ShotSpotter Fires Opening Salvo on Wall Street

The company raises $30.8 million in an IPO as it seeks to expand its services for detecting gunfire incidents.
Matthew HellerJune 7, 2017
ShotSpotter Fires Opening Salvo on Wall Street

Shares of Shotspotter jumped as much as 21% in their market debut Wednesday after the gunfire-detection company raised $30.8 million in its initial public offering.

Newark, Calif.-based Shotspotter provides a technology that alerts law enforcement to gunfire incidents. Its sensors, which are deployed in high-crime areas, detect and locate gunshots and send near real-time alerts to law enforcement through the company’s software.

“Our mission is to help prevent and reduce the societal costs of gun violence, thereby creating safer and more vibrant communities,” the company said in its IPO prospectus.

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The offering of 2.8 million shares on Tuesday was priced at $11 per share, the midpoint of its expected price range of $10 to $12 per share, raising $30.8 million. On the first day of trading, the stock climbed as high as $13.35, giving it a market valuation of about $121.7 million.

According to the prospectus, Shotspotter, which was founded in 2004, has 74 public safety subscribers to its ShotSpotter Flex service. Its other products — SST Secure Campus and SpotShotter Site Secure — are for universities and colleges and for corporations, respectively.

“When a potential gunfire incident is detected by our sensors, our software analyzes and validates the data and precisely locates where the incident occurred,” the company said. “An alert containing a location on a map and critical information about the incident is transmitted directly to law enforcement or security personnel through any internet-connected computer and to iPhone or Android mobile devices.”

Shotspotter says alerts on outdoor shots are typically sent within 45 seconds of the gunfire incident and its data show that approximately 90% of the gunshots it detects are not reported to 911 by residents.

Last year, the company posted a loss of about $6.9 million on $15.5 million in revenue, compared to a loss of $6.2 million on $11.8 million in revenue in 2015. It expects to use around $13.6 million of the net proceeds from the IPO to reduce debt, and the rest for general purposes