As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 23, 2019
Registration No. 333-222208
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
Post-Effective Amendment No. 2 to
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
Classification Code Number)
923 Incline Way #39
Incline Village, NV 89451
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Chief Executive Officer
923 Incline Way #39
Incline Village, NV 89451
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Louis A. Bevilacqua, Esq.
1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Fang Liu, Esq.
Mei & Mark LLP
818 18th Street NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20006-3506
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to public: From time to time after this registration statement becomes effective.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 check the following box. ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer ☐||Accelerated filer ☐|
|Non-accelerated filer ☐||Smaller reporting company ☒|
|Emerging growth company ☒|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.
On December 20, 2017, the registrant filed a registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-222208) (the “Registration Statement”). The Registration Statement, as amended, was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on April 13, 2018. On May 3, 2018, the registration filed a post-effective amendment No. 1 to the Registration Statement, which was declared effective on May 7, 2018, to include information from its Transition Report on Form 10-KT for the sub period ended December 31, 2018 and update certain other business information in the Registration Statement. This post-effective amendment No. 2 is being filed to consolidate previous disclosures filed with the SEC in supplements to registrant’s prospectus contained in the Registration Statement, to provide additional updated information in the prospectus relating to the registrant’s business, to reflect the change from a “best efforts” to a “firm commitment” underwritten offering and to include information from the registrant’s new Transition Report on Form 10-KT for the transition period beginning April 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2018.
The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED APRIL 23, 2019
$16,439,106 OF SHARES OF COMMON STOCK
We are offering $16,439,106 of shares of common stock as described in this prospectus. The price to the public in this offering is $42.50 per share.
As of the date of this prospectus, we have completed multiple closings of this offering, on a best efforts basis, for gross proceeds of $43,560,894 and net proceeds of $39,810,204. From the date of this prospectus, we will be offering the remainder of $16,439,106 on a firm commitment basis.
Our common stock is quoted for trading on the OTC Markets Group Inc. OTCQX Best Market under the symbol “AKOM.” On April 9, 2019, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the OTCQX was $9.95. We intend to apply to list the shares of common stock offered under this prospectus on one or more national or foreign stock exchanges. We will withdraw our listing from OTCQX upon listing on any of national or foreign major stock exchange.
INVESTING IN OUR SECURITIES INVOLVES SIGNIFICANT RISKS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY READ “RISK FACTORS” BEGINNING ON PAGE 10 AND CONSIDER RISK FACTORS DESCRIBED HEREIN OR REFERRED TO IN ANY DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THIS PROSPECTUS BEFORE INVESTING IN OUR SECURITIES.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
Boustead Securities, LLC is the underwriter for this offering. The underwriter is selling the remainder of our shares in this offering on a firm commitment basis and is obligated to take and pay for all of the shares if any such shares are taken. We have granted the underwriter the option for a period of 45 days to purchase up to an additional 15% of the total number of shares of common stock to be offered by us in this offering at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions, solely to cover over-allotments, if any. If the underwriter exercises the option in full, the total underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us will be $4,304,391, and the total proceeds to us, before expenses, will be $64,695,609. We have agreed to pay the underwriter a 7% cash commission for the $16,439,106 raised in the firm commitment offering and a 6% cash commission for the over-allotment shares if the underwriter exercises the over-allotment option. The underwriter expects to deliver the common shares against payment as set forth under “Underwriting,” on or about [*], 2019.
|Per Share||Amount||Per Share||Amount|
|Public offering price||$||42.50||$||60,000,000||$||42.50||$||69,000,000|
|Proceeds, before expenses, to us(2)||$||39.83||$||56,235,609||$||39.85||$||64,695,609|
|(1)||Consists of a weighted average cash commission of (i) $2.55 per share on 1,024,980 shares (including 19 shares that were added as a result of rounding in connection with the one-for-five reverse split concluded on January 16, 2019) of our common stock already sold under this prospectus, and (ii) $2.975 per share on the shares of our common stock remaining to be sold under this prospectus. The underwriter will receive compensation in addition to the underwriting discount. See “Underwriting” for a description of compensation payable to the underwriter.|
|(2)||We estimate the total expenses of this offering, excluding the underwriting commissions, will be approximately $569,562.|
In connection with the previous closings in this offering, we have issued to the underwriter warrants to purchase 61,498 shares of our common stock at an exercise price equal to 125% of the price at which we sold our common stock in this offering. We will issue the underwriter warrants to our underwriter to purchase up to 6.0% of the securities for the $16,439,106 raised in the firm commitment offering and for the amount raised if the underwriter exercises its over-allotment option, at an exercise price equal to 125% of the price at which we sell our common stock in this offering. We do not intend to list any of these warrants either on an exchange or an over the counter quotation system.
The date of this prospectus is April 23, 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements||25|
|Use of Proceeds||26|
|Determination of Offering Price||27|
|Market for Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters||31|
|Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations||32|
|Corporate History and Structure||39|
|Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management||68|
|Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions||70|
|Description of Securities||72|
|Where You Can Find More Information||81|
Until [*], 2019 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that effect transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the dealers’ obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriter and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.
Please read this prospectus carefully. It describes our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have prepared this prospectus so that you will have the information necessary to make an informed investment decision.
You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus. We have not, and the underwriter has not, authorized anyone to provide you with any information other than that contained in this prospectus. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, the securities covered hereby only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of the securities covered hereby. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date. We are not, and the underwriter are not, making an offer of these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted.
For investors outside the United States: We have not, and the underwriter has not, taken any action that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the securities covered hereby or the distribution of this prospectus outside the United States.
This prospectus includes statistical and other industry and market data that we obtained from industry publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies generally indicate that their information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. We believe that the data obtained from these industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies are reliable. We are ultimately responsible for all disclosure included in this prospectus.
We further note that the representations, warranties and covenants made by us in any agreement that is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part were made solely for the benefit of the parties to such agreement, including, in some cases, for the purpose of allocating risk among the parties to such agreements, and should not be deemed to be a representation, warranty or covenant to you. Moreover, such representations, warranties or covenants were accurate only as of the date when made. Accordingly, such representations, warranties and covenants should not be relied on as accurately representing the current state of our affairs.
WE HAVE NOT AUTHORIZED ANY DEALER, SALESPERSON OR OTHER PERSON TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION OR REPRESENT ANYTHING NOT CONTAINED IN THIS PROSPECTUS. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON ANY UNAUTHORIZED INFORMATION. THIS PROSPECTUS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL OR BUY ANY SHARES IN ANY STATE OR OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH IT IS UNLAWFUL. THE INFORMATION IN THIS PROSPECTUS IS CURRENT AS OF THE DATE ON THE COVER. YOU SHOULD RELY ONLY ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS PROSPECTUS.
Investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider each of the following risks, together with all other information set forth in this prospectus, including the financial statements and the related notes, before making a decision to buy our common stock. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business could be harmed. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to Our Business
There is substantial uncertainty that we will continue operations as a going concern in which case you could lose your entire investment.
We have not generated significant revenues, excluding non-recurring revenues from affiliates in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, and will incur additional expenses as a result of being a public reporting company. For the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, we incurred a comprehensive loss of $6,568,663 and had working capital deficiency of $2,541,500 as of December 31, 2018. Although we expect to raise capital from the sale of equity or debt securities, there is no assurance that we will be able to do so. This means that there is substantial doubt that we can continue as a going concern for the next twelve months unless we obtain additional capital to pay our bills and debts and execute our plan of operations.
Excluding non-recurring revenues in 2018 from affiliates, we have incurred operating losses in every quarter since we launched our business and may continue to incur quarterly operating losses, which could negatively affect the value of our company.
Excluding non-recurring revenues we earned from affiliates in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we have incurred operating losses since our inception in 2014, and we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue in the future to generate operating income. We also expect our costs to increase materially in future periods, which could negatively affect our future operating results. We expect to continue to expend substantial financial and other resources on the continued launch and future expansion of our business. The amount and timing of these costs are subject to numerous variables and such initiatives may require additional funding. In addition, we may incur significant costs in connection with our pursuit of next generation air to ground technology or other new technologies. With respect to our expansion, such variables may include costs related to sales and marketing activities and administrative support functions, equipment subsidies to airlines and additional legal and regulatory expenses associated with operating in the international commercial aviation market. In addition, we expect to incur additional general and administrative expenses, including legal and accounting expenses, related to being a public company. These investments may not result in revenue or growth in our business. If we fail to grow our overall business and generate revenue, our financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Our company is in the development stage and has a limited operating history, which may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future performance.
Our company and our core business are in the development stage and faces all of the risks and uncertainties associated with a new and unproven business. We plan to launch our services in late 2019 or early 2020, initially in Europe with our launch customer MJet. The limited operating history of our business may make it difficult to accurately evaluate the business and predict its future performance. Any assessments of our current business and predictions that we or you make about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history. We have encountered and will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly changing industries, and the size and nature of our market opportunity will change as we scale our business and increase deployment of our service. If we do not address any of the foregoing risks successfully, our business will be harmed.
We expect to rely on a few key customers for all of our initial revenue.
Our initial business will be substantially dependent on our relationship with a few key airline customers. There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our relationship with these airlines. If we are unable to maintain and renew our relationship with these airlines, or if our arrangement is modified so that the economic terms become less favorable to us, then our business would be materially adversely affected.
Our agreement with Hong Kong Airlines will have no legal effect until we receive approval of our VSTC by the HKCAD.
Until such time as we have received all required approvals from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, or HKCAD, the agreement with Hong Kong Airlines only expresses the desires and understandings between us and Hong Kong Airlines and will not create any legal rights, liabilities or responsibilities whatsoever and will not be legally binding on us or Hong Kong Airlines. There can be no assurance as to when we will receive the required HKCAD approvals or if we will receive such approvals at all. If we do not receive the HKCAD approval of our Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate, or VSTC, our agreement with Hong Kong airlines will have no economic impact. Such an outcome would have a substantial adverse effect on our revenue prospect.
We may lose some or all of the entire amount that we deposited towards the purchase of land in Taiwan for our first grounding station.
On July 10, 2018, we entered into a real estate sales contract with Tsai Ming-Yin, as seller, and Sunty Development Co., Ltd., as trustee, pursuant to which the parties agreed to definitive terms and conditions relating to the acquisition by Aerkomm Taiwan of a parcel of land located at the Taishui Grottoes in the Xinyi District of Keelung City, Taiwan. The parcel consists of approximately 6.36 acres of undeveloped land and is expected to be used by us to build our first satellite ground station and data center. The parties amended the contract on July 30, 2018, September 4, 2018, November 2, 2018, January 3, 2019. The purchase price for the parcel is NT$1,056,297,507, or US$34,474,462. Pursuant to the terms of the contract and an earlier binding memorandum of understanding that was entered into on May 1, 2018, we have made deposits totaling US$35,237,127 for this acquisition and the remaining balance is approximately US$642,462.
Pursuant to the terms of the contract, if we are not able to raise sufficient additional funds in this public offering to pay the balance of the purchase price prior to July 4, 2019, we may notify the seller of this fact and cancel the contract. In such case, the full amount paid by us will be returned to us, without interest, in cash or in an equivalent amount of securities if the seller does not have sufficient cash on hand to return the payments in full. Such securities will be of the kind that are traded or quoted on a US national securities exchange or the over-the-counter market or a foreign equivalent. Additionally, even if we are able to pay the full purchase price prior to July 4, 2019, the seller may cancel the contract for any reason upon written notice to us prior to August 4, 2019.
There is no restriction on the seller utilizing the cash deposited by us and such cash is not being held in escrow. Accordingly, upon cancellation of the contract, the seller may not have any cash to return to us. As noted above, the seller may deliver securities to us instead of cash. However, the seller may not have any securities to deliver to us either. In this case, we would have to resort to litigation in Taiwan to seek a recovery of the deposited amount. Any such litigation would be costly and the results thereof uncertain. Accordingly, we could lose all or a significant portion of the cash deposited with the seller.
The seller has deposited the deed to the parcel with its legal counsel and has instructed such counsel to enter into an agreement with our counsel that provides for a release of the deed to us if the seller terminates the contract and does not have the cash or securities to refund the purchase price. Notwithstanding this escrow arrangement, there can be no assurance that we will be able to recover the full amount of funds deposited with the seller.
Furthermore, if the seller does not have sufficient cash to refund the entire deposit, the value of the securities it may deliver to us in lieu of cash is to be determined by Caijie Asset Management Co., Ltd., which is an independent third-party appraiser selected mutually by the parties. If we do not agree with the value of the securities ascribed by the appraiser, we will have limited recourse as the parties have mutually agreed upon such appraiser.
If securities are delivered to us instead of cash, we may become the owner of securities of one or more companies that we did not perform any due diligence investigation upon and which we may know nothing about. Furthermore, any securities that we receive may be illiquid and we may have to hold them for an indeterminate amount of time. While holding these securities, the market value thereof may decline and we may suffer the loss of some or all of the cash deposits we have made so far.
If securities are delivered, such securities may ultimately become worthless and we may lose the entire amount deposited.
If the real estate sales contract is terminated and the seller is only able to refund the purchase price in securities rather than cash and we do not raise any additional capital, we may be left without any working capital and may not be able to continue operations.
The majority of our cash has been deposited with the seller towards the purchase price under the real estate sales contract described above. If the contract is terminated and we receive all or part of the deposit back in securities or do not receive the deposit back at all, we may not have sufficient working capital to execute our business plan. We may not be able to raise additional capital in this public offering or otherwise to resolve any such working capital deficit. In such circumstance, we may not be able to operate as a going concern.
Our receipt of securities in a refund of the purchase price could result in our company being defined as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
To date, we have made deposits under the real estate sales contract totaling US$35,237,127 and the remaining balance is US$642,462. If the seller is required to refund these deposits and does so in securities valued at the amount of our total deposits, the value of such securities would exceed forty percent (40%) of the value of our total assets, and as such, our company would be deemed to be an “investment company” as that term is defined under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or Investment Company Act. The Investment Company Act and the rules thereunder contain detailed requirements for the organization and operation of investment companies. Among other things, the Investment Company Act and the rules thereunder limit transactions with affiliates, impose limitations on the issuance of debt and equity securities, generally prohibit the issuance of options, impose certain governance requirements and would require us to register separately with the SEC as an investment company. Although we are conducting our operations so that we will not be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act, if we are required to accept securities in lieu of cash for a refund of our deposits, this would cause our company to be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act and impose on us various burdensome requirements specified by the Investment Company Act. Such restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as currently conducted, impair the agreements and arrangements between and among us, our subsidiaries and our senior personnel, or any combination thereof, and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If the transactions contemplated by several memorandums of understanding (MOU) and our letter of intent (LOI) do not proceed, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
On January 19, 2016, January 29, 2016, June 16, 2016, September 26, 2017, October 28, 2017 and March 7, 2018, we entered into the Yahoo MOU, the LeTV MOU, the India MOU, the Malta MOU, the Global Eagle LOI and the Airbus MOU, respectively. These MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI are nonbinding and as a result, they only express the desires and understandings between the parties and do not create any legally binding rights, obligations or contracts except for certain customary provisions such as exclusivity, costs and expenses, confidentiality and governing law. For more information related to these MOUs, please refer to the section “MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI with Our Business Partners.” Any binding obligation to proceed with the transactions contemplated by the MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI would need to be included in a definitive agreement that is subject to negotiations of the parties, approvals by the board of directors of respective parties and in certain instances, approvals from regulatory authorities. The Yahoo MOU and LeTV MOU expired in January 2018 and we are in the process of negotiating to extend those two MOUs. There can be no assurance that we will be able to extend the expired MOUs or enter into such definitive agreements or receive the required governmental approvals. If for whatever reason the transactions contemplated by the MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI do not proceed, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Also, on May 1, 2018 we entered into the binding Land Acquisition MOU and the binding Land Lease MOU. For a detailed discussion of these two binding MOUs, see “Business—Binding MOUs to Acquire and Lease Land in Taiwan for a Data Processing Center and Satellite Uplink Ground Station,” below. Although these two MOUs are binding, because they depend on certain contingencies which may never come to fruition, we can provide no assurance that we will be able to complete the transactions contemplated by these MOUs. More specifically, we may not raise sufficient funds in the offering to complete the purchase of the Taiwan ground station property or our board of directors may not approve the to-be-negotiated purchase agreement assuming we do raise the required funds. Further, assuming we do complete the Taiwan land acquisition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully negotiate and sign a lease contract with the Samoan telecom company, that we will be able to generate any revenue from our ownership and lease of the land or that we will have or be able to raise sufficient funds to build our own satellite ground station and data center on the land.
One of our suppliers has failed to deliver a key component of our IFEC system and we have terminated our satellite services agreement with another. We cannot be sure that we will be able to find alternative source for this component or for the required satellite services and, as a result, we may not be able to implement our business plan.
The implementation of the Hong Kong Airlines project is conditioned upon VSTC approval from the HKCAD. We and our equipment supplier have submitted the VSTC application to HKCAD but the application process is presently on hold due to the supplier’s failure to deliver a key component of the IFEC system. We do not expect this supplier to be able to delivery this key component and we are actively seeking alternative options to implement the Hong Kong Airline project, including developing necessary equipment or components thereof with other strategic partners. Because we cannot be sure when and if we will be able to obtain the IFEC component for the VSTC approval, we cannot be sure when we will receive approval for the Hong Kong Airlines project, if at all. If we are not able to source this necessary IFEC component, our current agreement with Hong Kong Airlines will not become executable and we will not be able to implement our business plan as currently envisioned.
Additionally, our satellite services agreement with Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited, or AsiaSat, was recently terminated. If we are not able to find a replacement satellite services provider, we will not be able to deliver our service offerings to Hong Kong Airlines even once we receive the VSTC approval from HKCAD. Such a failure would have a negative impact on our business prospects.
If we cannot timely deliver our first order of onboard equipment to Klingon Aerospace Inc., our reseller and development partner, we may lose our agreement with Klingon.
Because of the delay in our receiving approval of the VSTC from the HKCAD, we have not been able to deliver to Klingon Aerospace Inc., formerly known as LUXE Electric Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese corporation, or Klingon, a ready for sale, certified onboard system equipment package. Klingon has the right to terminate our agreement with them upon 60 days’ prior notice, subject to a 60-day cure period, if we fail to timely deliver the certified product. If Klingon terminates its agreement with us, we may be responsible for refunding to Klingon the milestone payments that we have received.
We may not be able to grow our business with our current potential airline partner or successfully negotiate agreements with airlines to which we do not currently provide our service.
Currently, our only potential airline partner is Hong Kong Airlines Limited, a Hong Kong-based airline, or Hong Kong Airlines, although we have not yet begun to sell our products and services to Hong Kong Airlines under our agreement with them. We are currently in negotiations or discussions with certain other airline partners to provide our IFEC services on additional aircraft in their fleets. We have no assurance that these efforts will be successful. Negotiations with prospective airline partners require substantial time, effort and resources. The time required to reach a final agreement with an airline is unpredictable and may lead to variances in our operating results from quarter to quarter. We may ultimately fail in our negotiations and any such failure could harm our results of operations due to, among other things, a diversion of our focus and resources, actual costs and opportunity costs of pursuing these opportunities. In addition, the terms of any future agreements could be materially different and less favorable to us than the terms included in our existing agreement with Hong Kong Airlines. To the extent that any negotiations with current or future potential airline partners are unsuccessful, or any new agreements contain terms that are less favorable to us, our growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
We will likely need additional financing to execute our business plan or new initiatives, which we may not be able to secure on acceptable terms, or at all.
We will require additional financing in the near and long term to fully execute our business plan. Our success may depend on our ability to raise such additional financing on reasonable terms and on a timely basis. Conditions in the economy and the financial markets may make it more difficult for us to obtain necessary additional capital or financing on acceptable terms, or at all. If we cannot secure sufficient additional financing, we may be forced to forego strategic opportunities or delay, scale back or eliminate additional service deployment, operations and investments or employ internal cost savings measures. Furthermore, we will be forced to take some or all of these measures if we do not raise sufficient funds in this public offering, the successful completion of which we cannot guarantee.
We are dependent on airline partners to be able to access our customers. We expect that future payments by these customers for our services to be provided to them will account for most, if not all, of our initial revenues.
Under our existing contract with Hong Kong Airlines, once our VSTC is approved by the HKCAD, we will provide our equipment for installation on, and provide our services to passengers on, a portion of the aircraft operated by this airline. We expect to enter into similar contracts with other airlines in the future but there is no assurance that we will be successful in signing up additional airline partners. We expect that revenue from passengers using our service while flying on aircraft operated by our airline partners will account for the majority of our projected initial revenue once we begin our services. As of the date of this report, we do not yet have any revenue from equipment sales and installation. Our growth will be dependent on our ability to have our equipment installed on the aircraft of airline partners and increased use of our service on installed aircraft. Any delays in installations under these contracts may negatively affect our ability to grow our user base and revenue.
A failure to maintain airline satisfaction with our equipment or our service could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and results of operations.
Our relationships with our current and future potential airline partners are critical to the growth and ongoing success of our business. If airline partners are not satisfied with our equipment or our service for any reason, including passenger dissatisfaction with the service as a result of capacity constraints, they may reduce efforts to co-market our service to their passengers, which could result in lower passenger usage and reduced revenue, which could in turn give airline partners the right to terminate their contracts with us. In addition, airline dissatisfaction with us for any reason, including delays in obtaining certification for or installing our equipment, could negatively affect our ability to expand our service to additional airline partners or aircraft or lead to claims for damages, which may be material, or termination rights under our existing or potential contracts with airline partners.
We are experiencing network capacity constraints in our operation region and expect capacity demands to increase, and we may in the future experience capacity constraints internationally. If we are unable to successfully implement planned or future technology enhancements to increase our network capacity, or our airline partners do not agree to such enhancements, our ability to maintain sufficient network capacity and our business could be materially and adversely affected.
All providers of wireless connectivity services, including all providers of in-flight connectivity services, face certain limits on their ability to provide connectivity service, including escalating capacity constraints due to expanding consumption of wireless services and the increasing prevalence of higher bandwidth uses such as file downloads and streaming media content. The success of our business depends on our ability to provide adequate bandwidth to meet customer demands while in-flight.
Competition from a number of companies, as well as other market forces, could result in price reduction, reduced revenue and loss of market share and could harm our results of operations.
We face strong competition from satellite-based providers of broadband services that include in-flight internet and live television services. Competition from such providers has had in the past and could have in the future an adverse effect on our ability to maintain or gain market share. Most of our competitors are larger, more diversified corporations and have greater financial, marketing, production, and research and development resources. As a result, they may be better able to withstand the effects of periodic economic downturns or may offer a broader product line to customers. In addition, to the extent that competing in-flight connectivity services offered by commercial airlines that are not our airline partners are available on more aircraft or offer improved quality or reliability as compared to our service, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. Competition could increase our sales and marketing expenses and related customer acquisition costs. We may not have the financial resources, technical expertise or marketing and support capabilities to continue to compete successfully. A failure to effectively respond to established and new competitors could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
We may be unsuccessful in generating revenue from live television and other in-flight entertainment services.
We are currently developing a host of service offerings to deliver to our future commercial airline customers. We plan to offer live television and other service to our customers and no assurance can be given that we will ultimately be able to launch any channels or provide any service. Additionally, we plan to generate a revenue stream from our video on demand and other in-flight entertainment services. If we are unable to generate revenue from live television or if other entertainment services do not ultimately develop, our growth and financial prospects would be materially adversely impacted.
We are working to acquire a sufficient number of on-demand movies and television shows and a variety of other content on our system. The future growth prospects for our business depend, in part, on revenue from advertising fees and e-commerce revenue share arrangements on passenger purchases of goods and services, including video and media services. Our ability to generate revenue from these service offerings depends on:
|●||growth of commercial airline customer base;|
|●||the attractiveness of our customer base to media partners;|
|●||rolling out live television and media on demand on more aircraft and with additional airline customers and increasing passenger adoption both in the U.S. and abroad;|
|●||establishing and maintaining beneficial contractual relationships with media partners whose content, products and services are attractive to airline passengers; and|
|●||our ability to customize and improve our service offerings in response to trends and customer interests.|
If we are unsuccessful in generating revenue from our service offerings, that failure could have a material adverse effect on our growth prospects.
