Tom Smith has been down this road once before.
As co-founder of the company formerly known as Taser (now Axon, a $5 billion-plus market cap company) with his brother Rick (who is still CEO there), Smith worked to develop a safer way for police to apprehend a suspect rather than using a gun. That would naturally be the taser, which has almost become standard use by law enforcement agencies across the country.
Smith is now more than a year into his role as president at Wrap Technologies (WRTC), the $213 million market cap producer of the rather innovative BolaWrap. The taser-looking device shoots out a kevlar rope — not unlike something ripped from Batman’s utility belt — designed to safely detain suspects 10-20 feet away. It’s Smith who is leading the charge on getting the BolaWrap into the hands of police agencies around the world.
Thus far, the company — founded in 2016 — has started to make inroads into the LAPD and other large police forces globally.
“What we have seen is a huge increase in law enforcement reaching out to us,” Smith said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade, when asked if business has picked up in light of social unrest across the U.S., following the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police.
Smith added, “They’re looking for ways to do their job more effectively and this is a transformational product that can help them do it without causing pain. It’s the only tool like it. As the whole country and world grapples with the change of use of force and how police are going to do that, we believe we are perfectly positioned to help instrument that change.”
Trials of the BolaWrap among officers have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented critical demonstrations. Wrap Technologies — which has not yet turned a profit — has acknowledged seeing the device in action is integral to driving trials and then sales. Even still, the company has managed to amass $1.4 million or so in backlog.
The company’s stock has jumped 16% in the past three months.