By: Tony Boyd
The successful stock exchange listing in London of a software company founded in Perth eight years ago has illustrated the patience, persistence and ingenuity required to finance emerging technologies.
Dynamic Digital Depth, which has developed a 3D television technology, came to London’s Alternative Investment Market via a circuitous route that included venture capital financing from Australian angel investors and a back door listing on the Canadian Venture Exchange in Alberta, Canada, in the mid-1990s.
The holding company, DDD Group Plc, raised £7 million ($18 million) through the placement of 10.79 million shares to institutional investors in London in December last year.
The stock is now trading at a 20 per cent premium to its 65p a share issue price.
The shift from Canada to a London listing was made after the company examined and then rejected the possibility of listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
“The AIM listing means our shares carry tax advantages for British pension funds and, because the holding company is domiciled in the UK, we can attract a larger allocation of funds than a technology company based outside the UK,” DDD Group managing director, Mr Chris Yewdall, said.
The money raised from the placement in London will be used to commercialise the company’s 3D technology in the United States.
Prior to the London placement, DDD had absorbed more than $20 million in venture capital.
Mr Yewdall, who is based in the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles, said the company believes the impact of 3D television will be as significant as the transition from black-and-white to colour television viewing.
The company has developed a software that allows images developed using conventional software 2D techniques to be manipulated digitally and converted to 3D and viewed in 3D without the use of 3D glasses.
Mr Yewdall said the immediate commercialisation phase would involve the sale of 125cm 3D TV systems to the corporate market for use in public spaces or corporate venues.
The company believes that sales to the corporate market will raise consumer awareness and lead to its adoption in the mass market.
The founder of Dynamic Digital Depth, Mr Paul Kristensen of Capital Technologies in Perth, said the DDD Group had the potential to become a billion-dollar company.
The company’s research and development staff have remained in Perth since it was founded in 1993.