We face limitations on our ability to grow our operations which could harm our operating results and financial condition.
We have not yet begun selling our products or services to our future customers. Our addressable market and our ability to expand in our operating region is inherently limited by various factors, including limitations on the number of commercial airlines with which we could partner, the number of planes in which our equipment can be installed, the passenger capacity within each plane and the ability of our network infrastructure or bandwidth to accommodate increasing capacity demands. Future expansion is also limited by our ability to develop new technologies on a timely and cost-effective basis, as well as our ability to mitigate network capacity constraints through, among other things, the expansion of our satellite coverage area. Our future growth may slow, or once we begin selling products and services to our customers, we may stop growing altogether, to the extent that we have exhausted all potential airline partners and as we approach installation on full fleets and maximum penetration rates on all flights. In order to grow our future revenue, we will have to rely on customer and airline partner adoption of currently available and new or developing services and additional offerings. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain a market presence or establish new markets and, if we fail to do so, our business and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
We may be unsuccessful in expanding our operations internationally.
Our business will initially be international business. Our ability to grow our international business involves various risks, including the need to invest significant resources in unfamiliar markets and the possibility that we may not realize a return on our investments in the near future or at all. In addition, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant expenses before we generate any material revenue in these new markets. Under our agreements with providers of satellite capacity, we are obligated to purchase bandwidth for specified periods in advance. If we are unable to generate sufficient passenger demand or airline partners to which we provide satellite service to their aircraft terminate their agreements with us for any reason during these periods, we may be forced to incur satellite costs in excess of connectivity revenue generated through such satellites.
Any future international operations may fail to succeed due to risks inherent in foreign operations, including:
|●||legal and regulatory restrictions, including different communications, privacy, censorship, aerospace and liability standards, intellectual property laws and enforcement practices;|
|●||changes in international regulatory requirements and tariffs;|
|●||restrictions on the ability of U.S. companies to do business in foreign countries, including restrictions on foreign ownership of telecommunications providers imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, which we refer to as OFAC;|
|●||inability to find content or service providers to partner with on commercially reasonable terms, or at all;|
|●||compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the (U.K.) Bribery Act 2010 and other similar corruption laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate and related risks;|
|●||difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;|
|●||currency fluctuations; and|
|●||potential adverse tax consequences.|
As a result of these obstacles, we may find it difficult or prohibitively expensive to grow our business internationally or we may be unsuccessful in our attempt to do so, which could harm our future operating results and financial condition.
We may not be successful in our efforts to develop and monetize new products and services that are currently in development, including our operations-oriented communications services.
In order to continue to meet the evolving needs of our future airline partners and customers, we must continue to develop new products and services that are responsive to those needs. Our ability to realize the benefits of enabling airlines, other aircraft operators and to use these applications, including monetizing our services at a profitable price point, depends, in part, on the adoption and utilization of such applications by airlines, other aircraft operators and other companies in the aviation industry such as aircraft equipment suppliers, and we cannot be certain that airlines, other aircraft operators and others in the aviation industry will adopt such offerings in the near term or at all. We also expect to continue to rely on third parties to develop and offer the operational applications to be used to gather and process data transmitted on our network between the aircraft and the ground, and we cannot be certain that such applications will be compatible with our network or onboard equipment or otherwise meet the needs of airlines or other aircraft operators. If we are not successful in our efforts to develop and monetize new products and services, including our operations-oriented communications services, our future business prospects, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected.
A future act or threat of terrorism or other events could result in a prohibition on the use of Wi-Fi enabled devices on aircraft.
A future act of terrorism, the threat of such acts or other airline accidents could have an adverse effect on the airline industry. In the event of a terrorist attack, terrorist threats or unrelated airline accidents, the industry would likely experience significantly reduced passenger demand. The U.S. federal government or foreign governments could respond to such events by prohibiting the use of Wi-Fi enabled devices on aircraft, which would eliminate demand for our equipment and service. In addition, any association or perceived association between our equipment or service and accidents involving aircraft on which our equipment or service operates would likely have an adverse effect on demand for our equipment and service. Reduced demand for our products and services would adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
If our efforts to retain and attract customers are not successful, our revenue will be adversely affected.
We expect to generate substantially all of our revenue from sales of services, some of which will be on a subscription basis. We must be able to retain subscribers and attract new and repeat customers. If we are unable to effectively retain subscribers and attract new and repeat customers, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Unreliable service levels, lack of sufficient capacity, uncompetitive pricing, lack of availability, security risk and lack of related features of our equipment and services are some of the factors that may adversely impact our ability to retain customers and partners and attract new and repeat customers. If our customers are able to satisfy their in-flight entertainment needs through activities other than broadband internet access, at no or lower cost, they may not perceive value in our products and services. If our efforts to satisfy and retain customers and subscribers are not successful, we may not be able to attract new customers through word-of-mouth referrals. Any of these factors could cause our customer growth rate to fall, which would adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The demand for in-flight broadband internet access service may decrease or develop more slowly than we expect. We cannot predict with certainty the development of the U.S. or international in-flight broadband internet access market or the market acceptance for our products and services.
Our future success depends upon growing demand for in-flight broadband internet access services, which is inherently uncertain. We have invested significant resources towards the roll-out of new service offerings, which represent a substantial part of our growth strategy. We face the risk that the U.S. and international markets for in-flight broadband internet access services may decrease or develop more slowly or differently than we currently expect, or that our services, including our new offerings, may not achieve widespread market acceptance. We may be unable to market and sell our services successfully and cost-effectively to a sufficiently large number of customers.
Our business depends on the continued proliferation of Wi-Fi as a standard feature in mobile devices. The growth in demand for in-flight broadband internet access services also depends in part on the continued and increased use of laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices and the rate of evolution of data-intensive applications on the mobile internet. If Wi-Fi ceases to be a standard feature in mobile devices, if the rate of integration of Wi-Fi on mobile devices decreases or is slower than expected, or if the use of Wi-Fi enabled devices or development of related applications decreases or grows more slowly than anticipated, the market for our services may be substantially diminished.
Increased costs and other demands associated with our growth could impact our ability to achieve profitability over the long term and could strain our personnel, technology and infrastructure resources.
We expect our costs to increase in future periods, which could negatively affect our future operating results. We expect to experience growth in our headcount and operations, which will place significant demands on our management, administrative, technological, operational and financial infrastructure. Anticipated future growth will require the outlay of significant operating and capital expenditures and will continue to place strains on our personnel, technology and infrastructure. Our success will depend in part upon our ability to contain costs with respect to growth opportunities. To successfully manage the expected growth of our operations, on a timely and cost-effective basis we will need to continue to improve our operational, financial, technological and management controls and our reporting systems and procedures. In addition, as we continue to grow, we must effectively integrate, develop and motivate a large number of new employees, and we must maintain the beneficial aspects of our corporate culture. If we fail to successfully manage our growth, it could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Adverse economic conditions may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Macro-economic challenges are capable of creating volatile and unpredictable environments for doing business. We cannot predict the nature, extent, timing or likelihood of any economic slowdown or the strength or sustainability of any economic recovery, worldwide, in the United States or in the airline industry. For many travelers, air travel and spending on in-flight internet access are discretionary purchases that they can eliminate in difficult economic times. Additionally, a weaker business environment may lead to a decrease in overall business travel, which is an important contributor to our service revenue. These conditions may make it more difficult or less likely for customers to purchase our equipment and services. If economic conditions in the United States or globally deteriorate further or do not show improvement, we may experience material adverse effects to our business, cash flow and results of operations.
Our operating results may fluctuate unpredictably and may cause us to fail to meet the expectations of investors, adversely affecting our stock price.
We operate in a highly dynamic industry and our future quarterly operating results may fluctuate significantly. Our future revenue and operating results may vary from quarter to quarter due to many factors, many of which are not within our control. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful. Further, it is difficult to accurately forecast our revenue, margin and operating results, and if we fail to match our expected results or the results expected by financial analysts or investors, the future trading price of our common stock may be adversely affected.
In addition, due to generally lower demand for business travel during the summer months and holiday periods, and leisure and other travel at other times during the year, our quarterly results may not be indicative of results for the full year. Due to these and other factors, quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our historical operating results should not be relied upon as accurate indicators of our future performance.
If our marketing and advertising efforts fail to generate revenue on a cost-effective basis, or if we are unable to manage our marketing and advertising expenses, it could harm our results of operations and growth.
Our future growth and profitability, as well as the maintenance and enhancement of our brands, will depend in large part on the effectiveness and efficiency of our future marketing and advertising expenditures. We plan to use a diverse mix of television, print, trade show and online marketing and advertising programs to promote our business. Significant increases in the pricing of one or more of our marketing and advertising channels could increase our expenses or cause us to choose less expensive, but potentially less effective, marketing and advertising channels. In addition, to the extent we implement new marketing and advertising strategies, we may in the future have significantly higher expenses. We may in the future incur, marketing and advertising expenses significantly in advance of the time we anticipate recognizing revenue associated with such expenses, and our marketing and advertising expenditures may not result in increased revenue or generate sufficient levels of brand awareness. If we are unable to maintain our marketing and advertising channels on cost-effective terms, our marketing and advertising expenses could increase substantially, our customer levels could be affected adversely, and our business, financial condition and results of operations may suffer.
Regulation by United States and foreign government agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission, may increase our costs of providing service or require us to change our services.
We are subject to various regulations, including those regulations promulgated by various federal, state and local regulatory agencies and legislative bodies and comparable agencies outside the United States where we may do business. The two U.S. government agencies that have primary regulatory authority over our operations are the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, and the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.
The commercial and private aviation industries, including civil aviation manufacturing and repair industries, are highly regulated in the United States by the FAA. FAA certification is required for all equipment we install on commercial aircraft and type certificated business aircraft, and certain of our operating activities require that we obtain FAA certification as a parts manufacturer. As discussed in more detail in the section entitled “Business—Regulation—Federal Aviation Administration,” FAA approvals required to operate our business include Supplemental Type Certificates, or STCs and Parts Manufacturing Authorities, or PMAs. Obtaining STCs and PMAs is an expensive and time-consuming process that requires significant focus and resources. Any inability to obtain, delay in obtaining, or change in, needed FAA certifications, authorizations, or approvals, could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet our installation commitments, manufacture and sell parts for installation on aircraft, or expand our business and could, therefore, materially adversely affect our growth prospects, business and operating results. The FAA closely regulates many of our operations. If we fail to comply with the FAA’s many regulations and standards that apply to our activities, we could lose the FAA certifications, authorizations, or other approvals on which our manufacturing, installation, maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration capabilities are based. In addition, from time to time, the FAA or comparable foreign agencies adopt new regulations or amend existing regulations. The FAA could also change its policies regarding the delegation of inspection and certification responsibilities to private companies, which could adversely affect our business. To the extent that any such new regulations or amendments to existing regulations or policies apply to our activities, those new regulations or amendments to existing regulations generally increase our costs of compliance.
As a broadband Internet provider, we must comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994, or CALEA, which requires communications carriers to ensure that their equipment, facilities and services can accommodate certain technical capabilities in executing authorized wiretapping and other electronic surveillance. Currently, our CALEA solution is being deployed in our network. However, we could be subject to an enforcement action by the FCC or law enforcement agencies for any delays related to meeting, or if we fail to comply with, any current or future CALEA, or similarly mandated law enforcement related, obligations. Such enforcement actions could subject us to fines, cease and desist orders, or other penalties, all of which could adversely affect our business. Further, to the extent the FCC adopts additional capability requirements applicable to broadband Internet providers, its decision may increase the costs we incur to comply with such regulations.
In addition to these U.S. agencies, we are also subject to regulation by foreign government agencies that choose to assert jurisdiction over us as a result of the service we provide on aircraft that fly international routes. Adverse decisions or regulations of these U.S. and foreign regulatory bodies could negatively impact our operations and costs of doing business and could delay the roll-out of our services and have other adverse consequences for us. Our ability to obtain certain regulatory approvals to offer our services internationally may also be the responsibility of a third- party, and, therefore, may be out of our control. We are unable to predict the scope, pace or financial impact of regulations and other policy changes that could be adopted by the various governmental entities that oversee portions of our business.
If government regulation of the Internet, including e-commerce or online video distribution changes, we may need to change the way we conduct our business to a manner that incurs greater operating expenses, which could harm our results of operations.
The current legal environment for Internet communications, products and services is uncertain and subject to statutory, regulatory or interpretive change. We cannot be certain that we, our vendors and media partners or our customers are currently in compliance with applicable regulatory or other legal requirements in the countries in which our service is used. Our failure, or the failure of our vendors and media partners, customers and others with whom we transact business to comply with existing or future legal or regulatory requirements could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Regulators may disagree with our interpretations of existing laws or regulations or the applicability of existing laws or regulations to our business, and existing laws, regulations and interpretations may change in unexpected ways.
For example, our mobile wireless broadband Internet access services were previously classified as information services, and not as telecommunications services. Therefore, these services were not subject to FCC common carrier regulation. However, effective June 12, 2015, the FCC reclassified mobile (and fixed) broadband Internet access services as Title II telecommunications services pursuant to the Open Internet Order. The Open Internet Order also adopted broad new net neutrality rules. For example, broadband providers may not block access to lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. Broadband providers also may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices. In addition, broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind, and they may not prioritize the content and services of their affiliates. Other than for paid prioritization, the rules contain an exception for “reasonable network management.” The Open Internet Order recognizes that whether a network management practice is reasonable varies according to the broadband technology involved and may provide more flexibility to implement network management practices in the context of our capacity-constrained air-to-ground and satellite broadband networks.
Other jurisdictions may adopt similar or different regulations that could affect our ability to use “network management” techniques. Likewise, the United States and the European Union, among other jurisdictions, are considering proposals regarding data protection that, if adopted, could impose heightened restrictions on certain of our activities relating to the collection and use of data of end users. Further, as we promote exclusive content and services and increase targeted advertising with our media partners to customers of our services, we may attract increased regulatory scrutiny.
We cannot be certain what positions regulators may take regarding our compliance with, or lack of compliance with, current and future legal and regulatory requirements or what positions regulators may take regarding any past or future actions we have taken or may take in any jurisdiction. Regulators may determine that we are not in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and impose penalties, or we may need to make changes to our services, which could be costly and difficult. Any of these events would adversely affect our operating results and business.
Our possession and use of personal information and the use of credit cards by our customers present risks and expenses that could harm our business. Unauthorized disclosure or manipulation of such data, whether through breach of our network security or otherwise, could expose us to costly litigation and damage our reputation.
Maintaining our network security is of critical importance because our online systems will store confidential registered user, employee and other sensitive data, such as names, email addresses, addresses and other personal information. We will depend on the security of our networks and the security of the network infrastructures of our third-party telecommunications service providers, our customer support providers and our other vendors. Unauthorized use of our, or our third-party service providers’, networks, computer systems and services could potentially jeopardize the security of confidential information, including credit card information, of our future customers. There can be no assurance that any security measures we, or third parties, take will be effective in preventing these activities. As a result of any such breaches, customers may assert claims of liability against us as a result of any failure by us to prevent these activities. Further, our in-cabin network operates as an open, unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot, and non-encrypted transmissions users send over this network may be vulnerable to access by users on the same plane. These activities may subject us to legal claims, adversely impact our reputation, and interfere with our ability to provide our services, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to protect confidential customer data or to provide customers with adequate notice of our privacy policies could also subject us to liabilities imposed by United States federal and state regulatory agencies or courts. For example, the FCC’s Consumer Proprietary Network Information, or CPNI rules, applicable to our satellite-based offerings, require us to comply with a range of marketing and privacy safeguards. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, could assert jurisdiction to impose penalties related our service if it found our privacy policies or security measures to be inadequate under existing federal law. We could also be subject to certain state laws that impose data breach notification requirements, specific data security obligations, or other consumer privacy-related requirements. Our failure to comply with any of these rules or regulations could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Other countries in which we may operate or from which our services may be offered, including those in the European Union, also have certain privacy and data security requirements that may apply to our business, either now or in the future. These countries’ laws may in some cases be more stringent than the requirements in the United States. For example, European Union member countries have specific requirements relating to cross border transfers of personal information to certain jurisdictions, including to the United States. In addition, some countries have stricter consumer notice and/or consent requirements relating to personal information collection, use or sharing. Moreover, international privacy and data security regulations may become more complex. For example, the European Union is considering a draft proposed data protection regulation which, if enacted, may result in even more restrictive privacy-related requirements. Our failure to comply with other countries’ privacy or data security-related laws, rules or regulations could also have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, our customers will use credit cards to purchase our products and services. Problems with our or our vendors billing software could adversely affect our customer satisfaction and could cause one or more of the major credit card companies to disallow our continued use of their payment services. In addition, if our billing software fails to work properly and, as a result, we do not automatically charge our subscribers’ credit cards on a timely basis or at all, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We depend upon third parties to manufacture equipment components and to provide services for our network.
We rely on third-party suppliers for equipment components that we use to provide our services. The supply of third- party components could be interrupted or halted by a termination of our relationships, a failure of quality control or other operational problems at such suppliers or a significant decline in their financial condition. If we are not able to continue to engage suppliers with the capabilities or capacities required by our business, or if such suppliers fail to deliver quality products, parts, equipment and services on a timely basis consistent with our schedule, our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We may fail to recruit, train and retain the highly skilled employees that are necessary to remain competitive and execute our growth strategy. The loss of one or more of our key personnel could harm our business.
Competition for key technical personnel in high-technology industries such as ours is intense. We believe that our future success depends in large part on our continued ability to hire, train, retain and leverage the skills of qualified engineers and other highly skilled personnel needed to maintain and grow our business and technology. We may not be as successful as our competitors at recruiting, training, retaining and utilizing these highly skilled personnel. In particular, we may have more difficulty attracting or retaining highly skilled personnel during periods of poor operating performance. Any failure to recruit, train and retain highly skilled employees could negatively impact our business and results of operations.
We depend on the continued service and performance of our key personnel, including Jeffrey Wun, our Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Wun became our Chief Executive Officer and President effective December 31, 2017 and was appointed Chairman on January 22, 2018. Mr. Wun replaced Peter Chiou who was replaced from these positions and who we expect will become a consultant to the Company for a short period of time. Such individuals have acquired specialized knowledge and skills with respect to our operations. As a result, if any of these individuals were to leave us, we could face substantial difficulty in hiring qualified successors and could experience a loss of productivity while any such successor obtains the necessary training and expertise. We do not maintain key man insurance on any of our officers or key employees. In addition, much of our key technology and systems are custom-made for our business by our personnel. The loss of key personnel, including key members of our management team, as well as certain of our key marketing or technology personnel, could disrupt our operations and have an adverse effect on our ability to grow our business.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to develop or maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results and prevent fraud. As a result, current and potential stockholders could lose confidence in our financial statements, which would harm the trading price of our common stock.
Companies that file reports with the SEC, including us, are subject to the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or SOX 404. SOX 404 requires management to establish and maintain a system of internal control over financial reporting and annual reports on Form 10-K filed under the Exchange Act to contain a report from management assessing the effectiveness of a company’s internal control over financial reporting. Separately, under SOX 404, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, public companies that are large accelerated filers or accelerated filers must include in their annual reports on Form 10-K an attestation report of their regular auditors attesting to and reporting on management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting. Non-accelerated filers and smaller reporting companies, like us, are not required to include an attestation report of their auditors in annual reports.
A report of our management is included under the section titled “Controls and Procedures.” We are a smaller reporting company and, consequently, are not required to include an attestation report of our auditor in our annual transition report. However, if and when we become subject to the auditor attestation requirements under SOX 404, we can provide no assurance that we will receive a positive attestation from our independent auditors.
During its evaluation of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2018, management identified a material weakness. The material weakness was associated with our lack of sufficient and skilled accounting personnel with an appropriate level of technical accounting knowledge and experience in the application of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States commensurate with our financial reporting requirements and our need to rely heavily on the use of external legal and accounting professionals to mitigate these deficiencies. We are undertaking remedial measures, which measures will take time to implement and test, to address this material weakness. There can be no assurance that such measures will be sufficient to remedy the material weakness identified or that additional material weaknesses or other control or significant deficiencies will not be identified in the future. If we continue to experience material weaknesses in our internal controls or fail to maintain or implement required new or improved controls, such circumstances could cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations or result in material misstatements in our financial statements, or adversely affect the results of periodic management evaluations and, if required, annual auditor attestation reports. Each of the foregoing results could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and lead to a decline in our stock price.
Previous actions of our co-founder, Daniel Shih, could give rise to reputational issues that could negatively affect our business and, thus, your investment in our company.
One of our co-founders, Daniel Shih, who no longer has any equity interests in our company (whether held directly or indirectly) nor any position with our company, was given a suspended sentence and a fine in Taiwan for attempting to influence stock prices in Taiwan in an unrelated company. Under Taiwanese law, this means that he has no imprisonment to be executed in Taiwan today, and does not and will not have any criminal record unless he violates the conditions of his suspended sentence. Although this person no longer has any equity interest in our company, nor any position with our company, there may be reputational issues due to his past involvement which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operations, results of operations and prospects. Any of these outcomes could negatively affect your investment in our company.
We believe our business depends on strong brands, and if we do not develop, maintain and enhance our brand, our ability to gain new customers and retain customers may be impaired.
We believe that our brands will be a critical part of our business. We expect to collaborate extensively with our future airline partners on the look and feel of the in-flight homepage that their passengers encounter when logging into our service in flight. In order to maintain strong relationships with our airline partners, we may have to reduce the visibility of our brand or make other decisions that do not promote and maintain our brand. In addition, many of our trademarks contain words or terms having a somewhat common usage and, as a result, we may have trouble registering or protecting them in certain jurisdictions. If we fail to promote and maintain our brand, or if we incur significant expenses to promote the brands and are still unsuccessful in maintaining strong brands, our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Businesses or technologies we acquire could prove difficult to integrate, disrupt our ongoing business, dilute stockholder value or have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
As part of our business strategy, we may engage in acquisitions of businesses or technologies to augment our organic or internal growth. We do not have any relevant experience with integrating and managing acquired businesses or assets. Acquisitions involve challenges and risks in negotiation, execution, valuation and integration. Moreover, we may not be able to find suitable acquisition opportunities on terms that are acceptable to us. Even if successfully negotiated, closed and integrated, certain acquisitions may not advance our business strategy, may fall short of expected return-on-investment targets or may fail. Any future acquisition could involve numerous risks, including:
|●||potential disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of management;|
|●||difficulty integrating the operations and products of the acquired business;|
|●||use of cash to fund the acquisition or for unanticipated expenses;|
|●||limited market experiences in new businesses;|
|●||exposure to unknown liabilities, including litigation against the companies we acquire;|
|●||additional costs due to differences in culture, geographical locations and duplication of key talent;|
|●||delays associated with or resources being devoted to regulatory review and approval;|
|●||acquisition-related accounting charges affecting our balance sheet and operations;|
|●||difficulty integrating the financial results of the acquired business in our consolidated financial statements;|
|●||controls in the acquired business;|
|●||potential impairment of goodwill;|
|●||dilution to our current stockholders from the issuance of equity securities; or|
|●||potential loss of key employees or customers of the acquired company.|
In the event that we enter into any acquisition agreements, closing of the transactions could be delayed or prevented by regulatory approval requirements, including antitrust review, or other conditions. We may not be successful in addressing these risks or any other problems encountered in connection with any attempted acquisitions, and we could assume the economic risks of such failed or unsuccessful acquisitions.
