Case Study Number 5: Norwood Systems Ltd (ASX:NOR)
Ariadne Capital founder and CEO Julie Meyer knows Norwood Systems founder and CEO Paul Ostergaard through INSEAD where they are both alumni. Norwood Systems’ World Phone is an award-winning, revolutionary communications app, delivering effortless “shared economy” consumer access to leading fixed-line network service providers around the world, providing unparalleled local access to high-quality voice networks in more than 90 countries.
In a recent interview with EntrepreneurCountry Global, the company’s founder Paul Ostergaard explained that there are currently two ways to make a phone call when travelling: VoIP and cellular roaming, with the former being unreliable, and the latter being sometimes costly for consumers and businesses alike. The idea behind World Phone was to improve the quality of VoIP by using local network partners. The application allows customers to have secure, reliable, high-quality international calls at a fraction of the price by partnering with local operators. In addition to providing savings of greater than 80%, Norwood offers a frictionless and superior customer experience.
Norwood Systems has a B2B2C business model - partnering with local telecommunications operators to deliver a seamless, high-quality voice communication experience at a fraction of the cost consumers would pay.
As an investor in and a strategic adviser to Norwood since 2013, Ariadne Capital has advised Norwood Systems to apply the principles of the shared economy to the communications industry. Norwood Systems has captured more than one million customers by developing strategic partnerships with companies such as Booking.com in just over three months. As a member of the board, Ariadne Capital managing director Amit Pau has provided strategic advice to scale the business. Since its launch in late July 2015, Norwood Systems’ World phone App has been the number one downloaded travel application in 93 countries and the highest grossing travel app in 57 countries on the Apple Store alone. We are delighted to see that Norwood Systems has continued with its network effect. This weekend the company launched its application on the Android Store gaining an additional quarter of a million customers in a matter of days.
Ariadne Capital advised Norwood on theirs investment strategy. Norwood Systems listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – ASX – debuting at 2 cents in June 2015; its current share price is 16 cents. Norwood Systems is an ongoing success story with the company raising $7.1million to reach a market cap of over $130million AUD in late November 2015.
Norwood Systems exemplifies Ecosystem Economics for the following reasons:
1. WorldPhone is a Digital Enabler and platform which relies on its network effect to expand its consumer reach
2. The company partners with regional telecommunications companies to help them build digital revenues
3. Consumers are at the core of Norwood System’s value proposition thus ensuring high-end user experience