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Budget tablet maker DataWind bouncing back after shaky start to public life

DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli .

Shares of budget tablet maker DataWind (TSX:DW) are up strongly today, drawing the company nearer to its recent IPO price.

Montreal-based DataWind, which was founded in 2001, began trading on the TSX on July 8th after completing an IPO of more than six-million shares at $4.75. The offering was led by Canaccord and included a syndicate of National Bank, Cormark and Haywood, who netted the company just over $30-million. The first few days of trading have been bumpy, lopping off nearly a dollar from the IPO price to close Friday at $3.80, but the stock is rebounding today. At press time, shares of DataWind were up 10.5% to $4.20.

Investors bidding up the company’s stock are betting that there is room in the market for DataWind’s ultra low-cost Android tablets. The company has made worldwide headlines by bringing the price point of its tablets to levels not seen before. Late last year, the company released its UbiSlate 7Ci, a seven-inch tablet with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash memory, Wi-Fi, and a 1GHz processor, in the US for $37.99.

While DataWind’s margins are predictably slim, the company sees itself as gaining a first-mover advantage in emerging markets, where it could potentially make money from services such as internet packages. Still DataWind, which lost $3.81-million on revenue of $4.81-million in the fifteen months ended March 31st, doesn’t plan to lose money on hardware forever.

“At this stage, we make a reasonable amount on the hardware and we’re okay with that, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t sell it at a loss in the future,” DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told TheNextWeb’s Josh Ong earlier this year. Tuli says it can pull profit from the 70-80% margin on touchscreens, which the company manufactures itself.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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One thought on “Budget tablet maker DataWind bouncing back after shaky start to public life

  1. Mr. Wadell – Mr.Tuli is lying to the media. No touchscreens made by DW have ever been used any DW tablets delivered anywhere. They do not work. They are selling cheapest possible Android devices from China at bare minimum margins in India. Go buy one from alibaba yourself at the same price points you were so impressed with. Datawind has zero revenue from services because their internet browser does not work. It is a PR stunt and you are all falling for the story.

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