It’s no dance still at ailing data management artist formerly known as WANdisco

Edge and cloud data migration and management specialist WANdisco has reported more financial pain as it goes through what it terms as its “transitional” year. After previous misreporting of sales, the company’s shares on AIM – the London Stock Exchange sub-market – were suspended at one point this March. The firm is to now be rebranded as Cirata.

For the half-year ended 30 June, 2023, the company saw sales slump to only $3 million, compared to $5.8 million generated in the same period last year. The firm’s bookings in the period also crashed to $2.8 million from $7.3 million last year, and the adjusted EBITDA loss widened to $14.8 million (it was $14.1 million last time).

The statutory loss from operations was $18.8 million, up from $17.2 million.

“The discovery of the irregularities had a significant impact on prospective customers, strategic partners, the pipeline and the overall business,” said the firm in its financial statement this morning. “Not only did the company suffer interruption to normal commercial activities, but a review of pipeline qualification was also a necessary step in the instigation of the turnaround plan to set a realistic baseline.”

The pipeline, it reckons, has now been “appropriately cleansed and qualified”, and management are confident that what remains is “robust and of high quality.” However, “that pipeline continues to be in the early stages of a rebuild.” The company is predicting a return to growth next year.

After the March share suspension, WANdisco revealed the extent of the problem: “The board now expects that anticipated FY22 revenue could be as low as $9 million and not $24 million as previously reported.”

And in 2021, the company ran at an operating loss of almost $40 million, on sales of just $7.3 million.

But though WANdisco had never made a profit since its formation in 2005, its value was estimated at $1 billion before the share suspension.

As previously announced, the firm is to be rebranded as Cirata, and over the coming weeks there will be a “rolling programme of brand introduction and delivery” across the company’s operations.

The company’s share ticker on AIM is expected to be changed from “WAND” to “CRTA” by “early October 2023”.

Stephen Kelly, the former chief executive officer of accountancy software firm Sage, was brought in as CEO to turn the company around after the sales reporting fiasco, and recently helped seal a $30 million equity fundraise from shareholders as part of the company’s recovery efforts, which also included being relisted on AIM.

Kelly said this morning management had conducted a “root and branch” review of the company, and admitted that “sadly, very little from the past deserves preservation.” He added: “We are building from the ground up.”