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RFID Profit, Fund Raising and Acquisition Strategy

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This publication has been discontinued.

Who is buying RFID companies - why?

Who is investing in RFID companies - why?

What next?

Why are some RFID companies highly profitable and others collapsing?

There is a great need for profit optimization and careful product positioning and repositioning in the frenetic but unforgiving RFID market that is increasing ten times to become a $26 billion business in 2016. RFID is entering most sectors of corporate, public and private life so understanding how to create enduring profit from such a choice of designs and applications, software, hardware and services, calls for great care and modern management tools.

Last year, the profits of 1000 RFID activities varied from about ten million dollars to a loss of $53 million. Too much of this was unplanned and unintentional. Some of these companies are growing rapidly and profitably but others have recently gone out of business. Yet, in this fast growing, fragmenting market, the performance of the players obeys rules of the marketplace and success and failure can largely be predicted and controlled. IDTechEx has studied its 2000 case studies of RFID in action in 75 countries and carried out detailed market research to understand what is going on.

This unique report on how to make money in RFID is packed with facts and analysis. IDTechEx, a consistently profitable RFID business, explains the trends, opportunities and tools for optimization of cash generation. It reveals the rationale behind the sudden increase in both fund raising and acquisitions in RFID and who is doing what and why - also what should come next. IDTechEx analyses how to benefit from the trends, interpreting the disruptive new technologies and its 10 year market projection. This lucid and informed examination of how to succeed in RFID should be required reading for all seeking to maximize their contribution to this exciting sector and create enduring profitable growth, from manufacturers to consultants and investors.

The 227 page report contains over 65 tables and figures comparing the performance of more than 40 RFID companies in order to explain product positioning, future market opportunities, dangers and other signals ahead.

The following 90 companies involved in RFID are referred to in the text:

  • ACG Identification Technology
  • AeroScout
  • Alanco Technologies
  • Alien Technology
  • Allflex
  • Applied Digital
  • ASK
  • Assa Abloy
  • Avery Dennison
  • AVID Wireless
  • AWID
  • Cisco
  • Denstron
  • DynaSys
  • Ekahau
  • EM Microelectronic
  • Emirates Technical Innovation Centre
  • EMS
  • EXI Wireless
  • G2 Microsystems
  • Gemalto
  • Giesecke & Devrient
  • HID
  • Hitachi
  • IDTechEx
  • IDVelocity
  • Impinj
  • Indala
  • Infolink Systems
  • Innovision
  • InSeal SAS
  • InSync Software
  • Intellident
  • Intermec
  • KSW Microtec
  • KTP
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Linpac
  • Manufacturing centre of Excellence
  • MarkIV Industries
  • Matrics
  • MeadWestvaco
  • Metget
  • MetroLogic
  • Mu Solutions
  • MIT
  • NCR
  • Nissan
  • NTT Data
  • Oat Systems
  • Omnikey
  • Omron
  • OrganicID
  • OTI
  • PanGo networks
  • Philips Semiconductors
  • PolyIC
  • PSC
  • Quatrotec
  • Radianse
  • Raytheon
  • RFID Journal
  • SAMsys
  • SATO
  • Savi Technology
  • Schwab
  • Siemens
  • Sirit
  • Smartag
  • Soartech
  • Sokymat
  • Sony
  • Sygade
  • Symbol Technologies
  • 3M
  • TAGSYS
  • Texas Instruments
  • ThingMagic
  • TradeWind Technologies
  • TransCore
  • Trenstar
  • Trierenberg Group
  • Tyco ADT
  • Ubisense
  • Verichip
  • VeriSign
  • VisibleRF
  • WaveID
  • WhereNet
  • Xterprise

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

1. INTRODUCTION

  • 1.1. The breakeven curve
  • 1.2. Type of business

2. PRODUCT AND BUSINESS POSITIONING

  • 2.1. Methodology of the Strategic Planning Institute
    • 2.1.1. Product positioning is more important than anything
    • 2.1.2. Detailed SRI findings
  • 2.2. Redefining the battleground
  • 2.3. V curve of sustainable profitability with size
    • 2.3.2. Minimum size for enduring profitability
    • 2.3.3. Setting up a service business is easier
    • 2.3.4. Riding the V
    • 2.3.5. Lessons from interrogator manufacture
    • 2.3.6. RFID inlets
    • 2.3.7. RFID tags
    • 2.3.8. RFID system integrators and systems suppliers
    • 2.3.9. Niche and volume RFID activities, actual and wannabe
  • 2.4. Experience curves
    • 2.4.2. Care needed
    • 2.4.3. Racing down the experience curve
    • 2.4.4. Puncturing the dream of the one cent chip tag
    • 2.4.5. No guarantees
  • 2.5. Disruptive products
    • 2.5.1. Parasitic WiFi RFID
    • 2.5.2. Near Field UHF RFID
    • 2.5.3. Near Field UHF RFID vs HF for Item Level Tagging
    • 2.5.4. Printed Thin Film Transistor RFID

3. EFFECT OF COMPETITION AND MARKET GROWTH RATE

  • 3.1. Methodology of Boston Consulting Group
  • 3.2. Useful guidelines
  • 3.3. Areas of over and under supply