Expenses or liabilities resulting from litigation could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
From time to time, we may be subject to claims or litigation in the ordinary course of our business, including for example, claims related to employment matters and class action lawsuits. Our operations are characterized by the use of new technologies and services across multiple jurisdictions that implicate a number of statutory schemes and a range of rules and regulations that may be subject to broad or creative interpretation, which may subject to us to litigation, including class action lawsuits, the outcome of which may be difficult to assess or quantify due to the potential ambiguity inherent in these regulatory schemes and/or the nascence of our technologies and services. Plaintiffs in these types of litigation may seek recovery of very large or indeterminate amounts, and the magnitude of the potential loss relating to such lawsuits may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. Any such claims or litigation may be time-consuming and costly, divert management resources, require us to change our products and services, or have other adverse effects on our business. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and could require us to pay significant monetary damages. In addition, costly and time-consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce our existing contracts and, even if successful, could have an adverse effect on us. In addition, prolonged litigation against any airline partner, customer or supplier could have the effect of negatively impacting our reputation and goodwill with existing and potential airline partners, customers and suppliers.
Technological advances may harm our business.
Due to the widening use of state-of-the-art, personal electronic devices such as Apple’s iPad, ever-increasing numbers of passengers have their own mobile devices, which they might use to bring their own content such as movies, music or games with them on a flight. This could decrease demand for our in-flight offerings. Carriers now also have greater technical means at their disposal to offer passengers in-flight access to the Internet, including through our offerings and those of our competitors. At present, these offerings do not allow passengers to fully stream content on their mobile devices. If, however, in-flight Internet access in the future allows passengers to fully stream content on their mobile devices, this could decrease demand for our in-flight offerings. While both trends will give rise to risks as well as opportunities for us, it is impossible to foresee at present whether and, if so, to what extent these trends will have lasting effects. Note, too, that the in-flight entertainment systems currently in place are unable to support these developments. Given average useful lives of 15 to 20 years, the conventional systems will continue to dominate the in-flight entertainment industry for the foreseeable future. As a result, possible changes will happen slowly, giving all market players sufficient time to adapt.
We may have exposure to foreign currency risks in the future and our future hedging activities could create losses.
Currency risks essentially arise from the fact that sales to customers and purchasing are effected in one currency while fixed costs are incurred in other currencies. If necessary, we will engage in hedging transactions to counteract direct currency risks. However, we cannot always guarantee that all currency risks will have been hedged in full. Severe currency fluctuations could also cause the hedging transactions to fail if agreed thresholds (triggers) are not met or exceeded. We therefore cannot fully preclude negative foreign currency effects in the future - some of which might be substantial - due to unforeseen exchange rate fluctuations and/or inaccurate assessments of market developments.
We will source our content from studios, distributors and other content providers, and any reduction in the volume of content produced by such content providers could hurt our business by providing us with less quality content to choose from and resulting in potentially less attractive offerings for passengers.
We will receive content from studios, distributors and other content providers, and in some circumstances, we will depend on the volume and quality of the content that these content providers produce. If studios, distributors or other content providers were to reduce the volume or quality of content they make available to us over any given time period, whether because of their own financial limitations or other factors influencing their businesses, we would have less quality content to choose from and our programmers would have more difficulty finding relevant and appropriate content to provide to our customers. This could negatively impact the passenger experience, which could in turn reduce the demand for our offerings, which would have a negative impact on our revenue and results of operations.
We are a holding company with no operations of our own, and we depend on our subsidiaries for cash.
Currently, we are a holding company and do not have any material assets or operations other than ownership of equity interests of our subsidiaries. Our operations are conducted almost entirely through our subsidiaries, and our ability to generate cash to meet our obligations or to pay dividends is highly dependent on the earnings of, and receipt of funds from, our subsidiaries through dividends or intercompany loans. The ability of our subsidiaries to generate sufficient cash flow from future operations to allow us and them to make scheduled payments on our obligations will depend on their future financial performance, which will be affected by a range of economic, competitive and business factors, many of which are outside of our control. We cannot assure you that the cash flow and future earnings of our operating subsidiaries will be adequate for our subsidiaries to service their debt obligations. If our subsidiaries do not generate sufficient cash flow from future operations to satisfy corporate obligations, we may have to: undertake alternative financing plans (such as refinancing), restructure debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek to raise additional capital. We cannot assure you that any such alternative refinancing would be possible, that any assets could be sold, or, if sold, of the timing of the sales and the amount of proceeds realized from those sales, that additional financing could be obtained on acceptable terms, if at all, or that additional financing would be permitted under the terms of our various debt instruments then in effect. Our inability to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our obligations, or to refinance our obligations on commercially reasonable terms, would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, we and our subsidiaries may incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future that may severely restrict or prohibit our subsidiaries from making distributions, paying dividends or making loans to us.
Risks Relating to our Industry
Our business is highly dependent on the airline industry, which is itself affected by factors beyond the airlines’ control. The airline industry is highly competitive and sensitive to changing economic conditions.
Our business is directly affected by the number of passengers flying on commercial aircraft, the financial condition of the airlines and other economic factors. If consumer demand for air travel declines, including due to increased use of technology such as videoconferencing for business travelers, or the number of aircraft and flights shrinks due to, among other reasons, reductions in capacity by airlines, the number of passengers available to use our service will be reduced, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Unfavorable general economic conditions and other events that are beyond the airlines’ control, including higher unemployment rates, higher interest rates, reduced stock prices, reduced consumer and business spending, terrorist attacks or threats and pandemics could have a material adverse effect on the airline industry. A general reduction or shift in discretionary spending can result in decreased demand for leisure and business travel and lead to a reduction in airline flights offered and the number of passengers flying. Further, unfavorable economic conditions could also limit airlines’ ability to counteract increased fuel, labor or other costs though raised prices. Our airline partners operate in a highly competitive business market and, as a result, continue to face pressure on offerings and pricing. These unfavorable conditions and the competitiveness of the air travel industry could cause one or more of our airline partners to reduce expenditures on passenger services including deployment of our service or file for bankruptcy. Any of these events would have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Air traffic congestion at airports, air traffic control inefficiencies, weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards, increased security measures, new travel-related taxes, the outbreak of disease or any other similar event could harm the airline industry.
Airlines are subject to cancellations or delays caused by factors beyond their control. Cancellations or delays due to weather conditions or natural disasters, air traffic control problems, breaches in security or other factors could reduce the number of passengers on commercial flights and thereby reduce demand for the services provided by us and our products and services and harm our businesses, results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Relating to our Technology and Intellectual Property
We could be adversely affected if we suffer service interruptions or delays, technology failures or damage to our equipment.
Our reputation and ability to attract, retain and serve our future commercial airline customers will depend upon the reliable performance of our satellite transponder capacity, network infrastructure and connectivity system. We have experienced interruptions in these systems in the past, including component and service failures that temporarily disrupted users’ access to the Internet, and we may experience service interruptions, service delays or technology or systems failures in the future, which may be due to factors beyond our control. If we experience frequent system or network failures, our reputation could be harmed and our future airline customers may have the right to terminate their contracts with us or pursue other remedies.
Our operations and services will depend upon the extent to which our equipment and the equipment of our third-party network providers is protected against damage from fire, flood, earthquakes, power loss, solar flares, telecommunication failures, computer viruses, break-ins, acts of war or terrorism and similar events. Damage to our networks could cause interruptions in the services that we will provide, which could have a material adverse effect on service revenue, our reputation and our ability to attract or retain customers.
We rely on service providers for certain critical components of and services relating to our satellite connectivity network.
We currently source key components of our hardware, including the aircraft installed satellite antenna, from third parties and key aspects of our connectivity services, including all of our satellite transponder services from SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. While we have written contracts with these key component and service providers, if we experience a disruption in the delivery of products and services from either of these providers, it may be difficult for us to continue providing our own products and services to our customers. We have experienced component delivery issues in the past and there can be no assurance that it will avoid similar issues in the future. Additionally, the loss of the exclusive source protections that we have with our hardware provider could eliminate our competitive advantage in the use of satellites for in-flight connectivity, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
Assertions by third parties of infringement, misappropriation or other violation by us of their intellectual property rights could result in significant costs and substantially harm our business and operating results.
In recent years, there has been significant litigation involving intellectual property rights in many technology-based industries, including the wireless communications industry. Any infringement, misappropriation or related claims, whether or not meritorious, is time-consuming, diverts technical and management personnel and is costly to resolve. As a result of any such dispute, we may have to develop non-infringing technology, pay damages, enter into royalty or licensing agreements, cease providing certain products or services or take other actions to resolve the claims. These actions, if required, may be costly or unavailable on terms acceptable to us. Certain of our suppliers do not provide indemnity to us for the use of the products and services that these providers supply to us. At the same time, we generally offer third-party intellectual property infringement indemnity to our customers which, in some cases, does not cap our indemnity obligations and thus could render us liable for both defense costs and judgments. Any of these events could result in increases in operating expenses, limit our service offerings or result in a loss of business if we are unable to meet our indemnification obligations and our airline customers terminate or fail to renew their contracts.
We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights.
We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, domain names and similar intellectual property as important to our success. We rely on trademark, copyright and patent law, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements with our employees, vendors, airline customers, customers and others to protect our proprietary rights. We have sought and obtained patent protection for certain of our technologies in the United States and certain other countries. Many of the trademarks that we use contain words or terms having a somewhat common usage and, as a result, we may have difficulty registering them in certain jurisdictions. We have not yet obtained registrations for our most important marks in all markets in which we may do business in the future, including countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. If other companies have registered or have been using in commerce similar trademarks for services similar to ours in foreign jurisdictions, we may have difficulty in registering, or enforcing an exclusive right to use, our marks in those foreign jurisdictions.
There can be no assurance that our efforts to protect our proprietary rights will be sufficient or effective, that any pending or future patent and trademark applications will lead to issued patents and registered trademarks in all instances, that others will not develop or patent similar or superior technologies, products or services, or that our patents, trademarks and other intellectual property will not be challenged, invalidated, misappropriated or infringed by others. Additionally, the intellectual property laws and enforcement practices of other countries in which our service is or may in the future be offered may not protect our products and intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. If we are unable to protect our intellectual property from unauthorized use, our brand image may be harmed and our business and results of operations may suffer.
Our use of open source software could limit our ability to commercialize our technology.
Open source software is software made widely and freely available to the public in human-readable source code form, usually with liberal rights to modify and improve such software. Some open source licenses require as a condition of use that proprietary software that is combined with licensed open source software and distributed must be released to the public in source code form and under the terms of the open source license. Accordingly, depending on the manner in which such licenses were interpreted and applied, we could face restrictions on our ability to commercialize certain of our products and we could be required to (i) release the source code of certain of our proprietary software to the public, including competitors; (ii) seek licenses from third parties for replacement software; and/or (iii) re-engineer our software in order to continue offering our products. Such consequences could materially adversely affect our business.
The satellites that we currently rely on or may rely on in the future have minimum design lives, but could fail or suffer reduced capacity before then.
The usefulness of the satellites upon which we currently rely and may rely on in the future is limited by each satellite’s minimum design life. For example, the satellites through which we provide our service have minimum design lives ranging from 10 to 15 years. Our ability to offer in-flight connectivity and alleviate capacity constraints throughout our network depends on the continued operation of the satellites or any replacement satellites, each of which has a limited useful life. We can provide no assurance, however, as to the actual operational lives of those or future satellites, which may be shorter than their design lives, nor can we provide assurance that replacement satellites will be developed, authorized or successfully deployed.
In the event of a failure or loss of any of these satellites, our satellite service providers may relocate another satellite and use it as a replacement for the failed or lost satellite, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Such a relocation may require regulatory approval, including through, among other things, a showing that the replacement satellite would not cause additional interference compared to the failed or lost satellite. We cannot be certain that our satellite service provider could obtain such regulatory approval. In addition, we cannot guarantee that another satellite will be available for use as a replacement for a failed or lost satellite, or that such relocation can be accomplished without disrupting or otherwise adversely impacting our business.
Satellites that are not yet in service are subject to construction and launch related risks.
Satellite construction and launch are subject to significant risks, including delays, launch failure and incorrect orbital placement. Launch failures result in significant delays in the deployment of satellites because of the need both to construct replacement satellites and to obtain other launch opportunities. Construction and launch delays could materially and adversely affect our ability to generate revenues.
A failure to raise sufficient capital will delay or prohibit our building of a satellite ground station and related data center, which will inhibit our business development.
Because our IFEC services will require the transmission and processing of large amounts of data, we will need to build satellite ground stations and related data centers in our regions of operation, to facilitate the effectiveness and efficiency of our IFEC services. If we are not able to raise an amount of capital sufficient to purchase land for and build a satellite ground station and data center near our area of operations, initially in the Asia region, we may not be able to provide our IFEC services in an efficient and operationally effective way and, as a result, our business prospects and results of operations could suffer.
Risks Related to Ownership of our Common Stock
Our common stock is quoted on the OTCQX Best Market, which may have an unfavorable impact on our stock price and liquidity.
Our common stock is quoted on the OTCQX Best Market. The OTCQX Best Market is a significantly more limited market than the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market. The quotation of our shares on the OTCQX may result in a less liquid market available for existing and potential stockholders to trade shares of our common stock, could depress the trading price of our common stock and could have a long-term adverse impact on our ability to raise capital in the future. We plan to list our common stock as soon as practicable on a national or foreign exchange, to enable additional liquidity options for our investors. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to meet the initial listing standards of any stock exchange, or that we will be able to maintain any such listing.
We cannot predict the extent to which an active public trading market for our common stock will develop or be sustained. If an active public trading market does not develop or cannot be sustained, you may be unable to liquidate your investment in our common stock.
At present, there is minimal public trading in our common stock. We cannot predict the extent to which an active public market for our common stock will develop or be sustained due to a number of factors, including the fact that we are a small company that is relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors, and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume, and that even if we came to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and would be reluctant to follow an unproven company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares of common stock until such time as we became more seasoned and viable. As a consequence, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal or non-existent, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous sales without an adverse effect on share price. We cannot give you any assurance that an active public trading market for our common stock will develop or be sustained. If such a market cannot be sustained, you may be unable to liquidate your investment in our common stock.
Our common stock may be subject to significant price volatility which may have an adverse effect on your ability to liquidate your investment in our common stock.
The market for our common stock may be characterized by significant price volatility when compared to seasoned issuers, and we expect that our share price will be more volatile than a seasoned issuer for the indefinite future. The potential volatility in our share price is attributable to a number of factors. First, our shares of common stock may be sporadically and/or thinly traded. As a consequence of this lack of liquidity, the trading of relatively small quantities of shares by our stockholders may disproportionately influence the price of those shares in either direction. The price for our shares could, for example, decline precipitously in the event that a large number of our shares of common stock are sold on the market without commensurate demand, as compared to a seasoned issuer that could better absorb those sales without adverse impact on its share price. Secondly, an investment in us is a speculative or “risky” investment due to our lack of meaningful profits to date and uncertainty of future profits. As a consequence of this enhanced risk, more risk-adverse investors may, under the fear of losing all or most of their investment in the event of negative news or lack of progress, be more inclined to sell their shares on the market more quickly and at greater discounts than would be the case with the stock of a seasoned issuer.
We may be subject to penny stock regulations and restrictions and you may have difficulty selling shares of our common stock.
The SEC has adopted regulations which generally define so-called “penny stocks” to be an equity security that has a market price less than $5.00 per share or an exercise price of less than $5.00 per share, subject to certain exemptions. Our common stock is a “penny stock” and is subject to Rule 15g-9 under the Exchange Act, or the Penny Stock Rule. This rule imposes additional sales practice requirements on broker-dealers that sell such securities to persons other than established customers and “accredited investors” (generally, individuals with a net worth in excess of $1,000,000 or annual incomes exceeding $200,000, or $300,000 together with their spouses). For transactions covered by Rule 15g-9, a broker-dealer must make a special suitability determination for the purchaser and have received the purchaser’s written consent to the transaction prior to sale. As a result, this rule may affect the ability of broker-dealers to sell our securities and may affect the ability of purchasers to sell any of our securities in the secondary market, thus possibly making it more difficult for us to raise additional capital.
For any transaction involving a penny stock, unless exempt, the rules require delivery, prior to any transaction in penny stock, of a disclosure schedule prepared by the SEC relating to the penny stock market. Disclosure is also required to be made about sales commissions payable to both the broker-dealer and the registered representative and current quotations for the securities. Finally, monthly statements are required to be sent disclosing recent price information for the penny stock held in the account and information on the limited market in penny stock.
There can be no assurance that our common stock will qualify for exemption from the Penny Stock Rule. In any event, even if our common stock were exempt from the Penny Stock Rule, we would remain subject to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act, which gives the SEC the authority to restrict any person from participating in a distribution of penny stock, if the SEC finds that such a restriction would be in the public interest.
Substantial future sales of our common stock, or the perception in the public markets that these sales may occur, may depress our stock price.
Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market after this public offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional shares. Following this public offering, we will have approximately 9,634,074 shares of common stock outstanding (assuming the all 1,411,765 shares are sold in the offering) or 9,845,838 shares of common stock outstanding (assuming the over-allotment amount is exercised in full). All of the shares of common stock to be sold in this offering will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the federal securities laws. The remaining shares will be subject to restrictions on resale under U.S. securities laws.
We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering, and our use of the offering proceeds may not yield a favorable return on your investment.
We expect to use most of the net proceeds from this offering for working capital, business development, product development and capital expenditure. However, our management has broad discretion over how these proceeds are to be used and based on unforeseen technical, commercial or regulatory issues could spend the proceeds in ways with which you may not agree. Moreover, the proceeds may not be invested effectively or in a manner that yields a favorable or any return, and consequently, this could result in financial losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have never paid cash dividends on our stock and do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.
We have paid no cash dividends on any class of our stock to date and we do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the near term. For the foreseeable future, we intend to retain any earnings to finance the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock. Accordingly, investors must be prepared to rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation to earn an investment return, which may never occur. Investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable law and other factors our board deems relevant.
Fulfilling our obligations incident to being a public company, including with respect to the requirements of and related rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, is expensive and time-consuming, and any delays or difficulties in satisfying these obligations could have a material adverse effect on our future results of operations and our stock price.
As a public company, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the related rules and regulations of the SEC require us to implement various corporate governance practices and adhere to a variety of reporting requirements and complex accounting rules. Compliance with these public company obligations requires us to devote significant time and resources and places significant additional demands on our finance and accounting staff and on our financial accounting and information systems. We plan to hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company reporting experience and technical accounting knowledge. Other expenses associated with being a public company include increased auditing, accounting and legal fees and expenses, investor relations expenses, increased directors’ fees and director and officer liability insurance costs, registrar and transfer agent fees and listing fees, as well as other expenses.
We are required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to document and test the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, we are required under the Exchange Act to maintain disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Any failure to maintain effective controls or implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we are unable to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting, investors could lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. This could result in a decrease in the value of our common stock. Failure to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 could potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities.
Investors in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution.
The offering price of $42.50 per share is substantially higher than the net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately following this offering. Therefore, if you purchase common stock in the offering, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution in net tangible book value per share in relation to the price that you paid for your shares. We expect the dilution as a result of the offering to be $37.1397 per share to new investors purchasing our shares in this offering if all 1,411,765 shares being offered are sold without exercise of the over-allotment option and $36.3958 per share to new investors purchasing our shares in this offering if all 1,411,765 shares being offered are sold and the over-allotment option is exercised in full. Accordingly, if we were liquidated at our net tangible book value, you would not receive the full amount of your investment. See “Dilution” below.
Our board of directors has broad discretion to issue additional securities and any such issuance may cause substantial dilution to our stockholders.
We are entitled under our articles of incorporation to issue up to 90,000,000 shares of common stock and 50,000,000 shares of “blank check” preferred stock, although these amounts may change in the future subject to stockholder approval. Shares of our blank check preferred stock provide our board of directors’ broad authority to determine voting, dividend, conversion, and other rights. As of the date of this prospectus, we had issued and outstanding 9,247,272 shares of common stock, no shares of preferred stock, and we had 2,000,000 shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Equity Incentive Plan, of which 780,800 shares remain available for issuance. As of April 9, 2019, we had no shares of preferred stock issued and outstanding. Accordingly, the date of this prospectus, we could issue up to 78,756,664 additional shares of common stock (including shares reserved under our 2017 Equity Incentive Plan) and 50,000,000 shares of “blank check” preferred stock. Any additional stock issuances could be made at a price that reflects a discount or premium to the then-current market price of our common stock. In addition, in order to raise capital, we may need to issue securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for a significant amount of our common stock. Our board may generally issue those common and preferred shares, or convertible securities to purchase those shares, without further approval by our stockholders. Any preferred shares we may issue could have such rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions as may be designated from time-to-time by our board, including preferential dividend rights, voting rights, conversion rights, redemption rights and liquidation provisions. We may also issue additional securities to our directors, officers, employees and consultants as compensatory grants in connection with their services, both in the form of stand-alone grants or under our stock incentive plans. The issuance of additional securities may cause substantial dilution to our stockholders.
Our articles of incorporation, bylaws and Nevada law have anti-takeover provisions that could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control, which may cause our stock price to decline.
Our articles of incorporation, bylaws and Nevada law contain provisions which could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if closing such a transaction would be beneficial to our stockholders. We are currently authorized to issue up to 50,000,000 shares of “blank check” preferred stock. This preferred stock may be issued in one or more series, the terms of which may be determined at the time of issuance by our board of directors without further action by stockholders. The terms of any series of preferred stock may include voting rights (including the right to vote as a series on particular matters), preferences as to dividend, liquidation, conversion and redemption rights and sinking fund provisions. No shares of our preferred stock are currently outstanding. The issuance of any preferred stock could materially adversely affect the rights of the holders of our common stock, and therefore, reduce the value of our common stock. In particular, specific rights granted to future holders of preferred stock could be used to restrict our ability to merge with, or sell our assets to, a third party and thereby preserve control by current management.
Provisions of our articles of incorporation, bylaws and Nevada law also could have the effect of discouraging potential acquisition proposals or making a tender offer or delaying or preventing a change in control, including changes a stockholder might consider favorable. Such provisions may also prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our management. In particular, our articles of incorporation, our bylaws and Nevada law, as applicable, among other things, provide our board of directors with the ability to alter our bylaws without stockholder approval, and provide that vacancies on our board of directors may be filled by a majority of directors in office, although less than a quorum.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus, including the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business” contains forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “ongoing,” “expect” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
|●||our future financial and operating results;|
|●||our intentions, expectations and beliefs regarding anticipated growth, market penetration and trends in our business;|
|●||our ability to attract and retain customers;|
|●||our dependence on growth in our customers’ businesses;|
|●||the effects of changing customer needs in our market;|
|●||the effects of market conditions on our stock price and operating results;|
|●||our ability to successfully complete the development, testing and initial implementation of our product offerings;|
|●||our ability to maintain our competitive advantages against competitors in our industry;|
|●||our ability to timely and effectively adapt our existing technology and have our technology solutions gain market acceptance;|
|●||our ability to introduce new offerings and bring them to market in a timely manner;|
|●||our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property;|
|●||the effects of increased competition in our market and our ability to compete effectively;|
|●||our plans to use the proceeds from this offering;|
|●||our expectations concerning relationship with customers and other third parties;|
|●||our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel;|
|●||future acquisitions of our investments in complementary companies or technologies; and|
|●||our ability to comply with evolving legal standards and regulations.|
These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for us to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this prospectus may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in our forward-looking statements.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances described in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. Moreover, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this prospectus to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.
You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed with the SEC as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect.
This prospectus includes market and industry data that has been obtained from third-party sources, including industry publications, as well as industry data prepared by our management on the basis of its knowledge of and experience in the industries in which we operate (including our management’s estimates and assumptions relating to such industries based on that knowledge). Management’s knowledge of such industries has been developed through its experience and participation in these industries. While our management believes the third-party sources referred to in this prospectus are reliable, neither we nor our management have independently verified any of the data from such sources referred to in this prospectus or ascertained the underlying economic assumptions relied upon by such sources. Internally prepared and third-party market forecasts, in particular, are estimates only and may be inaccurate, especially over long periods of time. In addition, the underwriter has not independently verified any of the industry data prepared by management or ascertained the underlying estimates and assumptions relied upon by management. Furthermore, references in this prospectus to any publications, reports, surveys or articles prepared by third parties should not be construed as depicting the complete findings of the entire publication, report, survey or article. The information in any such publication, report, survey or article is not incorporated by reference in this prospectus.
USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of common stock offered by us will be approximately $55.67 million without exercise of the over-allotment option, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriter’s over-allotment option to purchase additional shares in this offering is exercised in full, we estimate that our net proceeds will be approximately $64.13 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. To the date of this prospectus, we have already received net proceeds of approximately $39.8 million from previous closings in this offering.
Use of Proceeds
|Total Raised without Over-Allotment Option||Total Raised with Over-Allotment Option|
|Land and building for ground station and data center||36,000,000||39,000,000|
|Underwriting discount & commission||3,764,391||4,304,391|
The principal purposes of this offering are to increase our capitalization and financial flexibility, and to increase our visibility in the marketplace. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds of this offering. However, we currently intend to use the net proceeds to us from this offering, together with existing cash, primarily for general corporate purposes, such as working capital, product development, marketing activities, and other capital expenditures including the purchase of land for, and the building of, our first satellite ground station and data center, in the Asia region. More specifically, if we raise sufficient funds in this offering, we expect to spend approximately $36.0 million to acquire land in Taiwan that we will use to establish this first satellite ground station and data center. We have identified a suitable location for such base station in the northern part of Taiwan, we have signed a binding sales contract, as amended to date, with the local landowner specifying the specific terms of acquisition of this land and we have already made prepayments in the amount of approximately $33.85 million towards the purchase price of the parcel. We expect that the cost of the land will be approximately $5.9 million per acre, and that we will purchase approximately 6.36 acres, with an option to acquire additional contiguous acreage. Additionally, we have signed a binding memorandum of understanding with a Samoa based telecom company to lease the parcel that we plan to purchase for a period of five years at an expected rental income to us of approximately $2.3 million per year. This telecom company plans to build a separate satellite ground station and data center on this land and we may lease back a portion of the land to build our own satellite ground station and data center if and when we have sufficient funds to do so. The five-year lease, if it is consummated, would provide us with additional working capital to supplement the funds that we expect to raise in this offering, to help us further our core corporate development efforts. For a more detailed discussion of this proposed land acquisition and lease transaction, see “Business— Binding MOUs to Acquire and Lease Land in Taiwan for a Data Processing Center and Satellite Uplink Ground Station,” below.
We can provide no assurance that we will be able to raise sufficient funds in the offering to complete the purchase of the Taiwan ground station property or that our board of directors will approve the to-be-negotiated purchase agreement assuming we do raise the required funds. Further, assuming we do complete the acquisition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully negotiate and sign a lease contract with the Samoan telecom company, that we will be able to generate any revenue from our ownership and lease of this land or that we will have or be able to raise sufficient funds to build our own satellite ground station and data center on this land.
We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for the acquisition of, or investment in, businesses, products, technologies or other assets that complement our business, although we have no present commitments or agreements to enter into any material acquisitions or investments. We will have broad discretion over the uses of the net proceeds in this offering.
Pending use of the net proceeds from this offering as described above, we may invest the net proceeds in short-term interest-bearing investment grade instruments.
DETERMINATION OF OFFERING PRICE
The public offering price was determined through negotiations between us and the underwriter. In addition to prevailing market conditions, the factors to be considered in determining the public offering price included:
|●||the valuations of publicly traded companies in the United States that the underwriter believed to be comparable to us;|
|●||our financial information;|
|●||the history of, and the prospects for, our company and the industries in which we compete;|
|●||an assessment of our management, our past and present operations, and the prospects for, and timing of, our future revenues;|
|●||the state of our development; and|
|●||various valuation measures of other companies engaged in activities like ours.|
It is also possible that after this offering, our securities will not trade in the public market at or above the public offering price.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future, if at all. Any future determination to declare dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
The following table sets forth our capitalization, as of December 31, 2018:
|●||on an actual basis;|
|●||on a pro forma basis to give effect to the sale of all 1,411,765 shares in this offering and assuming that the underwriter’s over-allotment option is exercised in full, at the public offering price of $42.50 per share, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses payable by us.|
You should read this table in conjunction with “Use of Proceeds” above as well as our “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and the related notes to those financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.
|As of December 31, 2018(1)|
|Actual||Pro Forma (without Over-Allotment Option||Pro Forma (with Over-Allotment Option)|
|Other payable – related parties||949,298||949,298||949,298|
|Other payable – others||2,956,488||2,956,488||2,956,488|
|Shares of Common Stock, $0.001 par value, 90,000,000 shares authorized; 9,098,090 shares issued and outstanding (excluding 149,162 unvested restricted shares) as of December 31, 2018||45,490||45,877||46,089|
|Additional paid-in capital (2)||56,546,408||71,625,500||80,085,288|
|Total liabilities and equity||$||47,388,685||$||62,468,164||$||70,928,164|
|(1)||Gives effect to the sale of the total amount and the total amount including the over-allotment amount, at the public offering price of $42.50 per share, and to reflect the application of the proceeds after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts (7% cash commission for the $16,439,106 raised in the firm commitment offering and 6% cash commission for the over-allotment shares if the underwriter exercises the over-allotment option) and our estimated offering expenses. (See note 2 below.)|
|(2)||Pro forma adjusted for this offering’s additional paid in capital reflects the net proceeds we expect to receive, assuming the total amount and the total amount including the over-allotment amount is sold, after deducting underwriting discount, underwriter’s expense allowance and approximately $569,562 in other expenses. We expect to receive net proceeds of approximately $55,666,047 ($60,000,000 offering, less underwriting discount of $3,764,391 and offering expenses of $569,562) if the total amount is raised and $64,126,047 ($69,000,000 offering, less underwriting discount of $4,304,391 and offering expenses of $569,562) if the total amount including the over-allotment amount is raised.|
If you invest in our securities, your investment will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the public offering price you pay in this offering, and the pro forma net tangible book value per share of common stock immediately after this offering.
Net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets reduced by our total liabilities, divided by the outstanding shares of common stock. Tangible assets equal our total assets less intangible assets. As of December 31, 2018, our actual net tangible book value was $36,561,900 and our net tangible book value per share was $3.9538.
After giving effect to the sale of $60,000,000 of shares (total amount without over-allotment option) or $69,000,000 of shares (total amount with over-allotment option) in this offering at the public offering price of $42.50 per share, and after deducting underwriting commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, but without adjusting for any other change in our pro forma net tangible book value subsequent to December 31, 2018, our pro forma net tangible book value would have been $5.3603 per share of common stock if all 1,411,765 shares are sold without exercise of the over-allotment option and $6.1042 per share of common stock if all 1,411,765 shares are sold and the over-allotment option is exercised in full. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of $1.4065 per share to our existing stockholders and immediate dilution of $37.1397 per share to new investors purchasing shares in this offering if all 1,411,765 shares are sold without exercise of the over-allotment option, and an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of $2.1504 per share to our existing stockholders and immediate dilution of $36.3958 per share to new investors purchasing shares in this offering if all 1,411,765 shares are sold and the over-allotment option is exercised in full.
The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis to new investors:
without Over-Allotment Option
|Total with Over-Allotment Option|
|Public offering price per share||$||42.50||$||42.50|
|Historical net tangible book value per common share as of December 31, 2018||$||3.9538||$||3.9538|
|Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per common share as of December 31, 2018||$||5.3603||$||6,1042|
|Increase in net tangible book value per common share attributable to existing stockholders||$||1.4065||$||2.1504|
|Dilution per common share to new investors||$||37.1397||$||36.3958|
As of December 31, 2018, the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering, assuming 1,411,765 shares of our common stock are sold in the offering (total without over-allotment option), is 9,634,074 and excludes the following:
|●||1,215,262 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding stock options at a weighted average exercise price of $6.9236 per share as of December 31, 2018;|
|●||84,706 shares of common stock (97,411 shares of common stock if over-allotment is exercised in full) underlying the warrants to be issued to the underwriter in connection with this offering; and|
|●||211,764 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of the underwriter’s over-allotment option.|
MARKET FOR COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
Our common stock began trading on the OTCQB Venture Market on May 30, 2017 under the symbol “AKOM.” On July 31, 2017, our stock began trading on the OTCQX Best Market. To date, there has been limited trading for our common stock on the OTC Markets. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low closing prices of our common stock. These prices reflect inter-dealer prices, without retain mark-up or commission, and may not represent actual transactions.
|Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017|
|2nd Quarter (May 30, 2017 – June 30, 2017)||27.50||17.50|
|Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2018|
|Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019|
Our stock is extremely thinly traded. We cannot guarantee that an active market in our common stock will develop on the OTCQX Best Market.
Proposed Exchange Listings
Our common stock is quoted for trading on the OTC Markets Group Inc. OTCQX Best Market under the symbol “AKOM.”
We intend to apply to list the shares of common stock offered hereby on one or more national or foreign stock exchanges, to enable additional liquidity options for our investors. We will withdraw our listing from OTCQX Best Market upon the listing in any of national or foreign major stock exchange. We cannot assure you, however, that any such listing application will be approved.
Although we filed an application to list our common stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market, we have temporarily put that application on hold while we consider our options to list on other national or foreign stock exchanges.
Number of Holders of Our Shares of Common Stock
We had 71 record holders of our common stock as of April 9, 2019. Because brokers and other institutions hold shares on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
The following table sets forth certain information about the securities authorized for issuance under our incentive plans as of December 31, 2018.
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights
Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column (a))
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders||1,215,262||6.9236||780,800|
|Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders||-||-||-|
On May 5, 2017, our board of directors adopted the Aerkomm Inc. 2017 Equity Incentive Plan. This plan was approved by our stockholders by a written consent in lieu of a meeting dated March 28, 2018. See “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Plan Information” for a description of this plan.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL
CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Our discussion includes forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, such as our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.
With advanced technologies and a unique business model, we, as a service provider of IFEC solutions, intend to provide airline passengers with a broadband in-flight experience that encompasses a wide range of service options. Such options include Wi-Fi, cellular, movies, gaming, live TV, and music. We plan to offer these core services, which we are currently still developing, through both built-in in-flight entertainment systems, such as a seat-back display, as well as on passengers’ personal devices. We also expect to provide content management services and e-commerce solutions related to our IFEC solutions.
We plan to partner with airlines and offer airline passengers free IFEC services. We expect to generate revenue through advertising and in-flight transactions. We believe that this is an innovative approach that differentiates us from existing market players.
To complement and facilitate our planned IFEC service offerings, we intend to build satellite ground stations and related data centers within the geographic regions where we expect to be providing IFEC airline services.
Principal Factors Affecting Financial Performance
We believe that our operating and business performance is driven by various factors that affect the commercial airline industry, including trends affecting the travel industry and trends affecting the customer bases that we target, as well as factors that affect wireless Internet service providers and general macroeconomic factors. Key factors that may affect our future performance include:
|●||our ability to enter into and maintain long-term business arrangements with airline partners, which depends on numerous factors including the real or perceived availability, quality and price of our services and product offerings as compared to those offered by our competitors;|
|●||the extent of the adoption of our products and services by airline partners and customers;|
|●||costs associated with implementing, and our ability to implement on a timely basis, our technology, upgrades and installation technologies;|
|●||costs associated with and our ability to execute our expansion, including modification to our network to accommodate satellite technology, development and implementation of new satellite-based technologies, the availability of satellite capacity, costs of satellite capacity to which we may have to commit well in advance, and compliance with regulations;|
|●||costs associated with managing a rapidly growing company;|
|●||the number of aircraft in service in our markets, including consolidation of the airline industry or changes in fleet size by one or more of our commercial airline partners;|
|●||the economic environment and other trends that affect both business and leisure travel;|
|●||continued demand for connectivity and proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops;|
|●||our ability to obtain required telecommunications, aviation and other licenses and approvals necessary for our operations; and|
|●||changes in laws, regulations and interpretations affecting telecommunications services and aviation, including, in particular, changes that impact the design of our equipment and our ability to obtain required certifications for our equipment.|
Emerging Growth Company
We qualify as an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act. As a result, we are permitted to, and intend to, rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements. For so long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to:
|●||have an auditor report on our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;|
|●||comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (i.e., an auditor discussion and analysis);|
|●||submit certain executive compensation matters to shareholder advisory votes, such as “say-on-pay” and “say-on-frequency;” and|
|●||disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the chief executive officer’s compensation to median employee compensation.|
In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards.
In other words, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period. Our financial statements may therefore not be comparable to those of companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards.
We will remain an “emerging growth company” for up to five years, or until the earliest of (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our total annual gross revenues exceed $1 billion, (ii) the date that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our shares of common stock that are held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt during the preceding three year period.
Results of Operations
On March 18, 2018, we changed our fiscal year from December 31 to March 31, to be able to comply with the Nasdaq Stock Market so called “seasoning rules” which required that we have audited financial statements for a full year following the date of the closing of our reverse acquisition before we could file a listing application with Nasdaq. Since we were able to meet that seasoning requirement by changing our fiscal year to March 31 thus enabling us to generate audited financial statements for the full year beginning on April 1, 2017 and ending on March 31, 2018, our board of directors determined that for practical business reasons, it would now be in the Company’s best interest to revert to a December 31 fiscal year end. Our board of directors voted to change our fiscal year back to December 31 on February 12, 2019.
The discussion below relates to the nine-month transition period created by the change in our fiscal year end back to December 31 and the two fiscal years ended on December 31, 2018 and 2017.
Comparison of Nine Months Ended December 31, 2018 and 2017
The following table sets forth key components of our results of operations during the three-month periods ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.
Nine Months Ended
|Cost of sales||1,661,849||-||1,661,849||100.0||%|
|Loss from operations||(6,561,983||)||(6,233,393||)||(328,590||)||5.3||%|
|Net non-operating loss||(127,113||)||(1,877||)||(125,236||)||6,672.1||%|
|Loss before income taxes||(6,689,096||)||(6,235,270||)||(453,826||)||7.3||%|
|Income tax expense||61||6,134||(6,073||)||(99.0||)%|
|Other comprehensive income (loss)||120,494||(107||)||120,601||(112,711.2||)%|
|Total comprehensive loss||$||(6,568,663||)||$||(6,241,511||)||$||(327,152||)||5.2||%|
Sales. Our sales were $1,745,000 and $0 for the nine-month periods ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. This number for the 2018 period represents sales of a ground-based satellite connectivity server terminal in the amount of $1,730,000 and remote island resort ground antenna connectivity service income in the amount of $15,000.
Cost of sales. Our cost of sales was $1,661,849 and $0 for the nine-month periods ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. The cost of sales represents the cost of the ground-based satellite connectivity server terminal sold by Aircom Taiwan.
Operating expenses. Our operating expenses increased by $441,741 to $6,645,134 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, from $6,233,393 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017. Such increase was mainly due to an increase in consulting fees, research and development expense, payroll and related expenses and depreciation expense of $244,107, $628,534, $321,854 and $144,881, respectively, which was offset by a decrease in investor relation fees and stock-based compensation expense of $289,036 and $593,292, respectively.
Net non-operating loss. We had $127,113 in net non-operating loss for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, as compared to net non-operating loss of $1,877 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017. Net non-operating loss in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018 represents interest expense of $2,004 and loss on foreign exchange of $125,340, while net non-operating loss in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017 represents loss on foreign exchange of $2,712, which offset by an other income of $963.
Loss before income taxes. Our loss before income taxes increased by $453,826 to $6,689,096 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, from a loss of $6,235,270 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017, as a result of the factors described above.
Income tax expense. Income tax expense was $61 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, as compared to $6,134 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017.
Total comprehensive loss. As a result of the cumulative effect of the factors described above, our total comprehensive loss increased by $327,152 to $6,568,663 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018, from $6,241,511 for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $88,309. To date, we have financed our operations primarily through cash proceeds from financing activities, including through our ongoing public offering, short-term borrowings and equity contributions by our stockholders.
The following table provides detailed information about our net cash flow:
|Net cash used for operating activities||$||(6,603,813||)||$||(5,013,509||)|
|Net cash used for investing activity||(34,637,468||)||86,985|
|Net cash provided by financing activity||41,150,859||4,454,941|
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||(90,422||)||(471,583||)|
|Cash from acquired subsidiaries||-||2,354|
|Cash at beginning of period||58,237||490,840|
|Foreign currency translation effect on cash||120,494||(107||)|
|Cash at end of period||$||88,309||$||21,504|
Net cash used for operating activities was $6,603,813 for the nine months ended December 31, 2018, as compared to $5,013,509 for the nine months ended December 31, 2017. In addition to the net loss of $6,689,157, the increase in net cash used for operating activities during the nine-month period ended December 31, 2018 was mainly due to increase in accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, decrease in accrued expenses, other payable – related parties, and other payable of $1,745,000, $1,116,521, $469,049, $350,280 and $695,276, respectively, offset by the increase in accounts payable and other receivable – others of $1,650,000 and $424,675, respectively. In addition to the net loss of $6,241,404, the increase in net cash used for operating activities during the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017 was mainly due to increase in prepaid expenses and decrease in other payable – related parties of $262,878 and $2,350,334, respectively, offset by the decrease in deposits - others, increase in accrued expenses, and other payable – others of $660,132, $450,419 and $216,945, respectively.
Net cash used for and provided by investing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2018 was $34,637,468 as compared to $86,985 for the nine months ended December 31, 2017. The net cash used for investing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2018 was mainly due to the $33.85 million prepayment toward the purchase of a parcel of land to build our first satellite ground station and data center. We also used $762,670 for the purchase of property and equipment. The net cash used for investing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2017 was mainly due to the decrease in prepaid investment of $360,000 and increase in acquisition of property and equipment of $273,015, respectively.
Net cash provided by financing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $41,150,859 and $4,454,941, respectively. Net cash provided by financing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2018 were mainly attributable to net proceeds from the issuance of our common stock through the ongoing public offering in the amount of $41,262,899, offset by the repayment of short-term bank loan and short-term loans from affiliates in the amount $10,000 and $325,040, respectively. Net cash provided by financing activities for the nine months ended December 31, 2017 were mainly attributable to issuance of our common stock and proceeds from subscribed capital in the amount of $2,887,428 and $1,527,513, respectively.
Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2018 and 2017
The following table sets forth key components of our results of operations during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.
|For the Year Ended December 31,|
|Amount||% of Sales||Amount||% of Sales|
|Cost of sales||1,661,849||95.2||%||-||-|
|Loss from operations||(8,012,882||)||459.2||%||(7,147,597||)||-|
|Net non-operating income (loss)||(131,335||)||7.5||%||23,652||-|
|Loss before income taxes||(8,144,217||)||466.7||%||(7,123,945||)||-|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||4,123||0.2||%||8,519||-|
|Other comprehensive income (loss)||123,428||7.1||%||(3,454||)||-|
|Total comprehensive loss||$||(8,024,912||)||459.9||%||$||(7,135,918||)||-|
Sales. Our sales were $1,745,000 the years ended December 31, 2018, as compared to the $0 for the year ended December 31, 2017. The sales for the year ended December 31, 2018 represents the sale of a ground-based satellite connectivity server terminal in the amount of $1,730,000 and remote island resort ground antenna connectivity service income in the amount of $15,000.
Cost of sales. Our cost of sales includes the direct costs of our raw materials and component parts, as well as the cost of labor and overhead. Our cost of sales was $1,661,849 and $0 for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. The cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2018 represents the cost of the ground-based satellite connectivity server terminal sold by Aircom Taiwan.
Operating expenses. Our operating expenses consist primarily of compensation and benefits, professional advisor fees, cost of promotion, business development, business travel, transportation costs, and other expenses incurred in connection with general operations. Our operating expenses increased by $948,436 to $8,096,033 for the year ended December 31, 2018, from $7,147,597 for the year ended December 31, 2017. Such increase was mainly due to the increase in R&D expense, payroll and related expense, consulting expense and depreciation expenses of $719,284, $384,551, $314,245 and $157,829, respectively, which was offset by the decrease in stock-based compensation expense, accounting and auditing related expense, investor relation fee and legal expense of $326,486, $240,118, $223,466 and $159,577, respectively.
Net non-operating income (loss). We had $131,335 in net non-operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2018 as compared to $23,652 in net non-operating income for the year ended December 31, 2017. Net non-operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily represents interest expense of $3,179 and loss on foreign exchange of $128,362. Net non-operating income for the year ended December 31, 2017 primarily represents the cancellation of debt from a related party of $26,647.
Income (loss) before income taxes. Our loss before income taxes is $8,144,217 for the year ended December 31, 2018 as compared to the loss before income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2017 of $7,123,945, an increase of $1,020,272, as a result of the factors described above.
Income tax expense- (benefit). Income tax expense decreased by $4,396 to $4,123 for the year ended December 31, 2018, from an income tax expense of $8,519 for the year ended December 31, 2017. The income tax expense for 2017 was mainly due to California franchise tax and foreign subsidiary’s income tax expenses. The income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2017 was mainly due to California franchise tax and foreign subsidiary’s income tax expenses.
Total comprehensive (income) loss. As a result of the cumulative effect of the factors described above, our total comprehensive loss increased by $888,994 to $8,024,912 for the year ended December 31, 2018, from $7,135,918 for the year ended December 31, 2017.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2018, we had cash and cash equivalents of $88,309. To date, we have financed our operations primarily through non-recurring sales of equipment, cash proceeds from financing activities, short-term borrowings and equity contributions by our stockholders.
The following table provides detailed information about our net cash flow for all financial statement periods presented in this report:
|Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities||$||(6,971,369||)||$||(6,001,485||)|
|Net cash used for investing activity||(34,643,820||)||(273,015||)|
|Net cash provided by financing activity||41,558,566||5,984,941|
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||(56,623||)||(289,559||)|
|Cash from acquired subsidiaries||-||2,354|
|Foreign currency translation effect on cash||123,428||(3,464||)|
|Cash at beginning of year||21,504||312,173|
|Cash at end of year||$||88,309||$||21,504|
Net cash used for operating activities was $6,971,369 for the year ended December 31, 2018, as compared to $6,001,485 for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase in net cash used for operating activities was mainly due to net operating loss, increase in accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and decrease in other payable-others of $8,148,340, $1,745,000, $1,116,731 and $512,426, respectively, offset by the decrease in other receivable-others and increase in accounts payable of $409,774 and $1,650,000, respectively. Net cash used for operating activities was $6,001,485 for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase in net cash used for operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 was mainly due to net operating loss, increase in prepaid expenses, and decrease in other payable related parties of $7,132,464, $521,949 and $2,373,180, respectively, offset by the decrease in other receivable-related party and deposits-others, increase in accrued expenses and other payable of $162,335, $660,132, $506,822 and $392,299, respectively.
Net cash used in investing activities for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $34,643,820 and $273,015, respectively. The net cash used for investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2018 was mainly due to the $33.85 million prepayment toward the purchase of a parcel of land to build our first satellite ground station and data center. We also used $769,022 for the purchase of property and equipment. The net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 mainly related to the purchase of property and equipment in the amount of $273,015.
Net cash provided by financing activities for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $41,558,566 and $5,984,941, respectively. Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2018 were mainly attributable to net proceeds from the issuance of our common stock through the ongoing public offering and private placements, and issuance of stock warrant in the amount of $41,318,899 and $250,367, respectively, offset by the repayment of short-term bank loan in the amount $10,000. The net cash amounts provided by financing activities were mainly attributable to proceeds from the issuance of our common stock and subscribed capital in the amounts of $5,914,941 during the years ended December 31, 2017.
Currently available working capital will not be adequate to sustain our operations at our current levels for the next twelve months. We expect to satisfy our working capital requirements over the next twelve months through the sale of equity or debt securities. However, we do not have any commitment from any third-party to invest in our company or otherwise acquire any of our equity or debt securities. Furthermore, even if we successfully raise sufficient capital to satisfy our needs over the next twelve months, in the future, we will require additional cash resources due to changed business conditions, implementation of our strategy to expand our business or other investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue. If our own financial resources are insufficient to satisfy our capital requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain additional credit facilities. The sale of additional equity securities could result in dilution to our stockholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financial covenants that would restrict our operations. Financing may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Any failure by us to raise additional funds on terms favorable to us, or at all, could limit our ability to expand our business operations and could harm our overall business prospects.
