School messaging pioneer MGM Wireless Ltd has changed its name to Spacetalk Ltd – with the ASX Code ‘SPA’ – as it ramps up production to meet global demand for its family wearables technology.
Co-founder and Executive Chair Mark Fortunatow said the new company name reflects the significance of the market for smartphone watches designed to keep families safe and connected.
“Our Spacetalk devices business is already over three times bigger than our schools business,” Mr Fortunatow says. “We’re now the leader in this fast growing and huge new family wearables category.”
Spacetalk Ltd currently has two products in the market: the flagship best-seller Spacetalk Kids and the new Spacetalk Life wearable smart phone for the seniors market. The companion AllMyTribe App contributed over $1.5 million (ARR) to the company’s rapid growth this year.
New, related hardware and software apps for the families market are in the pipeline, with the Spacetalk App and Spacetalk Kids 2 set for launch in time for Christmas.
During this remarkable shift, the company has grown from 15 to 44 employees, with revenue up 47% to $10.7 million and office locations in London, Glasgow, Shenzhen, Melbourne, Sydney and headquarters in Adelaide.
Mr Fortunatow said the company had pursued a strategy of continuous innovation since its foundation in 2001 as one of the first developers of mobile SMS services for business markets.
“In the tech industry, you need to keep moving just to keep pace with the market, and our mission has always been to stay ahead, to own any market we enter,” he said. “That’s led to many new product launches and expanding our customer base throughout Australia, New Zealand, India, the US and now the UK.”
The company developed messageyou, the first SMS student absence notification system, nearly 20 years ago, a school communication platform that went on to save the lives of at least seven children. As the team discovered new products, such as electronic rollmarking and cloud messaging, its customer base grew to encompass whole-of-government Education Departments as well as Independent and Catholic schools. Over 1,200 schools and 1.7 million parents depend on MGM systems for school information delivered to mobile phones, email and landlines.
“As more and more schools adopted messageyou, parents would receive a personalised text from their school to say their child was absent without an explanation,” said Mr Fortunatow.
“The parent’s next question was ‘where are they?’ This led to the development of a GPS tracking app, which had limited use as not all children carried mobile phones. But we knew from the demand that we were on to something.”
Mr Fortunatow researched everything he could get his hands on about GPS tracking, about the dangers of young children using internet-connected mobile phones, and about the emerging wearables market.
“We needed an ultra-secure device, one that children could safely carry, without the ability to access social media or internet. The idea of a mobile phone built into a wristwatch began to emerge and that’s how Spacetalk started. We hired a dedicated security analyst with a specialty in smartwatches - in fact, everything has been built with the child’s safety in mind.”
Already familiar with the families market through its schools business, Mr Fortunatow and his team were able to quickly interpret those needs in the development of product features. Next came the trial and error of developing hardware for the first time, the technology breakthroughs, and the launch of the first Spacetalk model in 2017.
Demand was strong from the start. The company signed Australia’s largest electronics retailer, JB HiFi, as its first bricks and mortar retailer, followed by Officeworks, The Good Guys, Spark (NZ), Sky (UK), Curry’s (UK), Harvey Norman (NZ) and most recently Vodafone.
“Our management and staff are infused with the same enthusiasm that my co-founders were 20 years ago,” Mr Fortunatow said.
“We have the common purpose to keep families safe and connected and the same ethical values for our new Spacetalk business as we did when we founded our school communication business when text messaging was still a novelty.”
MGM Wireless listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005 with the ASX code MWR, and formally changed its name to Spacetalk Ltd – ASX: SPA – at its AGM on 12 November, 2020.
About Spacetalk Ltd (ASX:SPA)
Spacetalk Ltd is a software company that designs and develops breakthrough technology and wearable devices that enrich connections between families, schools and society.
The company is recognised as a global leader and pioneer in socially responsible technology for schools and families. Everything we do is built on our unshakeable desire for families to feel safe and connected so that they can live with freedom, independence and joy.
Investor Centre: https://investors.spacetalkwatch.com/
About SPACETALK KIDS
SPACETALK is a mobile phone built into a smartwatch designed just for kids from the age of 5 to 12. SPACETALK allows two-way phone calls and SMS messaging for children to a parent-controlled list of contacts. GPS tracking alerts parents whenever children leave designated safe spaces, such as school or home.
SPACETALK doesn’t give children access to social media, apps, open internet or other such services that can be dangerous to young children. The subscription based mobile app enables parents to manage SPACETALK devices.
About SPACETALK Life
SPACETALK Life is a stylish, stand-alone mobile phone built into a smartwatch for seniors. SPACETALK Life keeps wearers safe, independent, and connected with their loved ones, using SOS alerts, two-way phone calls, SMS messaging and GPS location services and other advanced safety services.
Wearers’ independence and dignity is never compromised, as they are in complete control and able to decide who sees their location. The companion App makes the device particularly useful for families looking to directly care for their ageing parents.
About MGM Schools
MGM created the world’s first SMS based Automated Student Absence Notification Solution for schools and is recognised as a global leader in socially responsible and technology-enabled school communication. Over 1,200 schools and 1.7 million parents use MGM Wireless products including student absence notifications ‘messageyou’, absence analytics software ‘Watchlists’, school news and messaging app ‘School Star’, a content management and messaging platform for mobile school communication called ‘Outreach+’, and student attendance management solution ‘RollMarker’.
To learn more about MGM Schools, please visit: https://www.mgmwireless.com