Alpharetta has a new tech company on the New York Stock Exchange

Newly listed KORE focuses on connecting ‘internet of things’

Another metro Atlanta company has landed on the New York Stock Exchange, this one aiming to help shepherd the surge of connected devices keeping track of everything from criminal offenders to heart monitors, connected cars and utility smart meters.

KORE Group Holdings, a nearly 20-year-old business founded in Canada but now based in Alpharetta, became a publicly traded company Friday. It did so using an expedited route that lately has gained popularity, though sometimes poor early returns for some companies.

KORE combined with a so-called blank check company, Cerberus Telecom Acquisition Corp., which is a SPAC or special purpose acquisitions company set up to gather investors and then hunt for other companies to merge with and take public.

KORE’s stock price at midday Friday, when many of its shares weren’t yet readily available for trading, put it at a market value of roughly $700 million. Prices for initial public offerings are often volatile early on. KORE’s initial deal terms with the Cerberus SPAC implied a value of just over $1 billion.

On Friday, KORE chief executive officer Romil Bahl described going public as “an important next step in the evolution” of the company. It’s a way to raise money for further growth, pay past investors and gain attention for the business, he said.

KORE has about 500 employees, nearly 100 of them in Georgia. It works with about 3,600 companies in a range of industries to help them acquire, set up and manage connected devices securely.

There are 12 billion so-called internet-of-things devices globally, by one estimate, and the number is expected to growth sharply in coming years. Bahl describes this as “the decade of IOT.”

Setting up and managing systems for devices can be a slow and cumbersome process for companies, involving lots of players, Bahl said in an interview. KORE’s promise is to speed up and simplify the work for its customers.

The company reported 2020 revenue of $214 million, with a net loss of $35 million. It continues to report growing sales.