Our operations continue to require significant capital expenditures primarily for technology development, equipment and capacity expansion. Capital expenditures are associated with the supply of airborne equipment to our prospective airline partners, which correlates directly to the roll out and/or upgrade of service to our prospective airline partners’ fleets. Capital spending is also associated with the expansion of our network, ground stations and data centers and includes design, permitting, network equipment and installation costs.
Capital expenditures for the nine-month periods ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, and for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $36,005,372, $1,037,183, $36,102,474 and $639,062, respectively.
We anticipate an increase in capital spending in fiscal year 2019 and estimate that capital expenditures will range from $6 million to $60 million as we will begin airborne equipment installations and continue to execute our expansion strategy.
Inflation and changing prices have not had a material effect on our business and we do not expect that inflation or changing prices will materially affect our business in the foreseeable future. However, our management will closely monitor price changes in our industry and continually maintain effective cost control in operations.
Off Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have any off balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have a current or future effect on our financial condition, changes in financial condition, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity or capital expenditures or capital resources that is material to an investor in our securities.
Our operating results and operating cash flows historically have not been subject to significant seasonal variations. This pattern may change, however, as a result of new market opportunities or new product introductions.
Critical Accounting Policies
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires our management to make assumptions, estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported, including the notes thereto, and related disclosures of commitments and contingencies, if any. We have identified certain accounting policies that are significant to the preparation of our financial statements. These accounting policies are important for an understanding of our financial condition and results of operation. Critical accounting policies are those that are most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and require management’s difficult, subjective, or complex judgment, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain and may change in subsequent periods. Certain accounting estimates are particularly sensitive because of their significance to financial statements and because of the possibility that future events affecting the estimate may differ significantly from management’s current judgments. We believe the following critical accounting policies involve the most significant estimates and judgments used in the preparation of our financial statements:
Revenue Recognition. We recognize sales when the earning process is completed, as evidenced by an arrangement with the customer, transfer of title and acceptance, if applicable, has occurred, as well as the price is fixed or determinable, and collection is reasonably assured. Sales are recorded net of returns, discounts and allowances.
Inventories. Inventories are recorded at the lower of weighted-average cost or net realizable value. We assess the impact of changing technology on our inventory on hand and write off inventories that are considered obsolete. Estimated losses on scrap and slow-moving items are recognized in the allowance for losses.
Research and Development Costs. Research and development costs are charged to operating expenses as incurred. For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, we incurred approximately $1,483,452 and $764,168 of research and development costs, respectively.
Property and Equipment. Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation. When value impairment is determined, the related assets are stated at the lower of fair value or book value. Significant additions, renewals and betterments are capitalized. Maintenance and repairs are expensed as incurred. Depreciation is computed by using the straight-line method and double declining method over the following estimated service lives: computer equipment - 3 to 5 years, furniture and fixtures - 5 years and satellite equipment – 5 years. Construction costs for on-flight entertainment equipment not yet in service are recorded under construction in progress. Upon sale or disposal of property and equipment, the related cost and accumulated depreciation are removed from the corresponding accounts, with any gain or loss credited or charged to income in the period of sale or disposal. We review the carrying amount of property and equipment for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such assets may not be recoverable. We determined that there was no impairment loss for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.
Goodwill and Purchased Intangible Assets. Goodwill represents the amount by which the total purchase price paid exceeded the estimated fair value of net assets acquired from acquisition of subsidiaries. We test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis, or more often if events or circumstances indicate that there may be impairment. Purchased intangible assets with finite life are amortized on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of respective assets. Purchased intangible assets with indefinite life are evaluated for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such assets may not be recoverable. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, purchased intangible asset consists of satellite system software and is amortized over 10 years.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments. We utilize the three-level valuation hierarchy for the recognition and disclosure of fair value measurements. The categorization of assets and liabilities within this hierarchy is based upon the lowest level of input that is significant to the measurement of fair value. The three levels of the hierarchy consist of the following:
Level 1 – Inputs to the valuation methodology are unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that we have the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2 – Inputs to the valuation methodology are quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices in markets that are not active or inputs that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the instrument.
Level 3 – Inputs to the valuation methodology are unobservable inputs based upon management’s best estimate of inputs market participants could use in pricing the asset or liability at the measurement date, including assumptions.
The carrying amounts of our cash, accounts receivable, other receivable, short-term loans, accounts payable, and other payable approximated their fair value due to the short-term nature of these financial instruments.
Foreign Currency Translation. If a foreign subsidiary’s functional currency is the local currency, translation adjustments will result from the process of translating the subsidiary’s financial statements into the reporting currency of our company. Such adjustments are accumulated and reported under other comprehensive income (loss) as a separate component of stockholder’s equity.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Financial Instruments. In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments”, which modifies the measurement of expected credit losses of certain financial instruments. ASU 2016-13 will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2016-13 on our consolidated financial statements.
Intangibles. In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other” (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which goodwill shall be tested at least annually for impairment at a level of reporting referred to as a reporting unit. ASU 2017-04 will be effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019. We are currently evaluating the impact of adopting ASU 2017-04 on our consolidated financial statements.
Leases. In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (Topic 842), which modifies lease accounting for both lessees and lessors to increase transparency and comparability by recognizing lease assets and lease liabilities by lessees for those leases classified as operating leases under previous accounting standards and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements. ASU 2016-02 will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted. We are currently evaluating the timing of adoption and the impact of adopting ASU 2016-02 on our consolidated financial statements.
Income Statement. In February 2018, FASB issued ASU 2018-02, “Income Statement - Reporting Comprehensive Income” (Topic 220): Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, which required deferred tax liabilities and assets to be adjusted for the effect of a change in tax laws or rates with effect included in income from continuing operations in the reporting period that includes the enactment date of Tax Cut and Jobs Act. ASU 2018-02 will be effective for all entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those fiscal years. We are currently evaluating the timing of adoption and the impact of adopting ASU 2018-02 on our consolidated financial statements.
Stock Compensation. In June 2018, FASB issued ASU 2018-07, “Compensation-Stock Compensation” (Topic 718): Improvement of Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which amends the accounting for nonemployee share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from nonemployees. ASU 2018-07 will be effective for public business entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within the fiscal year. We are currently evaluating the timing of adoption and the impact of adopting ASU 2018-07 on our consolidated financial statements.
CORPORATE HISTORY AND STRUCTURE
Our Corporate History and Background
Aircom was incorporated in the State of California on September 29, 2014. On December 28, 2016, Aircom purchased 140,000 shares, or approximately 86.3%, of the outstanding common stock of the public company then known as Maple Tree Kids, Inc. (“MTKI”) for the purpose of engaging in a reverse acquisition with MTKI. MTKI was incorporated on August 14, 2013 in the State of Nevada. On January 10, 2017, in anticipation of the reverse acquisition and Aircom’s new business, MKTI changed its name to Aerkomm Inc. On February 13, 2017, Aircom and its shareholders entered into a share exchange agreement with Aerkomm pursuant to which Aerkomm acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of Aircom in exchange for approximately 99.7% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of Aerkomm (or 87.8% on a fully-diluted basis). As a result of the share exchange, Aircom became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aerkomm, and the former shareholders of Aircom became the holders of approximately 99.7% of Aerkomm’s issued and outstanding capital stock.
For accounting purposes, the share exchange transaction with Aircom was treated as a reverse acquisition, with Aircom as the acquirer and Aerkomm as the acquired party. To the extent this report contains business and financial information for partial periods prior to the consummation of the reverse acquisition, this information pertains to the business and financial information of Aircom and its consolidated subsidiaries. Aircom owns all of the equity interests of Aircom Seychelles, Aircom HK, Aircom Japan and Aircom Taiwan.
Aircom Seychelles was formed under the laws of Seychelles on December 15, 2009 as Gulach Ltd. and changed its name to Aircom Pacific Ltd. on August 19, 2014. Aircom Seychelles was acquired by Aircom Pacific on December 31, 2014 to facilitate Aircom’s global corporate structure for both business operations and tax planning. Presently, Aircom Seychelles has no operations. Aircom is working with corporate and tax advisers in optimizing its global corporate structure and has not yet concluded a revised plan of organization.
On October 17, 2016, Aircom acquired Aircom HK for $100,000. Aircom HK is a Hong Kong limited company formed on October 3, 2008 as Yanwei Information Technology Limited. Aircom HK changed its name to Dadny Inc Limited on July 22, 2015 and changed its name again to Aircom Pacific Inc. Limited on July 22, 2015. Aircom HK is in charge of all of Aircom’s business and operations in Hong Kong and China. Aircom HK is applying for, and will be the holder of a Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate, or VSTC, issued by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, or HKCAD. Presently, Aircom HK’s primary function is business development, both with respect to airlines as well as content providers and advertising partners based in Hong Kong and China. It is also actively seeking strategic partnerships in those areas, through which Aircom may leverage its product offerings to provide enhanced services to prospective customers. Aircom also plans to provide local support to Hong Kong-based airlines via Aircom HK and Aircom HK owned teleports located in Hong Kong.
On December 15, 2016, Aircom acquired Aircom Japan for $600,000. Aircom Japan was formed under the laws of Japan on August 29, 2011 as Dadny (Japan) Inc. and changed its name to Aircom Japan, Inc. on July 1, 2016. Aircom Japan is responsible for Aircom’s business development efforts and general operations located within Japan. Aircom Japan is applying for, and will be the holder of, a Satellite Communication Blanket License, which is necessary for Aircom to provide services within Japan. Aircom Japan will also provide local support to airlines operating within the territory of Japan. We do not expect to be in a position to successfully launch our service offerings in Japan until sometime in 2019.
Aircom Taiwan, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircom in December 2017, was organized under the laws of Taiwan on June 29, 2016. During 2017, prior to Aircom Taiwan becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircom, Aircom advanced a total of $460,000 (the “Prepayment”) to Aircom Taiwan for working capital as part of a planned $1,500,000 aggregate equity investment (the “Equity Investment”) in Aircom Taiwan. Aircom Taiwan at that time acted as Aircom’s agent in Taiwan. Before Aircom Taiwan was allowed to issue equity to Aircom, because Aircom was a foreign investor, the Equity Investment had to be approved by the Investment Review Committee of the Ministry of Economic affairs of Taiwan (the “Committee”). Aircom entered into an Equity Pre-Subscription Agreement with Aircom Taiwan dated as of August 13, 2017, to memorialize the terms of the Equity Investment. On December 19, 2017, the Committee approved Aircom’s initial Equity Investment (valued as of that date at NT$15,150,000, or approximately US$500,000) and the purchase of the Aircom Taiwan’s founding owner’s total equity of NT$100,000 (approximately US$3,350). As a result of the approval of the Equity Investment, Aircom Taiwan became a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Aircom.
On June 13, 2018, Aerkomm established Aerkomm Taiwan Inc. as a new wholly owned subsidiary under the laws of Taiwan. Aircom Taiwan Inc. is responsible for Aircom’s business development efforts and general operations within Taiwan. We are currently planning to locate the site of our first ground station in Taiwan and we expect that if we raise sufficient funds to move forward with this project (although that cannot be guaranteed), Aircom Taiwan Inc. will play a significant role in building and operating that ground station.
On November 15, 2018, Aircom Taiwan acquired Aircom Beijing for CNY600,000 (approximately $87,266). The purpose of this acquisition is for Aircom Beijing is to conduct Aircom’s business and operations in China. Presently, Aircom Beijing’s primary function is business development, both with respect to airlines as well as content providers and advertisement partners based in China as most business conducted in China requires a local registered company. Aircom Beijing is also actively seeking strategic partnerships through which Aircom may leverage its product offerings in order to provide enhanced services to prospective customers. Aircom also plans to provide local support to China-based airlines via Aircom Beijing and its future planned teleports to be located in China.
Our Corporate Operational Structure
We are a holding company. All of our business operations are conducted through our several operating subsidiaries with our core operational and business activities being directed through Aircom. The chart below presents our corporate structure as of the date of this prospectus:
Our principal executive offices are located at 923 Incline Way #39, Incline Village, NV 89451. The telephone number at our principal executive office is (877) 742-3094.
The global in-flight entertainment and connectivity, or IFEC, market is expected to experience high growth due to factors such as aircraft expansion, increasing passenger rates, rising penetration rates, and technological advances. According to the latest market research report1, the In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) market is projected to reach USD 7.65 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 8.72% from 2018 to 2023. The same market research report also predicts that the IFEC market in the Asia Pacific region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, owing to increasing aircraft deliveries and rising passenger traffic in this region. This report also concludes that China is expected to be the major market in the region, owing to the reforms in their regulations and policies, innovative business models, and the development of aircraft with new technologies.
1 ASD Reports, “In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) Market by End User (OEM, Aftermarket), Aircraft Type (NBA, WBA, VLA, Business Jets), Product (IFE Hardware, IFE Connectivity, IFE Content), and Region - Global Forecast to 2023”, dated August 27, 2018.
There are currently more than 21,000 commercial aircraft flying globally, a number that is expected to more than double in the next 20 years. Airbus estimates that the global fleet of commercial aircraft will increase from 21,450 planes in 2018 to more than 47,000 in 2037, according to its 2018 “Global Market Forecast report 2018 – 2037.” Boeing’s most recent global forecast “Commercial Market Outlook 2018 – 2037,” predicts a very similar average growth for the aircraft worldwide fleet over the next 20 years. The charts below reflect this projected aircraft growth.
|Source: Airbus Global Market Forecast report 2018 – 2037”||Source: Boeing “Commercial Market Outlook 2018 – 2037”|
Passenger numbers are also experiencing strong growth. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion by 2037, according to the latest update of IATA’s “20-Year Air Passenger Forecast.” Over the next two decades, the forecast anticipates a 3.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), leading to a doubling in passenger numbers from today’s levels. The continued strong growth, IATA revealed, is driven by an eastward shift in the aviation industry’s center of gravity, as more than half of the total number of new passengers in the next 20 years will come from the Asia Pacific region.
|2.||In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity|
Today there are over 4 billion passengers flying globally annually spread across 21,000 airplanes. Only around 25% of these airplanes are equipped to offer some form of onboard connectivity with sometimes erratic quality, slow speeds and low broadband.
WiFi is everywhere, from cafes to bus stops, trains to airports, and it’s a service that travelers and consumers value highly. Airline passengers’ expectations for connectivity available while flying are very much set by their experience of connectivity on the ground where they expect constant access to WiFi. Unfortunately, in-flight WiFi can still feel like a luxury and passengers eagerly await free connectivity options onboard. As airlines are learning how integral in-flight WiFi affects the quality of a customer’s flying experience, adding WiFi is just the start. As part of a general industry-wide push, airlines that offer onboard in-flight WiFi are now working towards make it better, faster, and cheaper.
A study issued in April 2018 by luxury travel consultants Lets Fly Cheaper reveals that currently only a few airlines are offering free in-flight WiFi. These airlines include Aer Lingus, Emirates, JetBlue, Norwegian, Air China, Philippine Airlines, Nok Air and Vueling, and even some of them come with certain limitations such as being offered free for business passengers or limited for a certain amount of data download. See the related map below provided by Lets Fly Cheaper.
Approximately 54 airline companies currently provide in-flight WiFi services through third-party providers. As these companies represent less than 20% of the world’s airline companies, we believe there is a huge market potential among the remaining unconnected airlines.
According to William Blair’s equity report titled “The Internet of Everything,” dated January 30, 2017, commercial in-flight connectivity, is a rapidly growing $6 billion market. Global industry penetration of commercial aircraft installed with in-flight connectivity systems has grown from less than 1% in 2008 to 25% in 2016, with the expectation of a 60%-plus penetration rate by 2022. Industry growth should occur from not only increased penetration, but also from expected increases in the average in-flight connectivity related revenue generated per aircraft.
On 26 September 2017, a new research study, Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry, was published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in association with global satellite communication specialists Inmarsat. The report predicts that in-flight broadband services have the potential to generate up to $30bn in additional revenue for airlines by 2035.
|Source:||London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry.|
The report based its findings on an independent forecasting model based on current IATA passenger traffic data and forecasts of growth. By 2035, the report predicts that there will be a near doubling of annual passenger numbers to 7.2 billion increasing to 7.8 billion in 2036 and 8.2 billion in 2037. The “Sky High Economics” report forecasts that broadband-enabled ancillary revenue for airlines will reach an estimated $30bn by 2035 (a figure higher that IATA’s projections for the profitability of the global airline industry in 2017). According to the report, it is expected that this projected revenue growth will create a wider overall market of $130bn for content providers, retail goods suppliers, hotel and car suppliers and advertisers.
|Source:||London School of Economics (LSE), Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry. A strategic overview.|
The Sky High Economics report looks at six key regions: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. Of these, the greatest potential for broadband-enabled ancillary services will come from the Asia Pacific region - which is expected to be the fastest growing aviation sector over the next 20 years. Airlines in Asia Pacific are predicted to benefit from $10.3bn of ancillary revenues by 2035, followed by Europe ($8.2bn) and North America ($7.6bn), Latin America ($1.9bn), Middle East ($1.3bn) and Africa ($0.58bn).
Our IFEC Solutions
Demand for high-speed internet connectivity on board passenger aircraft is increasing worldwide. With our advanced technologies and a creative business model, we plan to provide airline passengers with a broadband in-flight experience that encompasses a wide range of service options. Such options include Wi-Fi, cellular, movies, gaming, live TV, and music. We plan to offer these core services through both built-in in-flight entertainment systems, such as a seat-back display, as well as on passengers’ personal devices including laptops, mobile telephones and tablets. We will also provide content management services and e-commerce solutions related to our IFEC solutions. This system will operate through Ka/Ka high throughput satellites, or HTSs.
The diagram below shows Aircom’s services options and e-commerce options.
We also plan to provide related content management services and on-board e-commerce solutions for commercial airlines. We expect that a complete e-commerce and mobile entertainment platform will place control of content, service delivery and commercial strategy firmly in Aircom’s hands vis a vis the airlines that may acquire our IFEC services. The in-flight e-commerce will be generated primarily from on-line shopping, trading, travel options and duty-free sales amongst others.
We have two business models in place for our approach to the IFEC aviation market, one relating to commercial airlines and one to corporate business jets:
Traditionally, providers of in-flight connectivity focus primarily on the profit margin derived from the sale of hardware to airlines and of bandwidth to passengers. Both airlines and passengers must “pay to play,” which results in low participation and usage rates.
We break away from this model and expect to set a new trend with our creative business model which will set us apart from our competitors by partnering with airlines and other strategic partners, such as online advertisers and content providers, to offer airline passengers free IFEC solutions. Airlines can recover their costs and potentially generate new revenues through participating in our revenue sharing model while passengers will not be required to pay for connectivity. Taken together, this novel approach creates an incentive for airlines to work with us and should act to drive up passenger usage rates. We believe that this is an innovative approach that differentiates us from existing market players.
Our main source of revenue is expected to be derived from the content channeled through our IFEC network with selected partners including Internet companies, content providers, advertisers, telecom service providers, e-commerce, and premium sponsors. In other words, we plan to use connectivity as a tool rather than as a commodity for sale, which we believe will allow us to achieve a greater return. By providing free connectivity which, we expect, will result in the generation of a large volume of content traffic, we believe that we will create a multiplying effect that will result in a value that exceeds the “sum of its parts.”
Once our Aerkomm K++ system is approved by Airbus and receives the applicable airworthiness certifications, which process we expect to be completed by the end of 2019, as further discussed below, we will begin providing our Aerkomm K++ systems for installation on commercial airline aircraft.
|2.||Corporate Jet Customers|
There is also a strong demand by corporate jet owners to have high-speed internet connectivity installed on their aircraft. However, corporate jet customers would not generate sufficient internet traffic to make our free-service business model profitable for us.
Consequently, to capitalize on this additional market, we plan to sell our IFEC system hardware to corporate jet owners through the Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) programs. In addition to selling our IFEC systems equipment, we will also sell these corporate jet aircraft owners the bandwidth required for the operation of our services, priced on a subscription plan basis. This business model would generate revenue and income directly from the sale of our IFEC hardware and related bandwidth. We already have a preliminary agreement in place with our first corporate jet and launch customer, MJet GMBH (discussed below), and we are in advanced discussion with a number of additional potential customers both directly through our corporate network and through Airbus.
Once our Aerkomm K++ system is approved by Airbus and receives the applicable airworthiness certifications, which process we expect to be completed by the end of 2019, we will begin selling our Aerkomm K++ systems for installation on Airbus ACJ aircraft.
Aircom Pacific, at Airbus’ invitation, recently attended the Airbus ACJ Customer Forum which was held in Singapore in February 2019. This Airbus ACJ Customer Forum provided Aircom a unique opportunity to network with ACJ customers, operators and key industry players within the Airbus Corporate Jet community. At the Airbus ACJ Customer Forum, Aircom was provided the opportunity to demonstrate the Aerkomm K++ system. A number of ACJ clients at the Airbus ACJ Customer Forum showed interest in our IFEC product offering and we are currently in active discussions with these parties.
Our Connectivity Solutions
We expect to bring connectivity on-board aircraft through communication satellites. As depicted in the diagram below, aircraft equipped with connectivity instruments can communicate with a satellite via an airborne antenna. The satellite then relays the information to a ground station, which is equipped with a high-power satellite dish and is connected to the internet through our proprietary ground system.
Most in-flight connectivity systems currently in the market rely on the Ku-band satellite signals for communication. Many players in the market are working to provide higher bandwidth and faster transmitting rates using the Ka-band. Currently, there are few Ka-enabled satellites, which limits the coverage area particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. However, new GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbiting) and LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) Ka-band satellites are being regularly launched and this increase in satellites is expected to provide worldwide coverage within the next few years.
Our system architecture brings our aviation partners and their passengers the benefits of both GEO and LEO Ka-band satellite technology. GEO satellites may scan a hemisphere of earth, or fixed regions of that hemisphere at regular intervals. Performance of GEO satellites diminishes greatly in the areas near the Earth’s poles. LEO satellites orbit the earth from pole to pole and collect data from the areas beneath them. Only LEO satellites can collect high quality data over the poles. The Ka-band satellite increases data throughput. Aircom plans to have the necessary technology ready to take advantage of this new trend in Ka-band aviation connectivity. Future SpaceX and One Web LEO Ultra-Ka satellites are expected to be ready between 2019 and 2022.
The chart below depicts the coverage of both GEO and LEO Ka-band satellites.
The Ku-band offers reliable service outside of the Ka-band coverage over the ocean and in mountainous regions which is aimed to cover hotels and resorts remotely located as well as the maritime sector. The Ku-band also supports the OneWeb LEO satellite systems.
The map below shows areas of satellite coverage that could potentially be served by Aircom’s IFEC product offering.
We are actively working with other satellite providers in order to accommodate airlines’ global routes and growing fleets. We are monitoring the satellite industry for growth in coverage, with recent attention on China Satcom’s plan to launch high-capacity Ka-band and Ka HTS multispot-beam satellites over the Asia-Pacific region, as described in more detail below under Ku-band and GEO/LEO Hybrid Satellite Technology
In March 2017, we entered into a Master Service Agreement with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan for use of its JCSAT-2B/Asia Beam Ku-band satellite telecommunication services, teleport services and housing services. The agreement’s initial term runs for a period of three years from its commencement date of April 15, 2017, subject to the receipt of all governmental licenses and approvals, and will continue be effective provided any of the services continue after the initial term. We were required to prepay $285,300 of the contract price and a security deposit plus applicable Japanese consumption taxes upon the commencement date of the agreement. Under this agreement, we are able to test the connectivity equipment that we have been developing for ground and maritime uses.
Our Aerkomm K++ system
Our proprietary IFEC system which is called the AERKOMM®K++ system will contain a low profile radome containing two Ka-band antennas, one for transmitting and the other for receiving, and will comply with ARINC 791 standard of Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated, or ARINC and meets Airbus Design Organisation Approval.
