I contacted Wowio owner Brian Altounian last night about his taking Wowio public to get some details about what's going on. He provided a long response, with some background details that would only be interesting to a handful of folks like myself, so I'll try to hit the highlights here.
Altounian started, "First of all, when I talk of going public, I am not talking in the traditional sense of an IPO like the average public understands." Rather, he's got a small group of individual investors providing backing. This will actually be a second round of financing since he bought the company in July of last year. The first round -- which he didn't elaborate on, but sounded to me more like some type of loan process -- raised $1,000,000 with which "every publisher was paid entirely and I even added an interest payment on top of it as a good-faith gesture to apologize for the delays in payment." He also used some of those funds to bring back much of the original technology team out of Houston. To my understanding, Wowio is now debt-free.
This second round of financing will be coming from "an interested and mobilized investor base that loves this kind of opportunity." These investors will be contributing to Wowio's moving to become more self-sustaining. "All funds raised now will go to building operations and growing revenue-generating activities - no debt as that has all been taken care of." Altounian expects this second round of financing to be complete within the next 45 days. Although, undoubtedly, getting the company to where he's projecting will take longer; the money being raised here will be used as operating capital.
Altounian will retain a majority interest in Wowio. "Between Alliance and my personal holdings, I control over 60% of the company and will look to maintain that control until we get to some exit strategy that could include an acquisition offer somewhere down the road." He remains open to new ideas and opportunities going forward and also noted, "Then again, if opportunities exist for us to use our stock as currency, we may look to do acquisitions of our own if it helps our business model."
He concluded by saying, "Being a public company affords an early-stage company many "luxuries" of a larger organization, including having stock as a currency to pay for services, acquisitions and other needs. It also lets my employees participate in a real stock option plan that has true value - they get to be part owners as well and have an incentive to yield extraordinary results for the organization. Answering to the SEC and FINRA requires the company to comply with some of the strictest business standards and practices in the land, which gives additional comfort to investors who get to see the transparency in their portfolio investment companies. I consider it a win-win-win proposition, especially if executed properly. I've done it a number of times with great success and I anticipate doing the same with WOWIO."
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