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Independent Reviews for Venture Investors

NUR.CN - Momentum.


NuRAN Wireless Inc. (NUR.CN) is a supplier of mobile and broadband wireless infrastructure solutions. Its innovative radio access network (RAN), core network, and backhaul products dramatically drop the total cost of ownership, thereby creating new opportunities for established, as well as emerging mobile network operator.


Coverage was initiated January 2020 with notes on August 2020, September 2020 and May 2021.


New Releases


May 18 - Receive DTC Eligibility: made eligible for electronic clearing and settlement. The shares of the

Company, trading under the symbol ""NRRWF"" in the United States, are now eligible to be electronically cleared

and settled through the DTC and is therefore considered ""DTC eligible"".


June 29 - Non-Brokered Private Placement for up to 11M and Lead order from SPACECOM as a Strategic Partner: Non-brokered private placement of up to 7,189,542 units at $1.53 for gross proceeds of up to $11,000,000 (Warrant at $2.40).


In connection with the Offering, the Company received a lead order to subscribe for $4,000,000 worth of securities from Space-Communication Ltd. (TASE: SCC) ("Spacecom"), an international satellite communication provider.


Following closing of the Offering, Spacecom is expected to hold an approximately 9.3% equity stake in the Company on an undiluted basis, assuming total gross proceedsof $11,000,000.


The proceeds from the Offering are expected to be used by the Company for expenses associated with the buildout of sites under its NAAS contracts with Orange SA, product development and general working capital purposes.


July 12 - Closing of non-brokered placement for 11M and lead order from Spacecom as a strategic partner: Issued 4,617,930 units for gross proceeds of $7,065,433 and received alead order to subscribe for 2,614,379 Common Shares and 182,000 Warrants for gross proceeds of approximately $4,000,000 from Space-Communication Ltd. (TASE: SCC) ("Spacecom"), an international satellite communication provider.


July 15 - Signed a MOU with Telinno in Mali and with Sierra Tel in Sierra Leone:


Telinno MOU, Mali: the parties intend to install a minimum of 150 rural networking sites within the next 18 months.


Sierra Tel MOU, Sierra Leone: the parties intend to deploy a minimum of 125 rural networking sites, in Sierra Leone, within the next 18 months subject to entry into a definitive agreement on or before August 15, 2021


July 20 - Signs MOU with MTN in the Republic of South Soudan: Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with MTN (JSE:MTN) for the deployment of rural sites under the network-as-a-service model (“NAAS”) in South Sudan for the deployment of 250 sites in 24 months: through the build, own, operate, and transfer revenue share model.


July 20 - Engagement of IR marketing service provider: Wall Street Reporter.


Sept. 3 - Announce New Employment Contract with CFO: Questus Consulting Ltd. (""Questus""), a company controlled by Jim Bailey, Chief Financial Officer of the Company. Pursuant to the terms of the Employment Agreement, the Company will pay Questus a fixed fee of $20,833.33 per month in consideration of certain management consulting services provided Questus including managing the financing and banking functions of the Company and overseeing the procedures for internal controls and management of continuous disclosurefilings of the Company.


Sep. 28 - Announces first live site in Cameroon: First of 48 sites went live on the weekend and has already begun to generate significant traffic. NuRAN will report on the site economics when the information becomes available.


The initial 48 of 242 sites are currently planned to be completed shortly. Eutelsat, our satellite partner for the current 122 sites batch in Cameroon, is prepared to ensure that the sites go live upon committed planned roll out.


David Parsons has been appointed Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Mr.Parsons previously held the position of VP Solutions Engineering at NuRAN. Mr. Parsons has over 20 years’ experience in the telecom industry across the Caribbean and Latin America and an extensive telecom knowledge and experience.


Oct. 20 - Provide a Corporate Update on Operations: i) No longer has any long term debt outstanding ii) retain the services of Global Financial Network Ltd. iii) First live site in Cameroon generates roughly 46% penetration rate in Day 1.


Oct. 26 - Announces Approval for Project Loan with Bank-Cameroon: Approval by the credit committee of a local Cameroon bank of a project loan facility to fund the construction of up to 122 sites in Cameroon. The total capital project size is US$3 Million and the bank will upon closing fund 75% or US$ 2.3 Million for a term of 60 months, including 6 months of deferred capital, at an interest rate of 9% per annum


Closing of the loan agreement is subject to customary closing conditions including: a letter of guarantee from NuRAN, domiciliation of the Company's agreement with Orange Cameroon S.A., board final approval, receipt of a financial guarantee from a Canadian bank for 50% of the facility and delegation of certain insurance policies.


Oct. 26 - Grant Stock options: An aggregate of 100,000 common shares at an exercise price of $1.67 per share. Pursuant to the terms of the grant, 100,000 options will vest immediately, and all of the options expire 5 years.