Our Content Solutions
Traditionally, airlines view in-flight entertainment content as a budgeted expense for which they have to pay hefty royalties. With our business model and technologies, we expect to be able to transform in-flight entertainment into a source of revenue for our airline customers. We will team up with our current and future prospective airline customers to provide free onboard Wi-Fi services to passengers, which will allow us to maintain data traffic control, specifically in terms of blocking or placing advertisements as needed and inserting targeted commercials.
Premium Content Sponsorship
Recently, merchants have begun to take advantage of in-flight connectivity. In May of 2015, Amazon announced its plan to sponsor free video and music streaming for its Prime Video subscribers onboard JetBlue’s planes. The Amazon and JetBlue partnership is a paradigm of a win-win affiliation between an Internet powerhouse and a provider of in-flight connectivity. Amazon gained a platform through which it could display its premium subscription services and expanded its distribution network, while JetBlue generated significant revenue simply by making its in-flight connectivity available to Amazon.
The Amazon-JetBlue partnership is only one of many examples whereby an Internet company can vastly increase its competitive edge by gaining access to in-flight connectivity. We seek to exemplify this type of relationship through collaboration with major Internet companies, such as search engine companies. We plan to promote a partner’s brand through our in-flight services by channeling all searches to the partner’s search engine. By designing our user interface around the partnered company, we can present passengers with an on-screen environment populated by the partner’s apps, logos, and colors, providing a powerful marketing tool for the partner company. We can also enhance recognition of our sponsors’ brands by creating a list of portals on the in-flight system’s home screen, which leads to each sponsor’s individual page where passengers can resume their normal entertainment, social, and professional activities.
We are actively in discussions with Internet content providers to establish such premium sponsorships.
We are negotiating with television providers along our prospective airline partners’ flight routes to make live TV available through our IFEC system. Airlines will be able to select live TV channels that are appropriate for each flight route. An electronic program guide channel listing will be available for easy viewing and selection.
Several revenue sources will be available for live TV broadcasting, including commercials before and during programs, and banners at the bottom of the screen. Banner advertisements at the bottom of the screen can be interactive which will generate pay per click, or PPC, or cost per click, or CPC, revenue in addition to the lower priced cost per thousand impressions, or CPM, revenue. In addition, we should be able to receive sponsorship premiums from select TV programs, such as pay-per-view and shopping channels.
Social Media and Instant Messaging: Content Management
We will have firewalls in place both on the ground and in the air. These, in combination with our policy enforcement software, will allow us to filter, classify, block, or forward services in accordance with our service and quality policies. We will be able to control the flow of traffic for each individual application, enabling us to use a white list model through which social media and instant messaging partners can provide their users with onboard access by paying an annual or other periodic fee.
We are in active discussions with Line, WeChat, WhatsApp, and other social media partners regarding an annual premium fee in exchange for user access to their applications and services during air travel. The access to other networks may be limited to a single direction or blocked entirely. For example, we could allow the users of a non-paying instant message service to receive, but not send, instant messages. When a user tries to respond to a received message, the system would present a pop-up message encouraging the user to urge the service provider to enter into a relationship with us.
Airlines can select movies, videos, and other content for their passengers through our content management system. The management system will tailor content suggestions according to the flight route and destination and automatically upload selected content to an onboard server while the aircraft is on the ground. This creates a cache that allows in-flight viewing in areas with limited or no satellite bandwidth connectivity. For premium content, we may maintain a live connection with the providers’ network for accounting and digital rights management purposes.
Video/Content on Demand
Content that is available to passengers for free will generate advertising-based revenue through commercials before and during the programming, as well as through banners advertisements. Passengers will be able to choose to pay for premium content, such as first-run movies where available. For programming of all types, our partnered advertising agents will be able to integrate appropriate and effective advertisements targeted to the viewer. Prior to the start of any program, users will be required to view a commercial with a length determined by the duration of the selected program. Passengers will not be able to skip or close this commercial without closing out of the program. We will be able to place similar advertisements before games or radio programs and during online duty-free shopping.
Frequent flyer passengers will be able to purchase a premium package to allow access to unlimited movies, games, and other entertainment contents with no layered advertising. These packages will include day, trip, monthly, and annual based membership options.
In this information age, people often refer to the Internet for information, yet few individuals are aware that every Internet search they perform generates revenue for the search engine company. Search engine providers, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, sell keywords, page ranking in search results, advertisement placement, and other related services. The revenue generated by a search engine fluctuates in relation to its volume of activity. We will manage search engines on a white list basis, which means that the in-flight connectivity system will only permit traffic to and from approved search engines to go through. If a passenger performs a search on a search engine that is not partnered with us, the search will be redirected to one that is.
We plan to enter into agreements with search engine partners to share the revenue generated from passengers’ searches. As discussed under “Premium Content Sponsorship” above, we may grant exclusivity to a particular search engine provider that is a premium sponsor. Such exclusivity may be specific to certain airlines or routes.
Internet Advertising Replacement
In Internet traffic, more than 50% of the bandwidth that passes through satellites is consumed by advertisements in the data stream. In order to streamline bandwidth usage, our ground system will detect advertisements from a webpage and replaces them with advertisements from our advertisers or partners. We will work with Internet advertisers to present advertisements that are relevant to passengers’ interests. This system will enable our partners to place their advertisements accordingly and generate revenue for them and us. Advertisers can offer destination-specific commercials and banners, which can be placed in our in-flight entertainment system and in apps and portals on personal devices. By utilizing commercial agents to sell ad space on our systems, we plan to cover all marketable areas, expanding sales opportunities and increasing revenue.
With online advertisement utilizing both CPM and CPC models, we will be able to capitalize on virtually all available ad space and work with any advertising partner.
We plan to make it possible to stream console-quality games in the airline cabin. Through gaming content partnerships, we expect to be able to offer PlayStation, Xbox, and other console games. Passengers will be able to play popular games from their personal devices or in-flight entertainment systems, invite friends to play over the network, and save their gaming data for continued play on the ground. It will require high speed networks to play these interactive action games and we expect to be able to provide the services necessary for the functioning of these interactive games. Our online gaming service will bring our passengers a gaming experience never seen before. We expect to generate revenue from advertisements, including banners and commercials, and from fees for premium games or sales of access passes.
Telecommunications Text Messaging Services
Through strategic partnerships with telecommunication providers, we plan to allow passengers to use 4G messaging services while in flight. Our in-flight system is designed to detect whether a passenger is using one of our partner carrier’s network and will deliver or block messages to and from a passenger’s mobile phone accordingly. For those using a non-partner’s network, the system will urge the passenger to request that their service provider join our network. Passengers will also be able to purchase a premium package to enable text message services.
With flight route and passenger information, we expect that our partners will be able to offer destination-specific merchandise and services, including hotel and rental car bookings, transportation arrangements, restaurant reservations, local tours, ticket purchases, and travel insurance. By partnering with service partners in the region, we plan to share the transaction-based revenue on a fixed dollar amount or percentage of transaction basis.
In-flight Trading and e-Commerce
We have found that in-flight connectivity through our AERKOMM®K++ system will allow travelers to make better use of their travel time. With uninterrupted broadband available onboard, passengers will be able to conduct business with professionalism and ease. For example, we plan to partner with trading partners who are registered with the various regulatory authorities to offer financial product trading services and we expect to charge a processing fee when a passenger conducts a trade in-flight. Additionally, a complete e-commerce platform made available through the AERKOMM®K++ system will enable travelers to engage in unlimited on-line shopping, to make travel arrangements including holiday destinations, hotel bookings and car rentals and to complete duty-free purchases, among other options.
Black Box Live
For reasons of flight safety, a flight recorder, commonly known as a black box, is required on every aircraft of a certain size. The flight data recorder (FDR) records data with respect to various metrics of the flight and stores the data on a magnetic tape or solid-state disk with special coding. After retrieving the relevant information from the device, an individual can decode the data and learn what the aircraft encountered during the flight. This makes it possible to determine the potential causes of an accident. When the black box is needed, the aircraft has likely suffered an accident. A massive impact or explosion accompanies most airplane crashes, thus requiring the flight recorder to be shockproof and fire resistant. As the majority of aviation accidents happen over oceans, the flight recorder must also be waterproof and corrosion-resistant to avoid being damaged by salt water. Despite advancements in flight recorder design and the continual improvement of the strength of materials used in manufacturing flight recorders, records show that a large number of flight recorders are damaged and unreadable following accidents, if not lost altogether. For this reason, effective, real-time storage and transmission of in-flight data is beneficial for deducing the cause of aviation crashes and preventing them from happening again.
The fallout from two fatal Boeing 737-8 MAX accidents in five months, still in its early stages, is likely to be substantial. The way the MAX was grounded was a marked departure from past airline accidents, when the U.S. FAA and sister agencies around the world worked in coordination and did not rush to judgment. But within 24 hours of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302) crash, regulators and operators, wary of two 737-8 accidents in such a short period of time, began banning MAX flight operations. The little data available from ET302 was not enough to link it to Lion Air flight 610 (JT610), but the pressure to act first and validate later was significant. The fleet was grounded more than two full days before the ET302 flight data recorder (FDR) information was downloaded. A path to a middle ground is being initiated based on work that stems from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014 and Air France Flight 447 in 2009. The most widely discussed resulting changes from those two accidents are new International Civil Aviation Organization standards for tracking aircraft, included in Amendment 40 to ICAO Annex 6. But Amendment 40 includes another element that could ultimately prove to be more useful: timely access to flight data. Airlines could meet the ICAO standard, which goes into effect in 2021, by streaming FDR data while in flight. And providers of the necessary hardware, software and communications services are teaming up to offer timely flight data solutions to operators.
With this new product, Black Box Live, we expect to provide a system of real-time flight information back-up which is aimed at advancing flight safety. Under strict security measures, this new product will securely stream the flight data and crewmembers’ cockpit voice records to our cloud for airlines and authorized individuals to access and monitor. Black Box Live is in the early stages of development and, at this time, we cannot assure you when this product will reach market, if at all.
Other Markets (Remote Locations and Maritime)
In addition to our focus on IFEC systems for aircraft, we have begun to develop related internet connectivity systems for other markets and applications. In this regard, we have already developed two connectivity systems, one for hotels, primarily for remote locations, and one for maritime use. Both systems operate through the Ku/Ku HTS (High Throughput Satellite).
The Ku-band offers reliable service outside of the Ka-band coverage over the ocean and in mountainous regions and is aimed to cover remotely located hotels and resorts as well as the maritime sector. The Ku-band also supports the OneWeb LEO satellite systems.
In these additional markets, we plan to:
|i.||Begin to sell our connectivity solutions to hotels/resorts in remote areas. We plan to sell our equipment to hotels and resorts located in remote ocean areas and mountain regions. We also plan to sell the bandwidth required through which to operate these systems, priced on a subscription plan basis.|
|ii.||Begin to sell our connectivity solutions to maritime vessel such as cruise liners, fishing vessels, ferry boats and yachts. We plan to sell our equipment to these types of vessels as well as the bandwidth required through which to operate these systems, priced on a subscription plan basis.|
We are currently in the customer demonstration stage in the East Asia market with our maritime satellite communications equipment and services.
The picture below depicts Aircom’s current maritime antenna.
We cannot be sure at this time that we will be successful marketing this product offering for remote locations and maritime use.
Satellite Ground Stations and Data Centers
We plan to build a satellite ground station and a data center in Asia region to support our operations in that region.
A ground station’s main purpose is to establish telecommunication links with satellites. It houses satellite antennae and other communication equipment. Satellite antennae must be located within the coverage of the satellites being used. Ground station satellite antennae are substantial in size, generally between 20 to 30 feet (7 to 9 meters) in diameter. As we expand our operation, we expect to have multiple dish antennae connecting to various satellites. Due to the strong electromagnetic radiation emitted by the antennae, a satellite ground station must be located in rural or industrial areas and it requires a substantial setback zone around the ground station.
Since our IFEC business model will require collecting and processing large amounts of data, it will be beneficial for us to have access to a high capacity data center for the storage and processing of big data. Such a data center should be built within the same region of, and close to, the ground station, because of synergies and technical advantages such as shorter network latency and cost savings in ground links between the ground station and data center. We expect that building our own satellite ground stations and data centers will, in the long run, create economic efficiencies and operational independence.
On July 10, 2018, we entered into a real estate sales contract with Tsai Ming-Yin, as seller, and Sunty Development Co., Ltd., as trustee, pursuant to which the parties agreed to definitive terms and conditions relating to the acquisition by Aerkomm Taiwan of a parcel of land located at the Taishui Grottoes in the Xinyi District of Keelung City, Taiwan. The parcel consists of approximately 6.36 acres of undeveloped land and is expected to be used by us to build our first satellite ground station and data center. The parties have amended the contract a number of times, most recently on January 3, 2019, to extend the period of the time that we have to pay the seller the full purchase price for this parcel.
The purchase price for the parcel is NT$1,056,297,507, or US$34,474,462. Pursuant to the terms of the contract and an earlier binding memorandum of understanding that was entered into on May 1, 2018, we have made deposits totaling US$35,237,127 for this acquisition and the remaining balance is US$642,462.
The parties acknowledged that all payments by us have been made from the net proceeds of this offering and that the balance of payments is expected to be made from the net proceeds of additional closings of this offering. Pursuant to the terms of the contract, if we are not able to raise sufficient additional funds in this offering to pay the balance of the purchase price prior to July 4, 2019, we may notify the seller of this fact and cancel the contract. In such case, the full amount paid by us will be returned to us, without interest, in cash or in an equivalent amount of securities if the seller does not have sufficient cash on hand to return the payments in full. Such securities will be of the kind that are traded or quoted on a US national securities exchange or the over-the-counter market or a foreign equivalent. Additionally, even if we are able to pay the full purchase price prior to July 4, 2019, the seller may cancel the contract for any reason upon written notice to us prior to August 4, 2019. Within 90 days following full payment of the purchase price by us, assuming the seller does not exercise his right of cancellation by August 4, 2019, the seller must obtain all documents necessary for the title transfer and registration and apply for the registration of the transfer of the parcel title to us. If there is a delay or breach by us in our performance of its obligations under the contract, we shall be responsible for punitive liquidated damages at the rate of one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the purchase price for each day of delay or breach, with such damages capped at a maximum of five percent (5%).
We have also entered into a separate binding letter of commitment with Metro Investment Group Limited, or MIGL, pursuant to which we agreed to pay MIGL an agent commission of four percent (4%) of the full purchase price, equivalent to approximately US$1,387,127, for MIGL’s services provided with respect to the acquisition. The commission must be paid to MIGL no later than 90 days following payment in full of the purchase price. If there is a delay in payment, we shall be responsible for punitive liquidated damages at the rate of one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the commission per day of delay with a maximum cap to these damages of five percent (5%). Under applicable Taiwanese law, the commission is due and payable upon signing of the letter of commitment even if the contract is cancelled for any reason and the acquisition is not completed. We have recorded the estimated commission to the cost of land and will be paying the amount no later than 90 days following full payment of the purchase price.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to raise sufficient additional funds in this offering to pay the balance due on the purchase price and complete the acquisition of the Taishui Grottoes parcel or that the seller will not cancel the contract. Further, assuming we do complete the acquisition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully finance and build the planned satellite ground station and data center or that we will be able cover the various costs, including but not limited to property taxes, to maintain the parcel.
Our Contracts with Airline Partners
On November 30, 2018, in furtherance of a memorandum of understanding signed in March 2018, Aircom entered into an agreement with Airbus SAS, or Airbus, pursuant to which Airbus will develop and certify a complete solution allowing the installation of our “AERKOMM®K++” system on Airbus’ single aisle aircraft family including the Airbus A319/320/321, for both Current Engine Option (CEO) and New Engine Option (NEO) models. Airbus will also apply for and obtain on our behalf a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, as well as from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or FAA, for the retrofit system. It is anticipated that the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement between EASA and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, will be finalized and go into effect in 2019. If the Bilateral Agreement is finalized in its present form, the STC approved by EASA will automatically be accepted by CAAC. This would significantly reduce the cost and time required for us to launch our business with China based customers.
Pursuant to the terms of our Airbus agreement, Airbus agreed to provide Aircom with the retrofit solution which will include the Service Bulletin and the material kits including the update of technical and operating manuals pertaining to the aircraft and provision of aircraft configuration control. The timeframe for the completion and testing of this retrofit solution, including the certification, is approximate 16 months from the purchase order issued in August 2018, although there is no guarantee that the project will be successfully completed in the projected timeframe. Once the project is completed, Aircom, or Airbus on behalf of Aircom, will be able to commence installation of the AERKOMM®K++ system on aircraft.
A number of airlines, and in particular aircraft lessors, will accept only Service Bulletins issued by the aircraft manufacturers for the retrofit installation of any system on board their aircraft. Our agreement with Airbus ensures that our system will meet this requirement, although it does not guarantee that airlines or aircraft lessors will purchase our AERKOMM®K++ system.
Hong Kong Airlines
In June 2016, we entered into a master agreement with Hong Kong Airlines to install IFEC systems on-board their aircraft. Also party to this agreement is Klingon, our product development partner and value-added reseller in the region where Hong Kong Airlines operates. Daniel Shih, our co-founder, was Chairman of Klingon from February 2015 to February 2016, and Peter Chiou, our former Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, was Chief Executive Officer and President of Klingon from March 2015 through April 2016, prior to his joining our company in February 2017.
The implementation of the Hong Kong Airlines project is conditioned upon VSTC approval from the HKCAD. We and our equipment supplier have submitted the VSTC application to HKCAD but the application process is presently on hold due to the supplier’s failure to deliver a key component of the IFEC system. Presently, we do not expect the supplier to be able to delivery such key component. As a result, we are actively seeking alternative options to implement the Hong Kong Airline project, including developing necessary equipment or components thereof with other strategic partners. Because we cannot be sure when we will be able to obtain the IFEC equipment for the VSTC approval, we cannot be sure when we will begin to generate revenues from the agreement with Hong Kong Airlines, if at all.
Until such time as all approvals from the HKCAD have been received, our agreement with Hong Kong Airlines only expresses the parties’ desires and understandings and will not create any legal rights, liabilities or responsibilities whatsoever and will not be legally binding on us or Hong Kong Airlines. There can be no assurance as to when we will receive the required HKCAD approvals.
Additionally, we had expected that our services would be provided to Hong Kong Airlines through AsiaSat pursuant to the terms of our agreement with AsiaSat. Now that our agreement with AsiaSat has been terminated, we will have to find a replacement satellite services provider for our future arrangement with Hong Kong Airlines. We may not be able to find a replacement of AsiaSat on reasonable terms, if at all.
Other Airline Partners and Business Jets Customers
We are actively working with prospective airline customers to provide services to their passengers utilizing the Airbus to-be-certified AERKOMM®K++ system.
We have entered into non-binding memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with a number of airlines, including Air Malta of Malta which owns a fleet of 12 Airbus A320 aircraft, and Onur Air of Turkey with a fleet of 14 Airbus A320 aircraft. There can be no assurances, however, that these MOUs will lead to actual purchase agreements.
Currently, we are finalizing MOUs with the following airlines, although we cannot assure you that we will be able to finalize these agreements:
|Nouvelair Tunis:||Fleet of 6 Airbus A320 aircraft|
|Tigerair Taiwan:||Fleet of 11 Airbus A320|
|Hong Kong Express:||Fleet of 13 Airbus A320 and 11 Airbus A321|
Additionally, we are in active discussions with a number of major airlines in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and we are confident, although we cannot guarantee, that we will be successful in signing MOUs with these companies.
While to date we have been concentrating on Airbus customers in view of our existing agreement with Airbus, we plan now to also start focusing on Boeing airline customers and Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) customers including acquiring the necessary certification of our AERKOMM®K++ system equipment for the different types of the Boeing aircraft models, with a particular focus on the Boeing B737 aircraft family.
In connection with the Airbus project, we also identified owners of Airbus Corporate Jet, or ACJ, as potential customers of our AERKOMM®K++ system. ACJ customers, however, would not generate enough internet traffic to make our free-service business model viable. To capitalize on this additional market, we plan to sell our AERKOMM®K++ system hardware for installation on ACJ corporate jets and provide connectivity through subscription based plans. This new corporate jet market would generate additional revenue and income for our company.
As discussed below, we have entered into an agreement with MJet GMBH, an Airbus ACJ customer, and we are currently in advanced discussions with a number of additional ACJ customers, some of whom have more than one aircraft in their fleets.
We plan to enter into business agreements with additional airline partners and corporate jet owners, which will allow our antenna equipment and/or entertainment services to be installed, and our services provided, on their aircraft. Under these agreements, we expect that the airlines will commit to have our equipment installed on some or all of the aircraft they operate, and we will commit to provide passenger connectivity and/or entertainment services on such aircraft and to remit to the airlines a specified percentage of the revenue that we generate. We will have the exclusive right to provide Internet connectivity services on these aircraft throughout the term of the agreements we expect to enter into with such airline partners. Depending on the contract, installation and maintenance services may be performed by us and/or the airline. These agreements will also vary as to who pays for installation and maintenance of the equipment.
Agreements, GTAs, MOUs and LOI with Our Business Partners
Airbus SAS Agreement: Further to the memorandum of understanding we signed with Airbus in March 2018, on November 29th, 2018, Aircom entered into an Agreement with Airbus, pursuant to which Airbus will develop and certify a complete solution allowing the installation of our AERKOMM®K++ system on all Airbus’ single aisle aircraft family including the Airbus A319/320/321 for both Current Engine Option (CEO) and New Engine Option (NEO) models. We expect also to expand our agreement with Airbus shortly to include other Airbus models including the Airbus A330, A340, A350 and A380 series.
Airbus will also be responsible to apply for and obtain, on behalf of the Company, a Supplemental Type Certificate, or STC from the European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, as well as the United States Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, for the retrofit system. It is anticipated that the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement between EASA and Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, will be finalized and go into effect sometime in 2019. Once Bilateral Agreement is finalized in its present form, the STC approved by EASA would automatically be accepted by CAAC as well as the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD). This would significantly reduce the cost, time and complexity required for the company to launch its business with China based customers.
Pursuant to the terms of the Airbus agreement, Airbus has undertaken to provide Aircom with retrofit solution for the installation of the AERKOMM®K++ system which will include the Service Bulletin (SB) and the material kits including the update of technical and operating manuals pertaining to the aircraft and provision of aircraft configuration control. The timeframe for the completion and testing of this retrofit solution, including the certification, is approximately 12 months from the Airbus/Aircom agreement signed in November 2018, and we expect that this process will be completed by the end of 2019. Thereafter, Aircom, or Airbus on behalf of Aircom, will be able to commence installation of AERKOMM®K++ system on aircrafts of customers that Aircom expects to procure.
MJet GTA: On March 6, 2019, we signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) with MJet GMBH, or MJet, an Airbus ACJ customer, with a more definitive agreement to follow. MJet is an Airbus ACJ A319 corporate jet owner and operator based in Vienna, Austria. The GTA provides for the provision, installation, testing and certification of our Aerkomm K++ system equipment, including the Airbus Service Bulletin and associated material kit and related connectivity services, on an MJet Airbus ACJ A319 aircraft under the supervision of Airbus. Assuming the installation, testing and certification of our AERKOMM®K++ system on the MJet A319 is successful, something we cannot guarantee at this time, MJet will pay us a one-time fee for our equipment and a monthly fee for our connectivity services, and we would also begin charging MJet for the bandwidth required to use the AERKOMM®K++ system services. Assuming the success of this installation, MJet would become the first recurring payment customer of our IFEC AERKOMM®K++ system as well as being the launch customer of our Aerkomm K++ solution.
Malta MOU: On February 23, 2018, Aircom entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding which we refer to as the Air Malta MOU, with Air Malta a company organized under the laws of Malta pursuant to which the parties intend to collaboratively market and provide their products and servers to passengers of the Malta-based airline fleet. Under the terms of the Air Malta MOU, the parties intend to develop, install and operated in-flight connectivity systems onboard the Malta-based airline fleet and provide related services to its passengers.
