WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC) shares rocketed in late morning on Monday following its announcement on plans to change its name to Iconic Labs PLC after creating a new media business and bringing onboard former executives from social publishing giant UNILAD.
The group, which previously focused on stem cell research, said the new focus would be on online marketing, content, and technology products designed to create brands and increase customer engagement.
Six divisions are scheduled to be rolled out over a phased period, including a consultancy business focused on social media tools, a content licensing arm, and a segment looking to acquire online publishing brands.
The first of these divisions, the agency consultancy, will be launched in the next 6-12 months and is “quickly scalable” and would help drive “early, high-margin, recurring revenues”, the company said.
As part of the new business direction, John Quinlan and Liam Harrington would be joining the board immediately as chief executive and chief business officer respectively.
Quinlan and Harrington previously worked at UNILAD, one of the world’s largest social media news and entertainment companies with 60mln followers and over 40bn video views in 2017.
Harrington and fellow entrepreneur Sam Bentley relaunched the site in 2014 and achieved revenues in excess of £10mln a year. The site is now owned by LADbible Group, which has over 120mln followers.
"We understand how to build a business and generate revenue in the new media space. We have a unique proposition, in an extraordinarily high growth area”, said Quinlan.
“On the back of revenue growth from pre-identified contracts in our agency consultancy division, we will roll-out a range of services, content and cutting-edge technology that target future generation audiences and establish a leading position in the new media sector.”
The firm’s executive chairman, David Sefton, said with the new business, the company was “committed” to achieving net positive free cash flow this year and that it would continue to “support the development of the stem cell services business” on a “scheduled, drip fed basis”.
He added that the new media marketing space was growing at “an unprecedented pace” with global mobile ad spend project to increase to US$212bn in 2021 from US$138bn in 2018.
“The skills and experience of the team in the new media marketing space, as shown through their track record at UNILAD, the world's largest social first publisher, can deliver an exciting and uniquely positioned business.”
Shares were up 75% at 0.68p.
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