WTL is an early leader in “intelligent” clothing, selling consumer and industrial garments with embedded washable electronics through retailers globally, including Halfords. We focus on safety. At the intersection of garments, electronics and data, building an IoT connected platform. An IP100 Award 2015 winner, with over 40 granted patents in fabric sensing in which Apple and Google have shown interest. The company was Innovation Award honoree at CES 2015 and has gained media/TV exposure in 30 countries. Massive future opportunities to enhance worker safety and productivity through embedding cameras, sensors, comms into garments. WTL is currently working with Intel, BP, and Accenture.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Today’s products, powered by USB-rechargeable battery, enhance visibility through embedding washable lights and sensors to improve the wearer’s safety. Ranges of industrial and emergency service garments have recently been added and we have made sales to a NYPD and German military. In 2016 we will be add functionality such as collision protection, sensors, phone connectivity etc. From 2017 we will network the garments together to enable communication between their wearers, and to control rooms. Our data business, utilizing proprietary software is already able to track garments through the supply chain, and link them to the wearer.
The rise of legislation led health and safety is inexorable. Falling costs of electronics and emergence of IoT allows cost-effective deployment of premium-margin intelligent clothing to enhance worker safety. We are well positioned at the convergence of the garment and electronics industries, the two sectors required to deliver integrated products and services. Our team is skilled in in mass garment manufacture, smart fabrics, software, hardware, data analysis – all needed to develop smart clothing. We BUILD the enabling technologies, PROVE them in our own garments, and SCALE through licensing to large garment suppliers to construction, transport, oil & gas etc. We have our first licence.
We manufacture in China, with logistics hubs in New York and London. We sell online, via distributors (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Korea), and retailers including Halfords, and Dicks Sporting Goods (USA). As we prove our products and technologies, we will scale through increasingly selling/licensing the technology and know-how to incumbent garment manufacturers already serving target segments such as oil & gas. We have recently signed our first licence to a PPE manufacturer. Ultimately we seek to be the default platform built into garments, charging third parties to plug and play their components (sensors etc) into that platform – akin to an app store.
In previous businesses, the team has attracted strategic partner investment from companies including IBM, Motorola, BT, Sky and Dixons and has experience in taking businesses to West Coast VC, IPO, and indeed exit. We will seek an exit/partial exit for EIS investors after three years. Exit may be through IPO or refinancing, although given the rapid growth of the market and exits already occurring, it is possible that the business may attract trade sale offers from the likes of Li & Fung, 3M, (we already have relationships) or other garment conglomerates or companies wishing to acquire a strong patent base in this space.