4. OPTIMUM POSITION IN THE VALUE CHAIN

  • 4.1. Dynamics of the RFID value chain
  • 4.2. Radical changes ahead for the RFID value chain
  • 4.3. Optimum acquisition strategy
    • 4.3.1. Some significant acquirors and their rationale
    • 4.3.2. Profile of SIRIT acquisitions in 2006
    • 4.3.3. MetroLogic acquires Visible RF
    • 4.3.4. Assa Abloy acquires Schwab & Partner Group.
    • 4.3.5. OTI acquires InSeal SAS
    • 4.3.6. NCR buys IDVelocity

5. LESSONS FROM THE IDTECHEX RFID KNOWLEDGEBASE

6. UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET 2006-2016

  • 6.1. Niche applications - market projections
  • 6.2. Importance of active RFID
  • 6.3. Examples of specific opportunities

7. SOME INTERESTING RFID COMPANIES

  • 7.1. Savi Technology
  • 7.2. Philips Semiconductors
  • 7.3. EM Microelectronic
  • 7.4. Sokymat
  • 7.5. AeroScout
  • 7.6. Alien Technology
  • 7.7. Sirit

APPENDIX 1: HOW EVOLVING RFID LEGISLATION CAN AFFECT THE VALUE OF INVESTMENT IN RFID

APPENDIX 2: IDTECHEX PUBLICATIONS

APPENDIX 3: GLOSSARY

TABLES

  • 1.1. Examples of fund raising in 2006 by RFID-related businesses
  • 2.1. Correlations between profit, cash and other business variables.
  • 2.1. Comparison of potential features of HF and NF UHF item level tags
  • 2.2. SAMsys financials
  • 2.3. Financial results of SIRIT
  • 2.4. Examples of niche and volume players in RFID by value of sales
  • 3.1. Some areas of over and undersupply in RFID in 2006
  • 4.1. Some of the more significant acquirors and their rationale.
  • 5.1. Characteristics of applicational sectors from the IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase of 2000 RFID case studies. Those with legal push are shown in green. Those with many profitable suppliers are shown in yellow.
  • 5.2. Recurrence of profit as a function of frequency of operation of the RFID system
  • 6.1. Details of the special needs often encountered in some medium volume, high value RFID markets
  • 6.2. Active RFID market by value 2006 and 2016 and share of overall RFID market

FIGURES

  • 1.1. Basic breakeven curve.
  • 1.2. A more realistic breakeven curve
  • 1.3. Typical fund raising and size of ultimate business for companies with various types of activity
  • 2.1. V curve of maximum enduring profitability with size of business
  • 2.2. The steepening of the V curve as markets mature
  • 2.3. Steep V curve for dairy companies in 1974
  • 2.4. V curve for some airports
  • 2.5. V curve for RFID interrogators
  • 2.6. V curve for RFID inlets
  • 2.7. V curve for RFID tags
  • 2.8. V curve for RFID systems and systems integrators
  • 2.9. Experience curve for crushed limestone
  • 2.10. An experience curve for integrated circuit manufacture plotted by BCG
  • 2.11. Extrapolation of historical integrated circuit experience curves showing the unlikelihood of 0.2 cent RFID chips at realistic volumes.
  • 2.12. Global demand for RTLS systems including tags in millions of dollars 2006-2016
  • 2.13. AeroScout WiFi RTLS tags including, at right, one with alarm button
  • 2.14. AeroScout WiFi armbands
  • 2.15. The HF tag that is fitted to Viagra
  • 2.16. Early pallet/ case tag at top compared with item level tag at bottom, both being Far Field UHF constructions
  • 2.17. Demonstration of NF UHF multitag reading of tagged balls in water by Impinj. The reader is the black base to the water tank
  • 2.18. Second demonstration of NF UHF multitag reading on small items by Impinj
  • 2.19. TAGSYS AK Tag Module on a FF UHF antenna
  • 2.20. One of the Impinj designs of FF UHF label for pallets and cases compared with its design of an H Field NF UHF label for small items.
  • 2.21. Combined NF/FF UHF labels and, top right, an H field NF UHF label
  • 2.22. The KSW Microtec combined UHF tag Taurus "!
  • 2.23. Global UHF allocations of license free bandwidth
  • 2.24. The TAGSYS HF tag that it claims is the smallest EPC inlet in the world
  • 2.25. Experimental printed TFTC RFID
  • 3.1. Market growth rate against size vs nearest competitor
  • 3.2. Boston matrix for innovators creating a new market
  • 3.3. Boston matrix for followers
  • 3.4. Examples of matrix positioning in the RFID industry
  • 4.1. Today's RFID value chain
  • 4.2. Detailed value chain and dynamics
  • 4.3. Detailed value chain for materials aspects
  • 4.4. Evolution of the RFID value chain to eliminate the silicon chip
  • 4.5. Evolution of barcode labels and chipless RFID labels
  • 4.6. All eyes right for acquisitions (almost).
  • 4.7. Some RFID acquisition activity on a Boston matrix
  • 6.1. Some volume applications of RFID commencing in the next few years
  • 6.2. Value of RFID tag and other market, dollars billions 2006-2016
  • 6.3. Number of tags by item, pallet/case and other, billions 2006-2016
  • 6.4. The smaller categories in number of tags 2006-2016
  • 6.5. Value of the smaller categories of tags 2006-2016
  • 6.6. Technologies that leverage active RFID in today's new devices.
  • 6.7. Breakdown of the value market for active RFID 2016
  • 7.1. Sokymat statistics
  • 7.2. Sokymat mission
  • 7.3. Sokymat market sectors
  • 7.4. AeroScout WiFi RTLS tags
  • 7.5. AeroScout WiFi armbands
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