TECHNOLOGY and intellectual property group ipernica completed its acquisition of new media company NearMap last week in a strategic change of focus that could pitch it against the likes of Google Earth on the world aerial mapping stage.
"We're always interested in world leading innovative technology and we think the timing was right to combine our strengths, our management team, our cash and our equity with what we saw as the most innovative new technology in this region, not just in Perth," ipernica managing director Graham Griffiths told WA Business News.
West Perth-based ipernica has previously focused on intellectual property rights through its IP Assertion business, which involves the assertion of IP rights against infringing third parties.
The company reported a record net profit after tax of $15 million for the 2008 financial year, up 244 per cent on the previous year, the majority stemming from its IP work.
Commercialising physical and life science technologies has also been part of the business and one it intends to grow through the acquisition of West Perth-based NearMap.
ipernica bought NearMap for $4 million in cash and 60 million ipernica shares.
NearMap aims to generate revenues from online advertising and address this growing market with photomaps which are current, high resolution and offer multi-angled views of aerial imagery captured at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional systems.
Mr Griffiths believes the two companies have a strong synergy and a global focus.
"NearMap is a very innovative photomap media company and basically we've decided to join forces," he said.
"We're adding another line of business with substantial revenue and profit potential and obviously bringing together the management skills of both teams."
Mr Griffiths said NearMap's strong management made it an attractive business.
"We were always attracted by the calibre of the management team," he said.
NearMap founder and chief executive, Stuart Nixon said the alignment enabled his company to accelerate its global expansion plans, specifically by leveraging ipernica's IP and licensing expertise.
"I look forward to working with ipernica to maximise the value of our considerable IP and copyrighted photomaps," Mr Nixon said.
Mr Nixon spent almost 20 years at the forefront of the geospatial industry and founded ER Mapper, which was sold to multinational Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imagery in 2007, now part of the Erdas group.
NearMap chief operating officer, Guy Perkins and chief technology officer Simon Cope spent many years working alongside Mr Nixon developing ER Mapper as well as orchestrating and overseeing the sale of the company.
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