By Yifan Wang 
 

Chinese internet of things, or IoT, company Tuya Inc. is aiming to turn a profit within four to five years, supported by booming global demand for smart devices.

"Our strategy is to gradually narrow losses, but the more important factor is growth, making the pie bigger," company CFO Jessie Liu said in an interview Friday.

The New York exchange-listed company, which provides cloud platforms for businesses to develop mobile apps and operating systems for smart devices, posted a better-than-expected revenue of $56.9 million in the first quarter, tripling from a year earlier.

However, its net loss widened to $40.5 million from $20.6 million a year earlier, weighed by sharply higher share-based compensation expenses.

The earnings marked Tuya's first results release since it went public in March and raised $915.4 million with a higher-than-expected offering price.

The gross margin of Tuya's main platform business tracked up for the ninth consecutive quarter in the January-to-March period, Ms. Liu said.

Tuya, which counts Calex, Philips and Schneider Electric as clients, forecasts second-quarter revenue at $78 million to $81 million, representing a two-fold increase from the year earlier.

The pandemic has pushed consumers into the habit of using internet-based devices at home such as app-controlled light bulbs and smart speakers, Ms. Liu said. Increasing online business activities has also fueled companies' demand for digitization of equipment and facilities, she added.

"The whole IoT industry is still at a very early stage, like the mobile internet ten years ago, when people weren't using smartphones that much," Ms. Liu said, "That's why we think the very strong, rapid growth will continue."

 

Write to Yifan Wang at yifan.wang@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 14, 2021 02:38 ET (06:38 GMT)

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