Software is Eating the World and Mobile is Leading the Charge

April 19, 2017 8:30 a.m. ET
Emerging Growth LLC News Commentary, MYSZ, BBRY, AAPL

NEWPORT BEACH, California, April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said that ‘software is eating the world’ in a famous essay published in the Wall Street Journal back in 2011. Andreessen was referring to the way that software is reshaping a growing number of industries – from airlines to manufacturing – and how it’s becoming a necessity to embrace software to remain competitive. The good news is that these trends have created many opportunities for investors keeping a close eye on MySize Inc. (NASDAQ: MYSZ), BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM)

Online Retail’s Returns Issue

It’s hard to purchase clothing online because you can’t try it on beforehand. But, that hasn’t stopped online shoppers from purchasing billions of dollars worth of clothing and shoes online each year. Many shoppers purchase multiple items with plans to return the items that don’t fit. These shoppers are expected to return about a third of these goods, according to Customer Growth Properties, which is twice the return rate of goods bought in stores.

The Retail Equation reckons that merchandise returns cost retailers over a quarter of a trillion dollar in lost sales each year. While returned electronics may have a high resale value, clothing is often worth just pennies on the dollar after it has been returned. Many retailers opt to throw away 30% to 40% of goods that don’t make sense to send back through the reverse supply chain, which creates billions of tons of waste per year.

MySize Inc. (NASDAQ: MYSZ), a leading developer of proprietary smartphone measurement applications, has developed MySizeID to solve the problem. Consumers simply open the app and move the phone from one hip to the other. This data is combined with anthropometric research, retailer size charts, and other statistical algorithms to accurately measure their body and present clothing options that fit the first time.

The company is focused on selling the app to online retailers who can build it into their e-commerce website. Retailers benefit from fewer returns and happier customers, while MySize generates revenue as a percentage of sales or on a per app use basis. Currently, the company is in the process of testing the app with Trucco, a major online European retailer, but if it’s successful, it could be rolled out in the near-term to millions of other online retailers worldwide.

Cash for a Pivot into Software

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) may be well-known for being the first smartphone developer before Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) stole its thunder.

Last week, the company won an $815 million binding decision in arbitration with Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) that it’s likely to use to seek acquisitions and bolster its business. Analysts say that the sum is a ‘material win’ for the mobile device maker that’s working to transform itself into a software company. The move could pave the way toward higher margin revenue and success while leveraging its existing corporate connections.

The company’s biggest foray into software has been QNX Software Systems, a software platform that it acquired back in April 2010. Today, the platform can be found in over 200 vehicle models and over 60 million cars and aims to become the leading end-to-end software platform provider for connected (or autonomous) cars. The same platform is used in a variety of other industries as well, including industrial automation and medical devices.

Looking Ahead

Software is truly ‘eating the world’ and investors looking for above-market returns may want to look for software developers targeting the largest industries ripe for innovation. MySize Inc. (NASDAQ: MYSZ) could reshape the way that online retail works, while companies like BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) are pivoting into enterprise software solutions that could power the next generation of autonomous vehicles.

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