US-based DroneShield to raise AU$7m for ASX debut

Unmanned aerial vehicle detection firm DroneShield has opened its initial public offering, hoping to raise AU$7 million ahead of its Australian Securities Exchange debut on June 13.

Drone detection technology provider DroneShield Limited has opened its initial public offering (IPO), hoping to raise AU$5-7 million before securing its spot on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in June.

The company is offering 35 million new shares at an issue price of AU$0.20 per share to raise the AU$7 million.

Based in Delaware, DroneShield owns the intellectual property rights to, and sells, enterprise-grade sensors and a proprietary database of audio signatures.

The company's system detects acoustic signatures of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- or drones -- which are analysed by a signature database, and then issues an alert on an approaching drone.

In total, DroneShield has sold, piloted, and trial-installed approximately 214 sensor units, and its products have been installed or trialled at a range of third-party sites, including the Boston Marathon in 2015 and 2016, the current head of state of a G7 nation, a major US airport, and the Office of Homeland Security in an undisclosed US state.

"Until recently, there had been no cost-effective commercial detection and defence solution available to governments and real asset owners. DroneShield provides such a solution," the company says in its prospectus.

The company is headed up by CEO James Walker and has an advisory board comprising of: Peter James, the current chairman of the boards of ASX-listed Nearmap Ltd and Macquarie Telecom Group; former Deputy National Security Advisor for Vice-President Dick Cheney, Dr Samantha Ravich; Jay M. Cohen, former Chief of Naval Research for the US Navy and the US Department of the Navy Chief Technology Officer; Robert Hill, former Australian Minister for Defence; former Commander of the British Field Army, Lieutenant General Robin Brims; and Carol A Haave, the former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Counterintelligence and Security.

DroneShield LLC was formed in January 2014 and in November last year, DroneShield Limited was incorporated. It then snapped up DroneShield LLC in April.

The current members of DroneShield LLC will own approximately 80 percent of the shares of DroneShield Limited after IPO.

The company said it expects to use the IPO funds to further scale DroneShield's existing technology, expand into new markets, and pay any ongoing intellectual property, legal, insurance, and administration costs.

Cloud-based human resources and recruitment software provider LiveHire opened its IPO last week, hoping to raise AU$10 million from 50 million new shares before securing its spot on the ASX in June.

Based on the IPO issue price, it is expected that LiveHire will have a market capitalisation of AU$40 million upon IPO.

Video technology development company Linius Technologies Limited began trading on the ASX this week after formally completing the reverse takeover of Firestrike Resources, a Perth-based company previously involved in mineral exploration in Utah, United States.

Linius successfully raised AU$3.5 million, from 70 million new shares issued at AU$0.05 per share, giving the company an indicative market capitalisation of AU$25.6 million.

"Linius is developing unique and patented technology set to disrupt the digital video value chain. Its lead product -- the world's first video virtualisation engine -- is designed to offer significant scope to cut costs, simplify workflow and boost revenue for enterprise customers," the company said in a statement.

"The board believes that listing on the ASX will allow more Australian investors to share in the company's growth."

Firestrike is the latest in a succession of former resource companies to make the switch to technology in 2016.

Last month, junior explorer MinQuest announced it was abandoning its resources business to focus on Australian facial recognition technology, agreeing to buy pain management app developer ePAT.

Under the terms of the deal, MinQuest will issue 373 million shares to ePAT shareholders and will also raise up to AU$500,000 via an interim capital raising to provide working capital and pay towards transaction costs.

Should the transaction proceed, ePAT will gain the chair and managing director positions in the company as part of three board seats, while MinQuest will retain a pair of board seats.

Digital identification and verification firm TikForce finalised its reverse takeover of Palace Resources in April, with the Perth-based company launching on the ASX after raising AU$4.5 million to complete the backdoor listing.

In January, Canadian data security firm Zyber Secure Mobile Solutions popped up on the ASX following the completion of a AU$3 million backdoor listing. A week later, technology and entertainment company MSM commenced trading on the ASX after successfully raising AU$7 million as part of a reverse takeover of Minerals Corporation.

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