A satirical genius, Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven may also be one of the film industry’s most misunderstood characters. Expertly layering in cutting social commentary beneath the exterior of over-the-top violence and salaciousness, Verhoeven simultaneously appeals to 2 sets of audiences: those who take everything at face value and others who consider the nuanced implications behind various art forms.
An iconic example of the director’s avant-garde film work is Robocop. Referencing the original release in 1987 — not the soulless Hollywood retread of a few years ago — ScreenRants.com noted 10 times that the classic movie predicted the future. From GPS tracking to the privatization of public services, the summer blockbuster was uncannily accurate.
While the main premise of the film — the usage of artificial intelligence-enabled robots to patrol the mean streets of a major metropolitan area — has never truly come to fruition Knightscope, Inc., a Silicon Valley Based technology company, is building and deploying fully autonomous security robots that deter, detect and report . While some aspects of Robocop will likely never bridge the gap between fantasy and reality, Knightscope’s deployment of its Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) could represent a critical solution to society’s security needs. The company's ASRs collaborate with people to give law enforcement officers and security guards unprecedented situational awareness. They are equipped with eye-level 360° cameras, thermal scanning, public address announcements and various other functions.
When Is the Knightscope Offering?
Among other private-equity offerings, early bird participants had the opportunity to buy Knightscope shares through the StartEngine platform, which enables retail investors to acquire equity in private enterprises. As Benzinga contributor David Noyes explained, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in part enabled startups to raise funds through online crowdfunding ventures.
In September, Knightscope announced its plans to launch a publicly accessible equity unit offering at its annual shareholders’ meeting. You can acquire shares by going to the company’s StartEngine profile here.
To be clear, both Knightscope and StartEngine warn that participating in this equity distribution is speculative and entails substantial risk. That said, given the recent concerns about public safety and property protection, the availability of Knightscope stock may resonate with prospective buyers. The company plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market (“NASDAQ”) under the ticker symbol “KSCP” following this offering and subject to meeting listing requirements. Naturally, the debut coincides with several core developments that could sway shares in either direction. On the positive front (at least positive for Knightscope), crimes of all sorts have reached worrying levels. As The Wall Street Journal reported, brazen theft taking place at large-scale retailers along with mom-and-pop stores has left entrepreneurs across the business spectrum flustered and in fear.
Juxtaposing the skyrocketing crime are challenges within multiple law enforcement departments. While The Marshall Project asserts that stories of police officers quitting in droves are unfounded, many jurisdictions are suffering from budget cuts and disruption from COVID-19. Simply put, the domestic security infrastructure needs more boots on the ground — and Knightscope’s ASRs and AI-powered cloud-based networks could answer that call.
Still, the security dilemma is not just a matter of balancing an algebraic equation. As a recent Bloomberg article pointed out, business enterprises and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) raised more than $600 billion in new public offerings on a year-to-date basis. Thus, it’s possible that investors’ wallets could be lighter than usual once Knightscope confirms an introduction date on a major exchange.
Knightscope Financial History
In some cases, such as with quantum computers, technology firms have a tendency of delivering a promising albeit esoteric innovation to retail investors. While they might understand the concepts involved, the practical applications might elude them. But that’s hardly the case with Knightscope. The primary sales pitch of KSCP stock is that the underlying business is immediately relevant and intuitive.
What’s more, the surrounding environment is yearning for Knightscope’s involvement and broader integration. According to the National Retail Federation, theft, fraud and losses from other retail “shrink” amounted to $61.7 billion in 2019, up nearly 22% from 2018’s dubious tally of $50.6 billion. The main catalysts include “shoplifting, organized retail crime and employee theft incidents.”
Of course, the above involve pre-pandemic incidents. While retail theft in 2020 may be difficult to gauge due to the temporary shutdown of non-essential activities, The New York Times recently reported that waves of burglaries hit several upscale stores, from California to Chicago. Determined to put an end to the lawlessness, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared, when referencing the criminals, “We need to make an example out of these folks.”
It's not entirely clear what the well-meaning governor can do within his traditional scope of influence. But that’s exactly where Knightscope arrives on the scene. By buttressing stressed and overwhelmed law enforcement officers with AI-powered robots, the company’s ASRs can address and report threats without endangering the brave men and women who are conducting an increasingly thankless job.
To be fair, prospective investors of Knightscope must balance the societal narrative undergirding KSCP stock with its financial viability. According to the tech firm’s Form 1-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), revenue in 2020 hit $3.33 million, representing a year-over-year lift of 10.2%. That’s a solid growth rate for a still-young organization.
Nevertheless, the cost of services last year amounted to $4.63 million, meaning that Knightscope had a gross loss of nearly $1.3 million before taking into account operating expenses. Loss from operations totaled $14.6 million, an unfavorable expansion from a $10 million loss in 2019. Likewise, net loss amounted to $19.3 million, expanding from a deficit of nearly $12 million.
