Signup for our free newsletter:

Upcoming Technology IPOs

Written By Jason Stutman

Posted November 23, 2014

It’s going to be a very quiet week for tech IPOs, so just relax and enjoy the turkey. (There’s nothing interesting for you below, I promise!)

Tantech Holdings Ltd.

Ticker: (NASDAQ: TANH)
Expected to Trade: Week of November 24
Price Range: $4.00-$6.00

Business Description

Tantech Holdings describes itself in its prospectus as follows (prepare to be dazzled): 

“We develop and manufacture bamboo-based charcoal products for industrial energy applications and household cooking, heating, purification, agricultural and cleaning uses. We have grown over the past decade to become a pioneer in charcoal products industry made from carbonized bamboo. We are a highly specialized high-tech enterprise producing, researching and developing bamboo charcoal based products with an established domestic and international sales and distribution network.”

Our Take

Zzzzz. Oh, you’re still here?! Sorry, I fell asleep there for a moment.

Either the tryptophan is kicking in or Tantech Holdings is just a little too dull for my liking. The company does describe itself as a “high-tech” enterprise, though, so maybe we’re missing something exciting here…

Let’s check out some of these “high-tech” products!

Tantech describes this one as a “bamboo charcoal hanger for kids” (I swear I’m not making this up):

bamboo charcoal hanger for kids

Why your kids would actually need or want a bamboo charcoal hanger I’m not quite sure, but it sure does look futuristic!

Oh, you say your kids don’t want you stuffing their stockings with charcoal this holiday season? Well, perhaps you’d be interested in your own “bamboo charcoal Ya grass and buckwheat pillow!”

charcoal pillow

That’s right, folks; you can now rest your head after a long day’s work on a satisfyingly granular mix of charcoal, grass, and buckwheat!

Tantech doesn’t stop there, though. The company also sells charcoal insoles, charcoal towels, and an incredibly intriguing product described as a “charcoal carving dog for radiation protection.”

That’s right, this company literally takes pieces of bamboo charcoal, carves them into dog shapes, and markets them as products to protect you from radiation.

Now, that actually might come in handy considering the amount of leftovers you’ll be microwaving next week… but don’t expect too much demand for charcoal canines besides that.

And while Tantech actually does have a healthy inventory of EDLC carbon, a crucial material for supercapacitors, the company’s household products, such as those described above, account for 72.6% of total revenue.

Only 14.3% of Tantech’s revenue is attributed to the combined segment of EDLC carbon and BBQ Products.

Why exactly Tantech combines battery technology with backyard grilling we don’t know for sure, but without splitting the two in its prospectus, the company makes it impossible for us to tell how the EDLC vertical is performing. I’m going to take a guess, though, and say not well.

For anyone still interested in Tantech’s market areas (though I’m not sure why you would be at this point), here’s the gist of it:

edlc carbon

The reality is that having “tech” in your company name doesn’t suddenly make you a technology company. If three-quarters of your business is in household products, you’re a household products company — regardless of how you describe your business.

Tantech’s business description is misleading at best, and the company is, by far, one of the least-desirable equities we’ve ever covered.

So forget you heard the name, and enjoy the holiday. After dealing with this nonsense, you deserve it.