Listen to Charles Gillies, Director, RCF Jolimont Innovation, discuss a recent investment in RCF Jolimont Innovation Fund II. VRIFY is an innovative company that uses interactive 3D and 360° presentations to equip mining companies and investors with powerful visual context, supported by tools that streamline two-way communication and meetings.
My name is Charles Gillies. I’m the Chairman of the Investment Committee of the RCF Jolimont Mining Investment Fund. I’m also a Director of RCF Jolimont.
Who is RCF Jolimont Innovation?
RCF Jolimont is the innovation fund within the broader RCF. The way we look at the market is that we invest in METS companies which is Mining, Equipment, Technology, and Services companies. In simple terms, anyone that sells something to a mining company.
We also focus very much on innovation. In our view, innovation is anything that reduces costs or improves productivity for mines. And this is deliberately broad because we can see how a lot of different companies can bring different sorts of values to miners. We think it’s a very exciting space because there is a wave of change that is going through the mining industry in response to the capital required to meet the critical minerals challenge as well as the need for mines to continually improve their operations.
We think this is a great time for innovative METS companies to bring solutions to the mining industry and in our view VRIFY fits right in this thesis.
VRIFY has a very exciting platform which enables very complicated information relating to mining and mining companies to be rendered in 3D form and makes it very easy for investors or other people who are interested in mining companies to understand exactly what the mining operation looks like and how it all fits together. And the benefit of this will be that investors will better understand what they’re investing in, and miners will be able to raise funds in a more effective and quicker manner. Our view is that this provides a step change in the way which mining projects will be described and shown to the market.
VRIFY is a Vancouver, British Columbia based company. The CEO is Steve de Jong who has been a successful mining entrepreneur in his own right. He has a very strong board around him with George Salamis also a mining entrepreneur. In terms of the management team, VRIFY have been able to tap into the very strong skills that exist in the Vancouver area to build SaaS style businesses, so it’s got a great blend of mining expertise as well as technical expertise.
Global Network is Key
At RCF Jolimont we like to try and find good deals early and rely a lot upon our reputation to get people to come and speak to us directly. We actually first spoke to VRIFY a couple of years back, but for various reasons they weren’t quite ready for our investment. We kept contact with them and then earlier this year they recontacted us, we liked the story, and we made the decision to invest.
One of the benefits that RCF Jolimont brings is the RCF network. The RCF network is all around the globe in 7 different offices with great connections into the mining industry and a deep understanding of the challenges that miners face and the ways that these problems can be solved by clever and innovative companies. We can also materially assist our companies because we understand the industry so well. We know the people who have got problems and connect our companies with people in the mining industries who need services.
The investment thesis for VRIFY is that this is a very unique tool which takes the complicated information around mining and mining projects and portrays it a very simple, easy to understand, 3D manner. This assists mining companies in better explaining what their project is and what the risks are. It helps investors better understand the projects and what they’re getting themselves into. We think this provides an enormous opportunity for miners at all levels, for juniors, mid tiers, and large miners to better present their mining projects to investors but also more broadly in the market. We think this has the potential to disrupt the way in which mining companies communicate with the external world and creates a lot of value for the customers but also for the companies themselves.
We think that VRIFY has significant potential to grow as a SaaS business over the coming years. We can see this as having significant market share amongst the mining market, juniors, majors, seniors, and potentially in other applications. In 3-5 years, we expect that this is a business that will be of great value either to existing players or potentially as an IPO.
The RCF Jolimont team has been involved in more than 40 technology investments since 2000. In terms of mining technology, we’ve been involved in 15. So, we’ve seen all of the growth pains that technology innovation companies go through as they grow rapidly, so we will bring this expertise to VRIFY and help them grow.
- RCF Jolimont Innovation overview
- VRIFY investment thesis and strategy
- METS: Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services Sector.
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