Chris Morton: SkyCross

SkyCross is a leading supplier of small, high-powered antennas for the mobile industry, primarily serving customers in the U.S. and various Asian and European countries.

The Challenge

A young company with superior antenna technology and IP that, although experiencing sizable growth, was still lagging in profits and rate of top-line expansion relative to worldwide market opportunities.

My Role

Co-founder & CEO

As Co-founder and CEO of the company, it was my responsibility to create and execute a multi-faceted business plan to add value to the organization through coordinated top and bottom-line growth as well as a more robust, protected market position. 

The Work

We decided to take action to expand beyond Korea into China and Japan, including the decentralization of production to Korea and China. We also resolved to develop strategic partnerships with leading regional mobile carriers in Japan, China and Korea, which then could be used as leverage against competitors.

  • Acquired a Shanghai, China-based antenna producer to gain share and credibility with Chinese and Taiwanese customers local production (higher net contribution margin), and establish culturally appropriate sales, service and customer responsiveness.
  • Expanded our Korean operation to become a full-service regional division, including R&D, sales, and production.
  • Closed strategic investment deals with NTT DoCoMo (Japan) and SK Telecom (Korea) who, in turn, applied pressure on mobile phone providers to use our antennas in their mobile phones, routers, and other devices.
The Outcome

We increased revenue by $20 million in 18 months, diversified the customer base, increased margins by nearly 10 percent, and increased multi-country market presence and reputation. For example, we shipped over 750 million antennas before selling the company to Airgain, including 375 million to Samsung for their Galaxy smartphones and other products.  

Wi-Fi Antennas For Smartphones

Expanding our international footprint, while critical, required addressing a unique and interesting set of challenges, such as bridging significant cultural gaps and related business practices, finding trusted in-country partners and employees, and negotiating customer agreements as well as the purchase of the local antenna company. And yes—a staggering amount of travel. Both exhilarating and exhausting!

––Chris Morton, Co-Founder & CEO