Nov. 10 - November Corporate Update: i) 10 sites live in Cameroon. An additional site is partially built and is expected to come on stream shortly. Initial subscription data is suggesting a 37% subscription rate on average for the 10 sites. NuRAN’s internal revenue projections are currently based on a conservative 25% subscription rate.


ii) NuRAN had originally targeted 48 sites to be live in Cameroon by the end of October with another 74 sites from the initial contract with Orange to be delivered before the network freeze on December 15. Due to global supply and logistic chain delays (specifically a delay in the shipment of batteries to power the sites) NuRAN missed the original target date. NuRAN has now received the batteries needed for the initial 48 sites.


iii) All materials needed including batteries for the initial 60 site roll out projected by NuRAN in DRC for year-end have now arrived in country. NuRAN will update the market with both roll out data and subscription before year end.


Nov. 29 -Announce First Site Live in DRC, Approval of Cameroon Bank Loan and Change of Year End: i) First Site Live in the DRC, Expects 14 more sites in 2021 in DRC and is ramping up to be on track to have a total of 120 sites live by March, 2022, ii) 15 Sites live in Cameroon, iii) 32.68% Penetration Rate after 1 Month for first 10 sites in Cameroon, vi) $2.86M CAD Loan from Afriland First Bank Approved, v) Year End Changed to December 31.


Dec. 16 - Signs Agreement For A Minimum Of 250 Sites With MTN In The Republic Of South Sudan: for the deployment of rural sites under the network-as-a-service model (“NAAS”) in South Sudan for the deployment of sites through the build, own, operate, and transfer (“BOOT”) revenue share model."


The 10-year agreement is estimated to represent approximately CAD $1,800 of revenue per site and per month or CAD $57 Million in revenues over the course of the contract, with the potential for more sites to be added.


Pursuant to the terms of the agreement with MTN, the parties intend to install a minimum of 250 rural networking sites in the Republic of South Sudan within the next 24 months. An initial 50 sites will be launched from existing tower infrastructure owned by MTN. Site surveys on these existing sites has already begun to evaluate site conditions.


Jan. 6 - Announces Agreement for US$15,000,000 Senior Credit Facility as Financing for Cameroon and DRC Projects: agreement in principle for a senior secured credit facility with a development finance institution (DFI) that provides up to US$15,000,000 in total funding. Proceeds will be used for Project expenditures relating to the installation of network infrastructure by NuRAN and roll out of up to 120 rural sites in Cameroon and 850 sites in DRC.


The Loan Facility is conditional on, amongst other customary conditions in a financing of this nature, NuRAN raising the remainder of the US$30,000,000 in funding for the Project or USD$15,000,000. NuRAN is in advanced discussions with other funding institutions for the majority of this remaining amount.


Jan 12 - Reaches Major Commercial Milestone – Generates Initial NaaS Revenues in 2021:


Update on the deployment of the first 32 sites in Cameroon in 2021: i) Total population covered 140,757 inhabitants ii) An average 45.9% penetration rate including roughly 64,000 users have connected to the NuRAN network (NuRAN’s initial projections were based on a 24% penetration rate). iii) 16 of the 32 sites are already generating more revenue than the previously announced minimum guaranteed monthly fee paid by Orange which is on average $1,225 CAD per site. iv) Based on the average revenue generated, NuRAN is now on a projected run rate of $2,335 CAD per site. v) Due to very high traffic on 4 of the sites, NuRAN is already planning to upgrade the capacity of these sites to maximize revenue vi) 90% of the sites are showing 98.8% quality of service, far exceeding the minimum requirement of 90%. vii) NuRAN issued its first invoices to Orange Cameroon for sites deployed from September to December."


NuRAN currentlly has 2,492 Network as a Service (“NaaS“) sites under contract with Orange Cameroon, Orange Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and MTN South Sudan. Based on a minimum guaranteed revenue stipulated within the contracts, NuRAN estimates that it would generate approximately $3,000,000 CAD per month once all sites are deployed. The current trend outlined above suggests revenue could reach approximately $5,800,000 CAD per month assuming above mentioned run rate. NuRAN is currently targeting a minimum of 10,000 sites under contract by 2026.


Jan. 18 - Announce Receipt of Mandate Letter for Second Credit Facility For Up To Euro 8M (USD 9M) For Financing Cameroon And DRC Projects. The purpose of the Loan Facility is to finance a portion of NuRAN’s planned US$30,000,000 of expenditures linked to the installation of network infrastructure roll-out promoted by NuRAN in Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and follows the previous announcement of 6th January of a DFI loan facility for US$15,000,000.


