Norwood dials in to business.
A glance over the past 12 months reveals a company that has simultaneously balanced and invested in innovation, product development and international growth, with eyes set on connecting individuals and businesses globally.
Listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in June 2016, Norwood has been proving to investors how it is revolutionising the ‘sharing economy’ – the ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources – through its worldwide approach to telecommunication services.
By October the company has launched a major update to its consumer-focussed telecommunications app World Phone 2.0, as well as the maiden release of its commercial communications app Corona Cloud 1.0.
World Phone allows users to access existing fixed-line telephone networks around the world in more than 90 countries. The app is then capable of leveraging these networks with a revolutionary technology, permitting travellers to generate a local phone number to make and receive calls.
The advanced technology is also capable of directing data required for a call across the Internet very efficiently, ensuring international calls are of a high quality and very stable.
The launch of World Phone 2.0 has improved this service even further, with Norwood being early adopters of Apple’s iOS 10 CallKit, which allows calls received through the app to appear exactly the same as a traditional phone call.
Incoming World Phone calls can be answered without unlocking the device, calls appear in the mobile device’s call history and unlike other Voice over IP (VoIP) apps, calls made through the app are not immediately cut out by traditional phone calls.
In under one year, the World Phone has been downloaded nearly 5 million times and is the number one most downloaded travel app in 109 countries. World Phone’s popularity can be attributed to the company’s commitment to reinvesting in the App and continually adding new functionality, Ostergaard said.
“Downloads of our World Phone app have exceeded even our most optimistic forecasts,” Ostergaard said.
“Customer feedback has validated our approach; 15,639 customers on Google Play have given us the top five-star rating – that’s 67% of all the reviews posted for our app.”
During the year, Norwood has been steadily improving and developing the World Phone, including developing an Android version and incorporating new features such as Free App-to-App Calling, World Credit and Global Dynamic Pricing ability.
Where World Phone is designed for individual travellers, the recently launched Corona Cloud 1.0 seeks to commercialise this technology for a business audience.
“Corona Cloud is designed to securely store all business-related telecommunications, such as contact details and call logs, and then through the same VoIP technology powering World Phone, permit in-app business calls,” Ostergaard said.
“We are anticipating strong pickup from companies with a bring-your-own-device policy.
“Additionally we believe we can generate significant savings for companies who rely on international calls, with some estimates suggesting we can reduce companies’ international roaming costs by up to 80 percent,” he said.
While Norwood continues to develop and innovate its disruptive telecommunication offerings, the company has also been progressing the potential of ‘white labelling’ – licensing the company’s proprietary technology to a third party to on sell.
Norwood is currently in discussions with a number of telecommunication operators around opportunities for its entire suite of products, including World WIFI and World Message.
“These opportunities have a longer sales cycle by nature,” Ostergaard said. “However we see the potential and continue to invest time, effort and resources into building compelling go-to-market propositions.”
Prior to listing, Norwood completed a $3.5 million capital raising to provide financial security, ensuring it would be fully funded for the 2017 financial year. Norwood expects to reap the rewards of its capital injection as it continues to commercialise its technologies into the new year.
“Our investments have been careful, backed by extensive modelling, and we are pleased with the results and are confident our platform will deliver strong returns.”
“The company’s capital requirements will be significantly lower than last year due to the prioritisation of business sales rather than direct consumer.”
The burst of activity in 2016 has been geared towards the establishing Norwood’s strategic platform, with a twofold purpose: to continue to build, market and sell disruptive services around the world; and to assist in creating services that are flexible, expandable and IP protected.
“This is what we believe sets us apart from our peers, and these technologies and solutions will provide us with the tools and capabilities to drive our future successes.”