Do not try this at home! Like an old David Letterman punchline, I learned the hard way last Friday how difficult it is to host a virtual investment conference. Instead of wasting my precious column on a rant against Big Tech and Big Videoconferencing, I will keep it positive. What an amazing group of companies that presented. So much innovation.
These companies, all headquartered in Canada, coincidentally, are at the thin end of the wedge of capitalism. They will help make the world a better place and make a few dollars while doing so. Links to all the conference presentations are at the end of this article. The companies featured were Exro Technologies (EXROF) , Lomiko Metals (LMRMF) , Naqi Logix, Nano One Materials (NNOMF) and Vicinity Motor (VEV) . All the amounts here are in Canadian dollars.
First up was Naqi Logix. A private company, for now, but one that faces huge potential. Naqi's chief Mark Godsy (also the Chairman of Exro) has assembled a Dream Team of execs to develop and market Naqi's core product. An earbud-based system that measures facial microgestures and minute head movements to control a variety of applications. It is "Oh, wow" stuff and the list of potential verticals is quite long. Check out the video that is embedded in Naqi's presentation. Very, very cool stuff.
Next to present was Dan Blondal, CEO of Nano One Materials. I have mentioned Nano One in several previous columns. The key takeaway from Blondal's presentation is found on Slide 16, which sets out two potential business models -- royalty or joint venture -- for Nano One to market its patented One-Pot process for battery cathode materials. Just as Nano One recently "graduated" from the TSX-V to the Toronto exchange's main board, there is a clear line of sight now for Nano One to graduate from pre-revenue status. Nano One's impressive list of commercial partners--Saint-Gobain (CODGF) , Pulead, CBMM, Volkswagen (VWAGY) and an unnamed (for commercial reasons) U.S.-based automaker, among many others--will support this company on the way to revenue generation.
The next presenter was William Trainer, CEO of Vicinity Motor. Elon Musk gets all the publicity, but the bus market will also participate in the decarbonization process, as well. Vicinity has a little bit of a Volkswagen business model, with a solid (current guidance calls for 150 deliveries/$55 million revenues in 2021; VEV reports second quarter earnings per share on Aug. 11) ICE business supporting an attractive EV business. VEV's Lightning EV bus, with batteries supplied by BMW, will be a strong competitor as the bus market electrifies, especially in the versatile 30-foot bus market, which is Vicinity's niche.
Next up was Paul Gill, CEO of Lomiko Metals. Lomiko is sitting on a veritable goldmine with its La Loutre prospect in Quebec, but it is not gold; it's graphite. I often quote the rule of thumb that there is 10-times as much graphite in a lithium-ion EV battery as there is lithium. The world's OEMs will need tons of the stuff to produce EV battery anodes, and Gill has Lomiko very well positioned to exploit the La Loutre prospect. La Loutre is near Imerys' Timcal mine, and that will be a huge advantage as Gill guides this small company (around $30 million market cap) through a project that will take years and hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars to exploit. In a bit of fortunate timing. Lomiko released its Preliminary Economic Assessment for La Loutre the night before my conference. With numbers like those--Pre-tax NPV of $314 million with 28.3% IRR /after-tax NPV of 186 million with 21.5% IRR--I think Gill will have many suitors to help co-develop the prospect.
The final presenter was Sue Ozdemir, CEO of Exro Technologies. Exro's core technology, the coil driver, not only offers the ability to produce multiple torque profiles from a single electric motor, it also can serve as a hub for V2G systems, the vehicle to grid confluence of the mass amounts of energy produced by an EV battery. Also, Exro's second-life battery technology allows for the repurposing of spent EV battery cells into stacks for stationary energy systems. Absolutely brilliant.
So, these companies are changing the world. It was not my intention to host a "greentech" conference, but that was the result. Always remember that "green" and "tech" are inseparable. As the world moves toward decarbonization, it is the small-caps companies that will provide the technology to fully accomplish that mission.
Links to the Vimeo versions of the CEO presentations at the Excelsior Capital Partners Management Access Conference are below.
Nano One Materials