Onurair MOU: On March 1, 2018, Aircom entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, which we refer to as the Onurair MOU, with Onurair Tasimacilik A.S., a company organized under the laws of Turkey, pursuant to which the parties intend to collaboratively market and provide their products and services to passengers of the Turkey-based airline fleet. Under the terms of the Onurair MOU, the parties intend to develop, install and operate in-flight connectivity systems onboard the Turkey-based airline fleet and provide related services to its passengers.
Yahoo MOU: On January 19, 2016, Aircom entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, which we refer to as the Yahoo MOU, with Yahoo! Hong Kong Limited, or Yahoo, pursuant to which, the parties intended to collaboratively market and provide their products and services to commercial airlines in Asia. Through its affiliates, Yahoo provides customers internet related services including software, content, communications, media and commerce services. According to the Yahoo MOU, Yahoo intended to use our IFEC system to provide in-flight services to its customers. In addition, the parties intended to collaborate on destination based marketing and to develop a revenue-share scheme on the advertising revenue arising from the in-flight services. We expected that Yahoo would be the exclusive provider of pre-roll video ads on our AERKOMM®K++ IFEC system in exchange for committed revenue from Yahoo. The parties further intended to collaborate and develop the necessary interface to support interaction and/or integration between our backend and each of Yahoo’s websites and Yahoo’s applications. All present and future intellectual property rights related to IFEC system were expected to solely belong to us or the third-party or third parties from whom we obtained the right of use. The Yahoo MOU had a term of two years and expired on January 19, 2018. Aircom is currently in discussions with Yahoo! Hong Kong to extend this MOU although there can be no assurances that it will be successful in these discussions.
LeTV MOU: On January 29, 2016, Aircom entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, which we refer to as the LeTV MOU, with LeTV Cloud Computing Co., Ltd, or LeTV, pursuant to which, the parties intended to collaboratively market and provide their respective products and services to commercial airlines in Asia. LeTV is a public company in China that provides internet related services including video streaming, software and content to its customers. According to the LeTV MOU, LeTV intended to use our IFEC to provide in-flight services to its customers. The parties also intended that all present and future intellectual property rights related to the AERKOMM®K++ IFEC system would solely belong to us or to the third-party or third parties from whom we obtained the right of use. The LeTV MOU had a term of two years and expired on January 29, 2018. Aircom is currently negotiating with LeTV to extend this MOU although there can be no assurances that it will be successful in these negotiations.
India MOU: On June 16, 2016, Aircom entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, which we refer to as the India MOU, with Nelco Limited, or NELCO, and NELCO’s wholly owned subsidiary, Tatanet Services Limited, or TNSL, pursuant to which, the parties intended to collaboratively market and provide their products and services to commercial airlines in India. NELCO and TNSL are both Indian companies that provide satellite communications services in India and its surrounding regions. Under the terms of the India MOU, the parties intended to jointly market our IFEC solutions and provide in-flight services to commercial airlines in India. The parties expected to apply respectively for regulatory approvals in India as may be required for the airworthiness certificate. In addition, the parties intended to collaborate on technical and business assessment to incorporate our IFEC solution with NELCO’s and TNSL’s services and contents. The India MOU had a term of two years and expired on June 15, 2018. It has not been extended.
Global Eagle LOI: On September 26, 2017, Aircom entered into a nonbinding letter of intent, which we refer to as the Global Eagle LOI, with Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., or Global Eagle, for the development, installation and operation of certain IFEC services on selected aircraft of one of Global Eagle’s network partners. Global Eagle and its affiliates are in the business of developing and manufacturing IFEC systems and solutions, including hardware, software, installation, networks services, content delivery and related services. According to the Global Eagle LOI, the parties intend to develop, install and operate an IFEC system to provide onboard Wi-Fi services and content delivery on aircraft of one of Global Eagle’s network partners. The parties plan to collaborate on technical and business assessments to best combine Global Eagle’s onboard equipment and ground management systems, Global Eagle’s entertainment portal and related billing and authentication services, and our IFEC system to provide IFEC services to this network partner. We are expected to fund the capital expenditure for this project, including initial nonrecurring engineering, equipment and satellite bandwidth costs while Global Eagle intends to fund the operational expenditures for this project including network and bandwidth costs. In addition, until December 31, 2017, we were restricted from directly or indirectly entering into or continuing discussions with any party operating in the business of providing products and services similar to the in-flight entertainment and/or connectivity products offered by Global Eagle, in each case for the benefit of Global Eagle’s network partner. This exclusivity restriction does not apply to negotiations and discussions with respect to the provision of services or products to any persons other than such network partner.
All of the above MOUs, and the Global Eagle LOI are nonbinding and as a result, they only express the desires and understandings between the parties and do not create any legally binding rights, obligations or contracts except for certain customary provisions such as exclusivity, costs and expenses, confidentiality and governing law. Any binding obligation to proceed with the transactions contemplated by the MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI would need to be included in a definitive agreement that is subject to negotiation by the parties, approvals by the board of directors of respective parties and in certain instances, approvals from regulatory authorities. There can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into such definitive agreements or receive the required governmental approvals, and there can be no assurances that any of the expired MOUs will be extended or renewed. If for whatever reason the transactions contemplated by the MOUs and the Global Eagle LOI do not proceed, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Product Development, Manufacturing, Installation and Maintenance
We plan to provide airline partners and corporate jet owners with the equipment necessary for in-flight connectivity, which will be to be installed by the Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) service provider selected by the airline. We will also provide training and technical support to each airline’s MRO for the installation of our equipment. Such support will also include technical, management, and operational support, with 24/7 network monitoring of the performance of each aircraft’s equipment.
On March 9, 2015, we entered into a 10-year purchase agreement with Klingon, pursuant to which we agreed to sell our in-flight connectivity systems to Klingon for joint development and resale to Hong Kong-based airlines under the brand name Aircom4U. In accordance with the terms of this agreement, Klingon agreed to purchase from us an initial order of onboard equipment comprising an onboard system for a purchase price of $909,000, with payments to be made in accordance with a specific milestones schedule. To date, we have received $762,000 from Klingon in milestone payments towards the equipment purchase price.
Klingon may, at its option, purchase additional onboard system packages in connection with the marketing of the Aircom4U IFEC solution. In furtherance of this arrangement, Klingon is a party to our agreement with Hong Kong Airlines. We expect Klingon to purchase additional onboard systems for resale to Hong Kong Airlines once our VSTC is approved by the HKCAD, although we can give no assurance as to when this will take place, if at all.
Because of the delay by our onboard system equipment supplier for the approval of the VSTC from the HKCAD, we have not been able to deliver to Klingon a ready for sale, certified onboard system equipment package. Instead, we have delivered to Klingon a development kit of the ordered equipment, which is the same as the finished product but for the lack of HKCAD certification. Although there is no specified deadline in the agreement with Klingon for delivering the certified onboard system, Klingon has the right to terminate its agreement upon 60 days’ prior notice, subject to a 60-day cure period, if we fail to timely deliver the certified product. If Klingon terminates its agreement, we may be responsible for refunding to Klingon the milestone payments that we have received. We will have to suspend or modify our agreement with Klingon if our current equipment supplier is not able to provide certifiable onboard system equipment package for the VSTC certification purpose.
We will rely on third-party suppliers for equipment components that we use to provide our services, including those discussed below.
We will purchase our ground station equipment from Blue Topaz Consultants, Ltd., or BTC, under an agreement that we have with BTC dated December 15, 2015. Under the terms of this agreement, BTC will develop and provide to us four (4) sets of ground station hub equipment, or the Hub Equipment, for our use and sale into our Asian markets. We and BTC will separately enter into service agreements for the installation and maintenance of the Hub Equipment systems. We have agreed to pay BTC $6,205,216 for the first Hub Equipment system and have already made milestone payments to BTC totaling $3,250,000. The purchase price for the first Hub Equipment system was increased to $6,234,260 on November 30, 2016 due to the increase in cost of a system required software license. We will be required to pay BTC the balance of $2,984,260 owed on the first Hub Equipment system following delivery and service commencement of this system.
The current mainstream video compression format is H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding. It is widely used in Blu-ray discs, online videos, web software, and HDTV broadcasts terrestrially and over cable and satellite.
H.265, also known as High Efficiency Video Coding, is a newly developed video compression standard designed to replace H.264. It is capable of delivering H.264 video quality at half the bit rate. H.265 has several significant advantages over H.264, including better compression, higher image quality, and lower bandwidth usage.
We incorporate hardware-based, real-time technology that transcodes content from multiple streaming or broadcast input forms. We convert the content into H.265-encoded Internet protocol, or IP, streams, which reduces the amount of bandwidth required while enhancing the quality of the content. By deploying real-time transcoding technology in its ground and airborne systems, we enable live TV and video streaming in an IP format that optimizes satellite bandwidth utilization and achieves cost-effective content delivery.
Satellite Link Acceleration
The most common transmission control protocols, or TCPs, used in the Internet have been designed for terrestrial wired networks. TCPs do not perform well in long-delay satellite environment and may cause bad user experiences in web surfing and Internet access.
Our satellite link acceleration technology improves TCP/IP-based data transmission over a satellite system through compression, deduplication, caching, latency optimization, packet aggregation, and cross-layer enhancement. This technology includes end-to-end software in airborne system and ground server for cost effective application accelerator and optimization of live TV and video streaming. This combination of technologies makes airborne Web access and contents access feel like fiber at home.
Our key competitors include Gogo Inc., which has the largest installed base in the IFEC market mainly via air-to-ground technology, and L-band connectivity services which provide a passenger-paid system of connectivity solutions and wireless in-flight entertainment services, and Panasonic Avionics Corp., which provides IFEC hardware and solutions via L-band and Ku-band technology. Other competitors include ViaSat, Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc., OnAir and Thales/LiveTV, all of which provide different technologies and strategies to provide in-flight connectivity and/or entertainment. Regardless of the delivery mechanisms used by us or our competitors, the IFEC industry is expected to continue to face, capacity constraints and unique technology challenges, which are expected to increase due to increased demand for in-flight Internet.
We believe that the following competitive strengths enable us to compete effectively in and capitalize on the growing IFEC market.
Creative business model. We believe that our business model sets us apart from our competitors. We combine cutting-edge connectivity technology with a creative content-driven approach. Traditionally, providers of in-flight connectivity have focused primarily on the profit margin derived from the sale of hardware to commercial airlines and of bandwidth to passengers. Both airlines and passengers have to “pay to play,” which results in low participation and usage rates. We break away from this model and set a new trend with our creative business model, which, we expect, will set us apart from our competitors. Commercial airline companies will recover their costs through participating in our revenue sharing model while passengers will not be required to pay for connectivity. Taken together, this novel approach creates an incentive for airlines to work with us and should act to drive up passenger usage rates.
Ku-band and GEO/LEO Hybrid Satellite Technology
Most in-flight connectivity systems currently in the market rely on the Ku-band satellite signals for communication. Many players in the market are working to provide higher bandwidth and faster transmitting rates using the Ka-band. Currently, there are few Ka-enables satellites and as a result, the coverage area in the Asia-Pacific region is limited. However, new GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbiting) and LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) Ka-band satellites are being regularly launched and this should provide worldwide Ka band coverage over the new few years.
Our Growth Strategy
We will strive to become a leading provider of IFEC solutions by pursuing the following growth strategies:
|●||Launch and Increase number of connected aircraft. As of the date of this report, we have not provided our services on any corporate jets or commercial aircraft. However, on March 6, 2019, we entered into our agreement (as discussed above) with MJet GMBH, whom we expect will be our partner for the first installation and commercial launch of our IFEC AERKOMM®K++ system by the end of 2019. Once we have the first successful implementation of our AERKOMM®K++ system, we will be in a much better position to commence the rollout, sale and installation of our IFEC systems and provide our connectivity services on a broader basis to other commercial airlines and corporate jet customers. We plan to leverage our unique ability to cost-effectively equip each commercial aircraft type in an airline’s fleet with our proprietary IFEC system, to increase the number of equipped aircraft, targeting full-fleet availability of our IFEC equipment and services for our current and future airline partners. We will continue to pursue this significant global growth opportunity by leveraging our broad and innovative technology platform and technical expertise. Further, we will offer attractive business models to our airline partners, giving them the flexibility to determine the connectivity solution that meets the unique demands of their businesses.|
|●||Increase passenger use of connectivity. We believe that Internet connectivity has become a necessary in-flight utility rather than a novelty because most passengers are trying to remain “connected” while travelling. This trend is manifestly evident from the increasing data usage on mobile phones. However, the traditional business model is structured to charge as much as possible for high-end in-flight connectivity services offered to a very small number of people. Such business logic has resulted in the in-flight connectivity option acquiring the reputation of being “pricey” and “only for business travelers whose employers will pay for it.” With a focus on catering to only a small number of people in a narrow market niche, our competitors are paying less attention to an innovative business model that can encourage a wider, broad-based usage of in-flight connectivity services. We believe that certain providers of existing in-flight connectivity services discourage in-flight usage since they believe such usage will increase their overhead expenses without generating additional profit. Due to such a business model and the small amounts of revenue generated from currently available connectivity services, airlines have considered in-flight connectivity as a “service” to passengers provided at their expense. Under this thinking, in-flight connectivity is a “cost center” from which airlines do not expect to generate profit. We believe that the value of a networking system grows exponentially with its usage and it is a waste of resources to build a networking system to be utilized only by a narrow niche market. Therefore, our business model encourages usage of our in-flight connectivity services on a much broader basis. In order to encourage such broader usage, we plan to offer our in-flight connectivity services to passengers in all travel classes for free, while we generate revenue from add-on services that will tie together passengers’ connectivity and usage. Thus, with our business model, we plan to create connectivity friendly aircraft cabins to provide free on-board internet connectivity for the passengers, and to generate revenue through the sale of advertising commercials, banner advertising, in-app purchases, in-game purchases and other related in-flight transactions.|
|●||Expand satellite network coverage. We will continue to expand our global satellite network coverage through the purchase of additional Ku-band and Ka-band capacity, and seek to install aircraft with our satellite solutions, while continuing to invest in research and development of satellite antenna and modem technologies. We are actively working with satellite providers in order to accommodate airlines’ global routes and growing fleets. We are monitoring the satellite industry for growth in coverage, with recent attention on China Satcom’s plan to launch high-capacity Ka-band and Ka HTS multispot-beam satellites over the Asia-Pacific region.|
|●||Expand satellite-based services to other markets. We anticipate expanding our satellite-based connectivity services to remote area hotels and resorts, maritime and cruise lines, high-speed railways, 4G/5G backhauling, and converged triple-play services in remote communities, with the potential to expand internationally into these new markets. Future business prospects will be evaluated on a case by case basis by weighing the projected revenue from advertising fees and e-commerce revenue shares against the operating and capital expenditures of satellite coverage, bandwidth and operations. Our existing business model could be applied to high-speed railways and cruise lines, both of which have a sufficient passenger base for the service to be viable. High-speed railways in China sit under existing, available Ka satellite coverage areas that are not served by 4G/LTE mobile networks, providing a unique opportunity for the delivery of connectivity services. High-speed railways in other regions of Asia present similar opportunities. Remote communities in Asia lack a telecom infrastructure, partly due to geographical limitations, for example, vast spread of the islands of the Philippines and Indonesia. Satellite-based communications and mesh network technology make triple play services possible, for the delivery of live TV broadcasting, videos, and telecom services to these regions.|
As of the date of this prospectus, we had a total of 19 employees, 15 of whom are full-time employees. The following table sets forth the number of our full-time employees by function.
|Number of Employees|
|Sales and Marketing||4|
|Research and Development||8|
|General and Administrative||3|
None of our employees belongs to a union or is a party to any collective bargaining or similar agreement. We consider our relationships with our employees to be good.
As a participant in the global airline and global telecommunication industries we are subject to a variety of government regulatory obligations
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA prescribes standards and certification requirements for the manufacturing of aircraft and aircraft components, and certifies and rates repair stations to perform aircraft maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations, including the installation and maintenance of aircraft components. Each type of aircraft operated in the United States under an FAA-issued standard airworthiness certificate must possess an FAA Type Certificate, which constitutes approval of the design of the aircraft type based on applicable airworthiness standards. When a party other than the holder of the Type Certificate develops a major modification to an aircraft already type-certificated, that party must obtain an FAA-issued STC approving the design of the modified aircraft type. We will regularly obtain an STC for each aircraft type operated by each airline partner on whose aircraft our equipment will be installed and separate STCs typically are required for different configurations of the same aircraft type, such as when they are configured differently for different airlines.
After obtaining an STC, a manufacturer desiring to manufacture components to be used in the modification covered by the STC must apply to the FAA for a PMA, which permits the holder to manufacture and sell components manufactured in conformity with the PMA and its approved design and data package. In general, each initial PMA is an approval of a manufacturing or modification facility’s production quality control system. PMA supplements are obtained to authorize the manufacture of a particular part in accordance with the requirements of the pertinent PMA, including its production quality control system. We routinely apply for and receive such PMAs and supplements.
Our business depends on our continuing access to, or use of, these FAA certifications, authorizations and other approvals, and our employment of, or access to, FAA-certified individual engineering and other professionals.
In accordance with these certifications, authorizations and other approvals, the FAA requires that we maintain, review and document our quality assurance processes. The FAA may also visit our facilities at any time as part of our agreement for certification as a manufacturing facility and repair station to ensure that our facilities, procedures, and quality control systems meet FAA approvals we hold. In addition, we are responsible for informing the FAA of significant changes to our organization and operations, product failures or defects, and any changes to our operational facilities or FAA-approved quality control systems. Other FAA requirements include training procedures and drug and alcohol screening for safety-sensitive employees working at our facilities.
Foreign Aviation Regulation
According to international aviation convention, the airworthiness of FAA-certified equipment installed on U.S.-registered aircraft is recognized by civil aviation authorities, or CAAs, worldwide. As a result, we do not expect to require further airworthiness certification formalities in countries outside of the United States for U.S.-registered aircraft that already have an STC issued by the FAA covering our equipment. For aircraft registered with a CAA other than the United States, the installation of our equipment requires airworthiness certification from an airworthiness certification body. Typically, the CAA of the country in which the aircraft is registered is responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of any aircraft modifications under its authority.
The FAA holds bilateral agreements with a number of certification authorities around the globe. Bilateral agreements facilitate the reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products that are imported/exported between two signatory countries. A Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement, or BAA, or Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, or BASA, with Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness provides for airworthiness technical cooperation between the FAA and its counterpart civil aviation authorities. Under a BAA or BASA, the CAA of the aircraft’s country of registration generally validates STCs issued by the FAA and then issues a VSTC. For countries with which the FAA does not have a BAA or BASA, we must apply for certification approval with the CAA of the country in which the aircraft is registered. In order to obtain the necessary certification approval, we will be required to comply with the airworthiness regulations of the country in which the aircraft is registered. Failure to address all foreign airworthiness and aviation regulatory requirements at the commencement of each airline partner’s service in any country in which they register aircraft when there are no applicable bilateral agreements may lead to significant additional costs related to certification and could impact the timing of our ability to provide our service on our airline partners’ fleet.
Federal Communications Commission
Under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or the Communications Act, the FCC licenses the spectrum that we use and regulates the construction, operation, acquisition and sale of our wireless operations. The Communications Act and FCC rules also require the FCC’s prior approval of the assignment or transfer of control of an FCC license, or the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of more than 25% of the equity or voting control of our company by non-U.S. individuals or entities.
Our various services are regulated differently by the FCC. Our business may provide some of its voice and data services by reselling the telecommunications services of satellite operators. Because we may provide these services on a common carrier basis, we may subject to the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act, which require, among other things, that the charges and practices of common carriers be just, reasonable and non-discriminatory.
We provide broadband Internet access to commercial airlines and passengers. We plan to offer this service in the Asia-Pacific region and continental United States through our partner’s facilities, using satellite based data delivery.
The FCC has classified mobile (and fixed) broadband Internet access services as Title II telecommunications services pursuant to the FCC Open Internet Order of 2010. The Open Internet Order also adopted broad new net neutrality rules. For example, broadband providers may not block access to lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices. Broadband providers also may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services or non-harmful devices. In addition, broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind, and they may not prioritize the content and services of their affiliates. Other than for paid prioritization, the rules contain an exception for “reasonable network management.” The Open Internet Order recognizes that whether a network management practice is reasonable varies according to the broadband technology involved, and provides more flexibility to implement network management practices in the context of our capacity-constrained satellite broadband networks.
In addition, most of our services are subject to various rules that seek to ensure that the services are accessible by persons with disabilities, including requirements related to the pass-through of closed captioning for certain IP-delivered video content.
We may not lease, sell, market or distribute any radio transmission equipment used in the provision of our services unless such equipment is certified by the FCC as compliant with the FCC’s technical rules. All certifications required for equipment currently used in the provision of our services have been obtained by our equipment vendors and/or partners.
Privacy and Data Security-Related Regulations
As noted above, the Open Internet Order reclassified mobile (and fixed) broadband Internet access services as Title II telecommunications services. Certain statutory provisions of Title II now apply to broadband Internet access services, including provisions that impose consumer privacy protections such as CPNI requirements.
Our services are also subject to CPNI rules that require carriers to comply with a range of marketing and privacy safeguards. These obligations focus on carriers’ access, use, storage and disclosure of CPNI. We believe we are in compliance with these rules and obligations, and we certify annually, as required, that we have established operating procedures adequate to ensure our compliance.
We are also subject to other federal and state consumer privacy and data security requirements. For example, Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” Although the FTC’s authority to regulate the non-common carrier services offered by communications common carriers has not been clearly delineated, FTC officials have publicly stated that they view the FTC as having jurisdiction over Internet service providers’ non-common carrier services. Some of our services are subject to the FTC’s jurisdiction. The FTC has brought enforcement actions under the FTC Act against companies that, inter alia: (1) collect, use, share, or retain personal information in a way that is inconsistent with the representations, commitments, and promises that they make in their privacy policies and other public statements; (2) have privacy policies that do not adequately inform consumers about the company’s actual practices; and (3) fail to reasonably protect the security, privacy and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information.
While we intend to implement reasonable administrative, physical and electronic security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of personally identifiable information, cyber-attacks on companies have increased in frequency and potential impact in recent years and may be successful despite reasonable precautions and result in substantial potential liabilities.
Truth in Billing and Consumer Protection
The FCC’s Truth in Billing rules generally require full and fair disclosure of all charges on customer bills for telecommunications services, except for broadband Internet access services. Thus, these rules apply to our satellite-based services. This disclosure must include brief, clear and non-misleading plain language descriptions of the services provided. States also have the right to regulate wireless carriers’ billing; however, we are not currently aware of any states that impose billing requirements on our services.
The FCC has determined that facilities-based broadband Internet access providers are subject to the CALEA, which requires covered service providers to build certain law enforcement surveillance assistance capabilities into their communications networks and to maintain CALEA-related system security policies and procedures.
Foreign Government Approvals
In connection with our satellite service, we have implemented a process for obtaining any required authority needed to provide our service over the airspace of foreign countries, or verifying that no additional authorization is needed. Each country over which our equipped aircraft flies has the right to limit, regulate (e.g., through a licensing regime) or prohibit the offering of our service. We may not be able to obtain the necessary authority for every country over which a partner airline flies. For some countries, we have not been and do not expect to be able to obtain a definitive answer regarding their potential regulation of our service, and we may incur some regulatory risk by operating over the airspace of these countries. Failure to comply with foreign regulatory requirements could result in penalties being imposed on us and/or on our airline partners or allow our airline partners affected by such requirements to terminate their contract with us prior to expiration. Moreover, even countries that have previously provided clearance for our service have the right to change their regulations at any time.
Aircom currently leases approximately 4,958 square feet of space at the Fremont, CA address, comprised of administrative offices, from Global Venture Development, LLC, which lease expires on May 31, 2017. On May 31, 2017, the lease was renewed for another three years, expires May 31, 2020. We pay a monthly base rent of $6,446.
