If the long-held belief that the telecommunications is constantly on the lookout for emerging technologies that can make their manufacturing process more streamlined and their products faster and more efficient, then one small electronics component manufacturer from Shelton, Connecticut named OPEL Technologies Inc. (TSXV: OPL.V) has somehow gone undiscovered.
OPEL Technologies is publicly traded on Canada’s TSX-Venture Exchange and also quoted on the OTC Markets Pinksheets tier as OPELF. The company has a market capitalization of $22 million, with 94 million shares outstanding and a 52-week high and low of $0.19 and $1.82, respectively.
To understand the company’s business, it’s necessary to first understand the assumed need OPEL Technologies fulfills. Optoelectronics (OE) are small defined as small electronic components comprised of two individual and independent pieces of equipment that when combined serve specific purposes in devices: electronic transmitters and optics (either fiber or integrated). The photo below puts this combination into visual context (the photo is attributed to Mechanical Engineering Blog).
Once combined, OEs can be used in a multitude of optics-based technologies that include, but aren’t limited to, solar panels, infrared technologies, telecommunications, mobile devices, medical instruments, and other applications that require the detection and manipulation of a light source (“light source” in electronic engineering terms is a very loose term that can be applied in many contexts, for example as gamma rays or X-rays, LEDs, etc.)
OPEL Technologies owns a portfolio of 37 patents, with an additional 13 pending, that protect the company’s proprietary next-generation optoelectronics devices called Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET). POET essentially combines the electronic transmitter and the optics components onto one single chip, as opposed to a traditional conduit that relies on the independent cooperation of the two components.
The company has contended that the result is:
- A drastic reduction in size of the components
- A simplified manufacturing process
- Reduced power consumption
- Processing speed advantage
In the company’s driver seat is Dr. Geoffrey W. Taylor, chief scientist at OPEL Technologies. Dr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Queens University, and received both his Master’s and Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Toronto. Prior to his development of POET, which he’s been cultivating over the last decade, Dr. Taylor was a 14-year veteran of AT&T Labs. His work and studies of the subject have been published in a dozen peer review science journals, including his most recent piece entitled Performance of Subsamples Optical Links on May 1st, 2012 in the Journal of Lightwave Technology.
The company is still in the research and development phase, conducting its continued research out of a lab at the University of Connecticut, and for 2012 will take some write-downs on OPEL Solar, a business division that has been expunged and discontinued due to its demanding capital resource requirements and slowing sales. The company could raise more than $1.5 million off the sale the OPEL Solar assets, according to the most recent 10Q filed on November 19th, 2012.
The company is currently receiving financial support from government contracts, including a grant provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The company is also working with BAE Systems to independently validate OPEL’s technology and substantiate a proof of concept.
The company reports $3.5 million in assets for the first nine months of 2012 and $1.2 million in liabilities. OPEL is flush with cash, holding $1.8 million on the books, but reported just $112,070 in revenues for all of 2012. This analyst found reason to believe in OPEL’s latest filling that the company may be gearing up to raise additional cash to sustain operations and research associated with the commercialization schedule, which the company has identified will begin to commence in the first quarter of next year.
Since 2010, the company has successfully raised about $2.75 million from various entities and supporters, including the U.S. Air Force, NASA, BAE Systems, and the U.S. Navy.
By demonstrating the company can raise substantial capital from these dedicated partners indicates that these supporters are likely expecting to one day become customers.