Home & Office

Testing tech stock waters, BT's WAP lifeline and going to the toilet

Recent unrest in the tech stock sector has left three UK firms undeterred as they announce share offerings today.
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

Recent unrest in the tech stock sector has left three UK firms undeterred as they announce share offerings today.

The Guardian reports that exhibition technology provider, Expocentric, mobile phone facia designer, Comeleon and wireless telecom group UbiNetics are all bucking the trend of recent listing postponements. Expocentric is valued at £112.2m ahead of its flotation on the London Stock Exchange, making yet another dot-com millionaire of founder Stephen Moore who has a holding in the company worth £24.5m. Comeleon, currently in the process of trying to secure a supplier agreement with Nokia which will give the firm access to the mobile phone giant's vast EMEA markets, is set to raise a minimum of £7m by placing shares with institutions and a listing on the Alternative Investment Market. UbiNetics, will float on the London Stock Exchange next year but is to announce today it has raised £50m through a placing with blue chip investors including Fidelity and Schroders. The Financial Times also reports on another company braving the icy tech stock waters. Digital mapping company Whereonearth.com is set for a £80m flotation next month having originally planned an IPO for March. The company's business model is based upon the licensing of its software to third parties. While companies such as Yahoo! and lastminute.com are already signed up, Whereonearth is hoping for a large windfall from the roll out of third generation mobile technologies for which the digital mapping technology is ideally suited... Also turning its attention to future mobile phone technologies is BT. This morning's Guardian reports that the company is taking steps to expand its mobile internet offering after disappointing take-up of WAP services. Saverfone will run a WAP-based marketing system in conjunction with a wide range of retailers offering special offers to BT's mobile internet customers. Whether the news will do anything to turn around consumer disinterest in the technology is yet to be seen and whether it is too little too late to reverse BT's flagging fortunes is also a subject open to debate... Finally, to news in The Times of the launch of the 'Viewrinal' - a screen to be mounted above urinals in gents' toilets that will run adverts downloaded from the internet, proving the net has now infiltrated pretty much every aspect of our lives. UK firm Captive View has developed the Viewrinal and a cheaper version called the Viewloo, which will pipe internet content into public toilets - exploiting, as the company name suggests, the captive audience in such places and increasing the potential of advertising campaigns for its clients...
Editorial standards