Aircom Japan leases approximately 78 square meters of space at our Japan office. The lease expires on July 20, 2018 and the monthly lease payment is approximately $2,892. Aircom Japan also leases additional space from Daniel Shih, our co-founder, at a cost of $1,215 per month.
Aircom HK leases approximately 2,300 square feet of space at our Hong Kong office. The lease expires on June 27, 2020 and the monthly lease payment is $3,833.
We believe that our properties have been adequately maintained, are generally in good condition, and are suitable and adequate for our business.
From time to time, we may become involved in various lawsuits and legal proceedings which arise in the ordinary course of business. However, litigation is subject to inherent uncertainties, and an adverse result in these or other matters may arise from time to time that may harm our business. We are currently not aware of any such legal proceedings or claims that we believe will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operating results.
On or about July 27, 2016, AsiaSat initiated an arbitration proceeding in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre against Aircom, claiming a breach under the Digital Transmission Service Agreement dated July 25, 2015 between AsiaSat and Aircom. AsiaSat claims that Aircom owes it approximately $8.1 million in unpaid service fees, default payments and liquidated damages. Aircom disagrees with the payable balance and believes that it owes AsiaSat approximately $1.3 million in services fees. Aircom has paid AsiaSat $875,000 as a security deposit. Aircom further alleges misrepresentation from AsiaSat in entering into the agreement and is actively defending the matter. On November 21, 2016, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre appointed a sole arbitrator to hear the dispute. On January 12, 2017, Aircom asserted a counterclaim against AsiaSat for misrepresentations made to induce entry into the agreement. Aircom and AsiaSat reached a settlement with respect to the Agreement as of July 25, 2017, with an effective date of July 20, 2017.
Directors and Executive Officers
The following table sets forth the name, age and position of each of our directors and executive officers as of the date of this prospectus.
|Jeffrey Wun||54||Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President|
|Y. Tristan Kuo||64||Chief Financial Officer|
|James J. Busuttil||60||Director|
|Chih-Ming (Albert) Hsu||44||Director|
Jeffrey Wun. Mr. Wun has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since December 31, 2017. Mr. Wun has been a member of our board of directors since the closing of the reverse acquisition of Aircom on February 13, 2017 and was appointed as Chairman of the board of directors on January 22, 2018. Mr. Wun previously served as our President, Treasurer and Secretary from December 2016 to February 2017. Mr. Wun has served as Aircom’s Chief Technology Officer since December 2014. Mr. Wun is a technologist with more than 25 years of experience in the communications industry. Prior to joining Aircom Mr. Wun served as Senior Staff Engineer at Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. from December 2012 to May 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Wun was a profession engineer at MediaTEK USA Inc. from November 2010 to December 2012 and served as Chief Executive Officer at Kairos System Inc. from 2003 to 2010. Mr. Wun received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1988.
Y. Tristan Kuo. Mr. Kuo has served as our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since April 10, 2017. Mr. Kuo has served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aircom since May 2017. Mr. Kuo has more than 30 years of experience in accounting, financing and information systems for companies in the bio-pharmaceutical, manufacturing, commodity trading and banking industries and has served in the capacities of CFO, CIO and Controller. Mr. Kuo has served as the Vice President of Investor Relations of Nutrastar International, Inc. (OTCPK: NUIN) since April 2016. Mr. Kuo also served as the Chief Financial Officer of Success Holding Group International, Inc., a provider of personal improvement seminars, from August 2015 to April 2017. Prior to that, he served as CFO/CIO Partner of Tatum, a management and advisory services firm, from December 2014 to August 2015, as an independent board member and audit committee chairman of KBS Fashion Group Limited (NASDAQ: KBSF) from August 2014 to May 2015, and as the Chief Financial Officer of Crown Bioscience, Inc. from June 2012 to November 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Kuo served as Chief Financial Officer of China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO), a Chinese biopharmaceutical company, from June 2008 to May 2012 and served as its Vice President of Finance between September 2007 and May 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Kuo worked for the Noble Group in Hong Kong as the Senior Business Analysis Manager from February through August 2007 and as the Controller, Vice President of Finance and CFO of Cuisine Solution, Inc., a previously publicly traded company in Alexandria, Virginia, from December 2002 to January 2007. Mr. Kuo also served as the Vice President of Information Systems for Zinc Corporation of America in Monaca, Pennsylvania from 2001 and 2002 and as Chief Information Officer and Controller of Wise Metals Group in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1991 to 2001. Mr. Kuo received his Master’s degree in Accounting from The Ohio State University and Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Soochow University, Taipei.
James J. Busuttil. Dr. James Busuttil has served as a member of our Board since December 2017. Dr. Busuttil is an attorney admitted to practice before the courts of New York State since 1983, as well as numerous U.S. Federal Trial and Appeals Courts, practicing international, financial and corporate law. Dr. Busuttil was elected as a Life Fellow of the U.K.-based Institute of Directors (IoD). Members are invited to become Fellows of the IoD based on their substantial and sustained experience and contribution to business. Fellows are required to have been a company director for at least five years and, at some point during this period, the entity must have had an annual turnover or budget that exceeds £10 million. Dr. Busuttil has represented banks and financial institutions based in the United States and other countries in private sector financing of domestic and international projects, negotiated alternative energy project financings, handled transnational mergers and joint ventures, represented equity investors in venture capital transactions and organized investment funds. In addition, Dr. Busuttil represented the Bank Advisory Group for a major Latin American debtor nation in sovereign debt restructuring and handled a variety of private sector Latin American debt restructures. Dr. Busuttil has been a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) since 2007. The PCA is the oldest international tribunal in the world established by the 1907 Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. Membership of the PCA is strictly by nomination of contracting states of individuals of known competency in questions of international law, of the highest moral reputation, and disposed to accept the duties of Arbitrator. With respect to arbitration, Dr. Busuttil has been involved mainly in investment disputes. Dr. Busuttil created the University of London’s Postgraduate Laws Program. Dr. Busuttil directed the University of London’s Master of Laws (LL.M), Postgraduate Diploma in Laws (PG Dip. Laws) and the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PG Cert. Laws) from January 2004 to January 2015. Under Dr. Busuttil’s leadership, the Program grew to over 3,000 persons from more than 150 countries. Dr. Busuttil was appointed as an Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Law of University College London (UCL) in 2004. Dr. Busuttil has been a member of the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, of the Council on Foreign Relations, and of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. In the course of work, Dr. Busuttil has developed experience and understanding in dealing with parties and organizations, including the private and public sectors, in South East Asia, East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, North Africa and Australasia.
Raymond Choy. Mr. Raymond Choy has served as a member of our Board since December 2017. Mr. Choy has served as a member of from the Board of Aircom since October 2017. Mr. Choy became a certified public accountant (CPA) in the state of California in 2006 and also received his chartered global management accountant (CGMA) designation in 2013. Mr. Choy has provided accounting, consulting and advisory services to public and private companies since July 2016 through his partnership with Beyond Century Consulting, LLC, a financial and business consulting company. Mr. Choy has extensive experience auditing the financial statements and internal controls of public and private companies as a senior manager at Frazer, LLP, a certified public accountants company, from July 2004 to June 2016. Mr. Choy received his bachelor’s degree with in business administration with accounting concentration and minor in computer information systems from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 2003. Mr. Choy was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his accounting background.
Chih-Ming (Albert) Hsu. Mr. Chih-Ming (Albert) Hsu has served as a member of our Board since December 2017. Mr. Hsu has served as a member of Aircom’s board since April 2017. Mr. Hsu was admitted to practice law in Taiwan as a corporate and business lawyer and as a patent attorney in 2002. Mr. Hsu is the owner of Chascord Law Firm. Mr. Hsu previously served as the arbitrator & mediator of the Chinese Arbitration Association, Taipei. In addition, Mr. Hsu was the Chairman of Unitel High Technology Corporation, a listed company on the Taiwan over-the-counter market from December 2015 to September 2016. Mr. Hsu received an LL.M. and Bachelor of Law degree from National Taiwan University in 2003 and 1997, respectively. Mr. Hsu is an expert of real estate securitization in Taiwan.
Richmond Akumiah. Mr. Akumiah has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2018. Mr. Akumiah is an engineering and financial management professional with years of experience in decision support, budgeting, forecasting, credit analysis, cost accounting, mergers and acquisitions, quantitative analysis, financial and operational analysis, strategic planning and corporate development. Since September 2018, he has been employed as a Senior Advisor, Investments and Operations by the State of New Jersey, Division of Investment. From 2014 to 2018, Mr. Akumiah was a research consultant for WorldQuant LLC, A Greenwich, Connecticut based investment management firm. Prior to that, from 2007 to 2014, he was employed as a consultant for Wolters Kluwer. Prior to Walters Kluwer, Mr. Akumiah was employed in a number of positions in various financial management capacities, including at AT&T where he served as Director of Finance in the Business Case Center of Excellence managing AT&T’s investments in IP and Managed Services and ten years with Dun & Bradstreet where he held finance positions including Finance Director, Regional Director of Finance for the New York Region, and Director of Global Customers. Mr. Akumiah has also served as Chief Financial Officer of Hands On Network (Points of Light). Mr. Akumiah is an associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Akumiah obtained a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from New York University, in 1982, and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Harvard University, in 1980. Mr. Akumiah was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his engineering and finance background.
Colin Lim. Mr. Colin Lim has served as a member of our board of directors since the closing of the reverse acquisition of Aircom on February 13, 2017 and served as a member of Aircom’s board from July 2015 to February 2017. In 2013, Mr. Lim founded Dynasty Media & Entertainment Group, a movie production and distribution company and an investment company with interests in a variety of businesses, including restaurants, wood and timber traders, exotic leather manufacturers, movie producers, copyrights transaction companies, and entertainment businesses, as well as hi-tech companies, and is the Managing Director who oversees financing, investment, copyrights. Mr. Lim has served as Executive Chairman of Sunny Leather from June 2006 and is responsible for general management. Mr. Lim has served as Executive Chairman of Anson International since March 2003 where he oversees investments. Mr. Lim has served as Managing Director of Euroamerica International since December 1999 where he oversees management and trading operations of the company. Mr. Lim’s investment experience in the movie and copyright businesses has allowed us to better negotiate and acquire sufficient movie copyrights and entertainment content to complement our business model. Mr. Lim graduated from New South Wales University in Australia, where he received his degree in engineering and business.
Jan-Yung Lin. Mr. Jan-Yung Lin has served as a member of our board of directors since the closing of the reverse acquisition of Aircom on February 13, 2017. Mr. Lin served as Aircom’s President from June 2017 to February 2019, as Aircom’s Chief Executive Officer from February 2015 to October 2016, as Aircom’s Chief Operating Officer from September 2014 to February 2015, and as a director of Aircom since September 2014. Mr. Lin has practiced corporate and business law at Concorde Law PC as a solo practitioner since 2012. Prior to that Mr. Lin was the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer of EMG Properties, Inc. in California. Prior to that Mr. Lin was a corporate associate of Goodwin Proctor LLP. Mr. Lin graduated magna cum laude from Cornell Law School with a J.D. degree and an LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law. Mr. Lin received an M.B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University. Mr. Lin was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his legal background.
Directors and executive officers are elected until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
There are no arrangements or understandings known to us pursuant to which any director was or is to be selected as a director (or director nominee) or executive officer.
There are no family relationships among any of our officers or directors.
Involvement in Certain Legal Proceedings
To the best of our knowledge, none of our directors or executive officers has, during the past ten years:
|●||been convicted in a criminal proceeding or been subject to a pending criminal proceeding (excluding traffic violations and other minor offences);|
|●||had any bankruptcy petition filed by or against the business or property of the person, or of any partnership, corporation or business association of which he was a general partner or executive officer, either at the time of the bankruptcy filing or within two years prior to that time;|
|●||been subject to any order, judgment, or decree, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any court of competent jurisdiction or federal or state authority, permanently or temporarily enjoining, barring, suspending or otherwise limiting, his involvement in any type of business, securities, futures, commodities, investment, banking, savings and loan, or insurance activities, or to be associated with persons engaged in any such activity;|
|●||been found by a court of competent jurisdiction in a civil action or by the SEC or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to have violated a federal or state securities or commodities law, and the judgment has not been reversed, suspended, or vacated;|
|●||been the subject of, or a party to, any federal or state judicial or administrative order, judgment, decree, or finding, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated (not including any settlement of a civil proceeding among private litigants), relating to an alleged violation of any federal or state securities or commodities law or regulation, any law or regulation respecting financial institutions or insurance companies including, but not limited to, a temporary or permanent injunction, order of disgorgement or restitution, civil money penalty or temporary or permanent cease-and-desist order, or removal or prohibition order, or any law or regulation prohibiting mail or wire fraud or fraud in connection with any business entity; or|
|●||been the subject of, or a party to, any sanction or order, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any self-regulatory organization (as defined in Section 3(a)(26) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(26))), any registered entity (as defined in Section 1(a)(29) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1(a)(29))), or any equivalent exchange, association, entity or organization that has disciplinary authority over its members or persons associated with a member.|
Board Composition and Committees
Our board of directors is comprised of seven members: Jeffrey Wun, James J. Busuttil, Raymond Choy, Chih-Ming (Albert) Hsu, Richmond Akumiah, Colin Lim and Jan-Yung Lin. Our board of directors has determined that Messrs. Busuttil, Choy, Akumiah and Lim are independent directors as that term is defined in the rules of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Messrs. Choy, Lim and Busuttil are each members of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee and Messrs. Akumiah, Busuttil and Choy are each member of the Regulatory, Compliance & Government Affairs Committee. Mr. Akumiah is also a member of the Audit Committee.
Our board of directors currently has four standing committees which perform various duties on behalf of and report to the board of directors: (i) Audit Committee, (ii) Compensation Committee, (iii) Nominating and Governance Committee and (iv) Regulatory, Compliance & Government Affairs Committee. Each of the four standing committees is comprised entirely of independent directors. From time to time, the board of directors may establish other committees.
Board Role in Risk Oversight
Our board of directors plays an active role, as a whole and also at the committee level, in overseeing management of our risks and strategic direction. Our board of directors regularly reviews information regarding our liquidity and operations, as well as the risks associated with each. Our Audit Committee oversees the process by which our senior management and relevant employees assess and manage our exposure to, and management of, financial risks. Our Compensation Committee is responsible for overseeing the management of risks relating to our executive compensation plans and arrangements. Our Nominating and Governance Committee also manages risks associated with the independence of members of our board of directors and potential conflicts of interest. Our Regulatory, Compliance & Government Affairs Committee oversees regulatory, compliance and governmental matters that may impact the Company. While each committee is responsible for evaluating certain risks and overseeing the management of such risks, the entire board of directors is regularly informed about such risks.
Our Audit Committee currently consists of Messrs. Busuttil, Choy, Akumiah and Lim, with Mr. Choy serving as chairman. Our board of directors has determined that Mr. Choy is an audit committee financial expert, as defined in Item 407(d)(5) of Regulation S-K, and each member of our Audit Committee is able to read and understand fundamental financial statements and has substantial business experience that results in such member’s financial sophistication.
Accordingly, our board of directors believes that each member of our Audit Committee has sufficient knowledge and experience necessary to fulfill such member’s duties and obligations on our Audit Committee. The primary purposes of our Audit Committee are to assist our board of directors in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee the accounting and financial reporting processes of our company and audits of our financial statements, including (i) reviewing the scope of the audit and all non-audit services to be performed by our independent accountant and the fees incurred by us in connection therewith, (ii) reviewing the results of such audit, including the independent accountant’s opinion and letter of comment to management and management’s response thereto, (iii) reviewing with our independent accountants our internal accounting principles, policies and practices and financial reporting, (iv) engaging our independent accountants and (v) reviewing our quarterly and annual financial statements prior to public issuance. The role and responsibilities of our Audit Committee are more fully set forth in a written Charter adopted by our board of directors on June 6, 2017, which is available on our website at www.aerkomm.com.
Our board of directors established our Compensation Committee effective as of January 22, 2018, appointing Messrs. Busuttil, Choy and Lim as members, with Mr. Lim serving as chairman of this committee. The Compensation Committee is structured as follows: The primary purpose of our Compensation Committee is to assist our board of directors in fulfilling its responsibility to determine the compensation of our executive officers and to approve and evaluate the compensation policies and programs of our company, including (i) reviewing the compensation packages of executive officers and making recommendations to our board of directors for said compensation packages, (ii) reviewing and approving proposed stock incentive grants and (iii) providing our board of directors with recommendations regarding bonus plans, if any. The role and responsibilities of our Compensation Committee are more fully set forth in a written Charter adopted by our board of directors and made available on our website at www.aerkomm.com.
The policies underlying our Compensation Committee’s compensation decisions are designed to attract and retain the best-qualified management personnel available. We routinely compensate our executive officers through salaries. At our discretion, we may reward executive officers and employees through bonus programs based on profitability and other objectively measurable performance factors. Additionally, we use stock options and other incentive awards to compensate our executives and other key employees to align the interests of our executive officers with the interests of our stockholders. In establishing executive compensation, our Compensation Committee will evaluate compensation paid to similar officers employed at other companies of similar size in the same industry and the individual performance of each officer as it impacts our overall performance with particular focus on an individual’s contribution to the realization of operating profits and the achievement of strategic business goals. Our Compensation Committee will further attempt to rationalize a particular executive’s compensation with that of other executive officers of our company in an effort to distribute compensation fairly among the executive officers. Although the components of executive compensation (salary, bonus and incentive grants) will be reviewed separately, compensation decisions will be made based on a review of total compensation.
Nominating and Governance Committee
Our board of directors established our Nominating and Governance Committee effective January 22, 2018, appointing Messrs. Busuttil, Choy and Lim as members, with Mr. Busuttil serving as chairman of this committee. The Nominating and Governance Committee is structured as follows: The primary purposes of our Nominating and Governance Committee are to (i) identify individuals qualified to become members of our board of directors and recommend to our board of directors the nominees for the next annual meeting of our stockholders and candidates to fill vacancies on our board of directors, (ii) recommend to our board of directors the directors to be appointed to committees of our board of directors and (iii) oversee the effectiveness of our corporate governance in accordance with regulatory guidelines and any other guidelines we establish, including evaluations of members of executive management, our board of directors and its committees. The role and responsibilities of our Nominating and Governance Committee are more fully set forth in a written Charter adopted by our board of directors and made available on our website at www.aerkomm.com.
Our Nominating and Governance Committee’s methods for identifying candidates for election to our board of directors (other than those proposed by our stockholders, as discussed below) includes the solicitation of ideas for possible candidates from a number of sources - members of our board of directors, our executives, individuals personally known to the members of our board of directors, and other research. Our Nominating and Governance Committee may also, from time-to-time, retain one or more third-party search firms to identify suitable candidates.
A stockholder of our company may nominate one or more persons for election as a director at an annual meeting of stockholders if the stockholder complies with the notice, information and consent provisions contained in our Bylaws. In addition, the notice must be made in writing and set forth as to each proposed nominee who is not an incumbent Director (i) their name, age, business address and, if known, residence address, (ii) their principal occupation or employment, (iii) the number of shares of stock of our company beneficially owned, (iv) a description of all arrangements or understandings between the stockholder and each nominee and any other person pursuant to which the nominations are to be made and (v) any other information concerning the nominee that must be disclosed respecting nominees in proxy solicitations pursuant to Rule 14(a) of the Exchange Act. The recommendation should be addressed to our Secretary.
Among other matters, our governance and nominating committee will:
|●||Review the desired experience, mix of skills and other qualities to assure appropriate board composition, taking into account the current members of our board of directors and the specific needs of our company and our board of directors;|
|●||Conduct candidate searches, interviews prospective candidates and conducts programs to introduce candidates to our management and operations, and confirms the appropriate level of interest of such candidates;|
|●||Recommend qualified candidates who bring the background, knowledge, experience, independence, skill sets and expertise that would strengthen and increase the diversity of our board of directors; and|
|●||Conduct appropriate inquiries into the background and qualifications of potential nominees.|
Regulatory, Compliance & Government Affairs Committee
Our regulatory, compliance & government affairs committee currently consists of Messrs. Busuttil, Choy and Akumiah, with Mr. Akumiah serving as chairman. The primary purposes of our regulatory, compliance & government affairs committee are to assist our board of directors by providing oversight of regulatory, compliance and governmental matters that may impact the Company, which including (i) overseeing our major compliance programs with respect to legal and regulatory requirements, except with respect to matters of financial compliance, (ii) overseeing compliance with any ongoing Corporate Integrity Agreements or similar undertakings by us with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or any other government agency, (iii) reviewing with our Chief Compliance Officer the organization, implementation and effectiveness of our compliance programs and the adequacy of the resources for those programs, (iv) reviewing with our Chief Executive Officer the organization, implementation and effectiveness of our quality and compliance programs and the adequacy of the resources for those programs and (v) overseeing our exposure to risks relating to regulatory compliance matters. The role and responsibilities of our regulatory, compliance & government affairs committee are more fully set forth in a written charter adopted by our board of directors on September 25, 2018, which is available on our website at www.aerkomm.com.
Stockholder Communications with the Board of Directors
Our board of directors has established a process for stockholders to communicate with the board of directors or with individual directors. Stockholders who wish to communicate with our board of directors or with individual directors should direct written correspondence to our Corporate Secretary at Aerkomm Inc., 923 Incline Way #39, Incline Village, NV 89451.
The Corporate Secretary will forward such communications to our board of directors or the specified individual director to whom the communication is directed unless such communication is unduly hostile, threatening, illegal or similarly inappropriate, in which case the Corporate Secretary has the authority to discard the communication or to take appropriate legal action regarding such communication.
Code of Ethics
We have adopted a code of ethics that applies to all of our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer. We have also adopted a code of professional conduct that applies specifically to our chief executive officer and our senior financial officers. These codes address, among other things, honesty and ethical conduct, conflicts of interest, compliance with laws, regulations and policies, including disclosure requirements under the federal securities laws, and reporting of violations of the codes.
We are required to disclose any amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of our code of ethics applicable to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, or persons performing similar functions. We intend to use our website as a method of disseminating this disclosure, as permitted by applicable SEC rules. Any such disclosure will be posted to our website within four business days following the date of any such amendment to, or waiver from, a provision of our code of ethics.
Summary Compensation Table - Nine Months Ended December 31, 2018 and Fiscal Years Ended December 31, 2018 and 2017
The following table sets forth information concerning all cash and non-cash compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to the named persons for services rendered in all capacities during the noted periods. No other executive officers received total annual salary and bonus compensation in excess of $100,000.
|Name and Principal Position||Year|
All Other Compensation
Jeffrey Wun, CEO and President (2)(3)
|Nine months 2018||120,000||-||-||120,000|
Y. Tristan Kuo, CFO (4)
|Nine months 2018||138,750||-||-||138,750|
Louis Giordimaina, Chief Operating Officer - Aviation (5)
|Nine months 2018||270,681||173,494||-||444,175|
Jiun-Sheuan Yang, Vice President of Engineering of Aircom (2)(6)
|Nine months 2018||25,500||-||-||25,500|
|Peter Chiou, Former CEO and President (2)(7)||Nine months 2018||-||-||-||-|
|(1)||These amounts shown represent the aggregate grant date fair value for options granted to the named executive officers computed in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718.|
|(2)||On February 13, 2017, we acquired Aircom in a reverse acquisition transaction that was structured as a share exchange. The annual, long term and other compensation shown in this table include the amounts that the named executive officer received from Aircom prior to the consummation of the reverse acquisition.|
|(3)||Mr. Wun has served as our Chief Executive Officer and President since December 31, 2017, upon the resignation of Mr. Chiou from these positions, and previously served as our President from December 28, 2016 until February 13, 2017. He also currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Aircom.|
|(4)||Mr. Kuo has served as our Chief Financial Officer since April 10, 2017.|
|(5)||Mr. Giordimaina was converted from a consultant to a full-time employee on May 25, 2018 and was appointed as Chief Operating Officer – Aviation.|
|(6)||Mr. Jiun-Sheuan Yang has served as Aircom’s Vice President of Engineering from December 2014 to May 2018.|
|(7)||Mr. Chiou was replaced from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer effective December 30, 2017. T|