The balance of funding is to be raised in cash through equity or additional debt. A holding entity for the African operations is to be established for the Project, and it is expected that the balance of funding will be raised at this level. Further debt and equity funding beyond the Project will be contemplated at the appropriate time which will allow for the completion of the build of the full 2,000 sites in DRC as well as the build of the South Sudan contract with MTN announced previously.


Summary


Earnings

FY 2021 revenues were considerably lower than FY 2020. Net loss for the last two quarters of the year were also higher.















Much of the revenue decline and higher net loss are associated with the conversion of the NAAS business model along with the initial cost of site deployments in both Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


Financing

Numerous financing activities took place in the last eight months. First. a non-brokered private placement of up to $11M at $1.53 (Warrant $2.40) with a commitment of $4M from Spacecom was announced in June 2021. One month later, the financing closed at $7.0M of which $4M were from Spacecom giving them a 9% stake in Nuran.


In October 2021, Nuran reported that the 12% Senior Secured Convertible ($0.74M) was fully repaid. November 2021, Nuran received final Board approval for $2.87M CAD debt financing from Africland First Bank (a Cameroon Bank).


On January 6, 2022, Nuran received a Senior Credit Facility for up to USD $15M with Development Finance Institution (DFI) for its engagement in Cameroon (120 sites) and DRC (850 sites). Last week, the company received a Mandate Letter for a Second Credit Facility for up to Euro $8M (USD $9M) also for both Cameroon and the DRC projects.


Options

October 2021, 0.1M stock options were granted at $1.67.


Appointments

Personel: Questus Consulting Contract (CFO) (September 2021). David Parson as CTO (September 2021),

Suppliers: Wall Street Reporter (July 2021),Global Financial Network (October 2021)


Deployments

The majority of the activities in the last eight months took place in Cameroon and in the DRC.


Cameroon

The first of 48 site was operational in September 2021. By November, ten sites were reported to be live with a 37% subscriptions rates (which was much higher than the anticipated 25%). Originally, Nuran had forecasted to have 48 site live in October and 78 sites by the end of 2021. However, supply chain interruption resulted in the delay of batteries delivery to the power site. However, materials for 48 sites were reported received then. Another update was provided in November 2021 with 15 sites live with a 32% penetration rate on first 10 sites. In January 2022, 32 sites were reported to be live (140K population) with a 45% penetration rate (64K) which is again way above forecasted (25%).


Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Two updates were provided both in November 2021. The first update stated that all material needed (including batteries) for 60 sites roll out by year end (2021) was received. The second update reported that the first site out of 15 expected in 2021 went live. Nuran stated that its aiming to have 120 site live by March 2022.


South Soudan

December 2021, Nuran signed an agreement with MTN for a mininum 250 sites in 24 months. Nuran reported that the revenue estimated were CAD $1800/site or CAD $57M for length of contract (10 years). The original MOU was July 2021.


Other Markets

Also in July 2021, Nuran signed an MOU with Telinno (Mali) for 150 rural networking site in the next 18 months and Sierra Tel (Sierra Leone) for 125 rural networking site in the next 18 months. Nuran also has sites deployed in Ghana.


In short

In the last eight months, Nuran has progressed from scoping to the actual deployment of cellular sites in both Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thus far, results indicates that subscription rates are much higher than anticipated in Cameroon (45% vs. 25%). If Nuran is able to sustain these rates accross the deployment of the remaining sites, it will have a significant impact on revenue, as well as, potentially drive incremental demand.


The fact that NuRan has been able to obtain two Senior Credit Facilities for a cumulative US$24M in January 2022 is indicative that the NAAS economic model is credit worthy.


The combined proceeds of approximately US$24,000,000 will be used for project expenditures relating to the installation of network infrastructure by NuRAN and roll out of up to 120 rural sites in Cameroon and 850 sites in DRC. The Loan Facility is conditional on, amongst other customary conditions in a financing of this nature, NuRAN raising the remainder of the US$30,000,000 in funding for the Project. NuRAN is in advanced discussions with other funding institutions for the majority of this remaining amount of USD$6,000,000.


Nuran is trading above the pivot point of $1.32 and below its first resistance level ($1.64). Perhaps the reason its not valued at a higher multiple is that deployments are still very much in their infancy. At this stage, 31% (38/120) of the sites have been deployed in Cameroon but only 1% (9/850) have been in the DRC. Furthermore, time will be needed to establish trends in subscription rate and for these to be reflected in actual revenue (vs. projected).


To date, the velocity of site deployment with the uptake in subscriptions indicates forward momentum.



DISCLAIMER: The work included in this article is based on current events, technical charts, and the author’s opinions. It may contain errors, and you shouldn’t make any investment decision based solely on what you read here. This publication contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to comments regarding predictions and projections. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The content of rally is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Always thoroughly do your own due diligence and talk to a licensed investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions - rally cannot take responsibility for your investment decisions.

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