Still, here’s food for thought. Knightscope ASRs operate 24/7/365 (excluding maintenance). They neither sleep, nor complain nor ask for a pension plan. They have no families nor any higher purpose than to serve the community. Therefore, at scale, Knightscope’s solution could be a viable option for law enforcement agencies.
According to the latest data, the “amount of organized retail thefts has nearly doubled since 2015 when organized retail thefts cost retailers about $453,000 per $1 billion in sales.” Given that most retailers suffered catastrophic losses due to the temporary shutdowns last year, any shrinkage in their business now carries an exponential factor.
Further, while the bright spot in the post-pandemic period has been retail revenge, most shoppers may be deterred from visiting businesses during the critical winter holiday season if criminals continue to act brazenly in their endeavors..
Again, we believe that these circumstances may only boost the narrative for KSCP stock. Perhaps the most important aspect of Knightscope’s solution is that it’s completely divorced from any social or political undertones. One of the challenges that police officers face in the line of duty is inadvertently breaching unwritten protocol regarding intercommunity relations.
Knightscope ASRs have no color nor creed. They can conduct their missions consistently and reliably without any prejudice.
However, despite Knightscope winning the conceptual race, it must provide investors with a credible roadmap to financial viability.
How to Buy Knightscope Stock on StartEngine
If you want to participate in Knightscope’s equity distribution before its shares go live on a major exchange, you can acquire shares through StartEngine and your experience trading securities on public exchanges won’t necessarily translate with this type of offering.
But don’t worry: you can follow the steps below to get you up to speed.
Start Your Engines
To begin, it’s helpful to understand what StartEngine is and how it differs from securities exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange. Primarily, StartEngine is an equity crowdfunding platform that allows innovative, privately held enterprises to raise capital from retail investors. Due to favorable legal developments, such private-equity investments, which were previously only available to accredited investors, are now open to the general public.
Create Your Account
One aspect of participating in a crowdfunding opportunity that’s similar to normal stock market investing is opening an account. Click this link to get started.
Decide Your Share Count
Buying Knightscope shares entails significant risk. The investment is suitable only for persons who can afford to lose their entire investment. Furthermore, investors must understand that such investment could be illiquid for an indefinite period of time. No public market currently exists for the securities, and if a public market develops following the offering, it may not continue. Therefore, if you decide to participate after following your own extensive due diligence, it may be ideal to choose a balanced share count, one that will not devastate your portfolio if KSCP does not perform as expected.
Execute Your Order
Unlike a typical stock market exchange, when acquiring KSCP through StartEngine, an active market pitting bulls and bears against each other doesn’t exist. Instead, you should treat this opportunity as a distribution from Knightscope to interested parties.
Indeed, the lack of an active marketplace makes determining the value of KSCP incredibly difficult. You just don’t see what price investors at large are willing to bear. In many ways, this is a blind order — so be sure to have done your homework before executing.
If you’ve decided that Knightscope stock is for you, StartEngine makes the process easy and intuitive. For instance, you can fund the transaction with a credit card, thus providing flexibility across a range of interested investors.
The Next Generation of Law Enforcement
With police officers struggling under the pressures of an increasingly dangerous occupation, political talk is not enough. Instead, society may need a paradigm shift in law enforcement, which Knightscope could potentially provide. Still, an investment in KSCP stock requires careful due diligence, particularly in the fiscal performance realm.
Benzinga may receive monetary compensation by the issuer, or its agency, for publicizing the offering of the issuer’s securities. Benzinga and the issuer of this offering make no promises, representations, warranties or guarantees that any of the services will result in a profit or will not result in a loss
This Reg A+ is made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC, Member of FINRA/SIPC. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment.
Offering Circular: https://bit.ly/KnightOC
Related Risks: https://bit.ly/Knight-rr
The offering will be made only by means of an offering circular. An offering statement on Form 1-A relating to these securities has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and has become qualified, which only means that the company may make sales of the securities described by the offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. The securities offered by Knightscope are highly speculative. Investing in shares of Knightscope involves significant risks. The investment is suitable only for persons who can afford to lose their entire investment. Furthermore, investors must understand that such investment could be illiquid for an indefinite period of time. No public market currently exists for the securities, and if a public market develops following the offering, it may not continue. Knightscope intends to list its securities on a national exchange and doing so entails significant ongoing corporate obligations including but not limited to disclosure, filing and notification requirements, as well compliance with applicable continued quantitative and qualitative listing standards. Please review the offering circular that can be found here
About Joshua Enomoto
His distinct writing style of distilling convoluted data into relatable and compelling narratives has earned him recognition among several investment-related publications.