than a year since our IPO, and we've got everything in place, we are looking to acquire and aggressively add new products to really scale us up," he asserts.

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