Based in Toronto, Ontario Givex Information Technology Group Ltd. (TSX: GIVX, Forum is one of those companies that is making impressive progress. Going public in 2021 and launched in 1999, Givex has over two decades of experience delivering sustainable and profitable growth.
Stockhouse Editorial recently had the opportunity to meet with the company’s CEO, Don Gray, to discuss what the company has been up to and what investors should watch out for.
SH: Can we start by giving you a brief overview of yourself and the company for investors who might be new to Givex?
CEO: Givex is over 22 years old. I started it with my wife, Debra, in 1999 as a very simple online gift certificate website, which we started in Toronto for merchants in Toronto to sell gift certificates. These certificates were redeemed by consumers using a Touchstone phone, that was so long ago. We have since grown to over 300 employees, after recent acquisitions we have made. We have offices in data centers in over 10 countries. We have nearly 115,000 merchant locations using Givex services, with these new acquisitions we just made. We have customers, really, in a hundred countries. Our main focus is in three areas – Customer Engagement, which is our Gift Card and Loyalty Programs – Point of Sale Systems, which are really needed to connect the merchant to the consumer – Payments, which are in some way a new but rapidly growing area for Givex. These three areas are the fundamental programs that Givex offers to our merchants, as a platform where everything is in one platform. Everything is integrated and you have one supplier and one company to deal with for all these services.
SH: The company recently announced a new customer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) — how important is having a customer like that, and what will it mean for the company in the future ?
CEO: Well, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is obviously a great brand. Everybody knows the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays and all the companies, all the teams associated with them. We have also already started working with many Major League Baseball teams, NBA teams, and NFL teams in the United States and Canada. More than 30 teams use our Uptix program. It’s a nice mark to get because it’s right in our backyard, but it’s nothing new for us to be able to deal with teams of this size, companies and operations of this size. We look forward, not only to selling our existing gift card programs to them, but also to expanding that, to selling more of our services to them over time, but of course that all remains to be seen.
SH: The company also made other key acquisitions in Kalex and Loyalty Lane. How did these two companies stand out for Givex?
CEO: Well, Kalex is a company that has been around for over 15 years and whose main function is installation. They have a lot of brand name clients in Canada such as Pizza Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken where they have done all the facilities and with the technology for these companies under contract with, not only the companies but also with the major suppliers who are take care of them and provide them with their technological services. We were looking more to Kalex as a business to help us deploy our existing customers as we attract new customers and engage new ones. We want to be able to look after almost a thousand people, like we have to do right now, so we want to be able to make sure we have a good team that can help us get there.
We’ve been able to do this ourselves so far, but Kalex will bring us that expertise and the knowledge base we need to make it even more effective now. Also with these brands we hope to be able to sell some of our additional services to these brands – not POS systems as they are already well established with those – but we can sell them gift card programs and loyalty programs, online ordering systems, that we can sell them. We’re looking forward to it – in fact, Pizza Pizza, which is one such brand, is already a Givex customer, using our engagement platform.
Loyalty Lane is a company with some very interesting grocery technology. They do specialized coupons, where they’ll connect the big brand, for example, maybe it’s Downy fabric softener, with a consumer who wants to use a coupon that Downy has made available and all of that has to happen in real time at the point of sale system. Loyalty Lane built the system to be able to do everything that happens at the point of sale system, and they also have the technology to have the web apps, the phone apps, the mobile apps, etc., to connect everything together, to make a very transparent process. Today you will see a lot more grocery stores moving towards virtual checkouts and things like that. So that will give us the opportunity now to start developing more in this area.
SH: Givex also recently announced that another customer, iFood, a leader in online food delivery in Latin America, has expanded its services to Colombia. What does this expansion mean for Givex and investors?
CEO: iFood now turns out to be one of Givex’s biggest customers. We are doing very interesting work with iFood. We are their stored value program for iFood in Brazil, which has around 175,000 users on their platform. They perform millions and millions of transactions daily and have drivers all over the country and in over a thousand cities. They are expanding this business in Colombia and hope to expand this business to other countries in Latin America, and we are going to be their partner to do that. It’s just a natural expansion for us as we’ll be working with iFood all over Latin America as they expand their business – and it would become very lucrative for us as it’s a very interesting program that we have there, where we are actually store value technology that is on their card. Which is basically almost a little bank account that they can use to buy stuff other than iFood, they can buy groceries, pharmacy, anything with that particular card. This is a very exciting area for Givex and we look forward to expanding it even further in the coming year.
SH: Are there any other upcoming catalysts that our investing audience should be watching?
CEO: In our offering memorandum we talked about continuing to make acquisitions, so Givex will continue to work on this program. We are also looking forward to hopefully soon being able to announce that we will be trading on the OTC. These are things we’ve talked about before, we’re just working on our plan so we expect them to be a catalyst as we grow over the coming year, but in reality we’re let’s stick to our plan, which we’ve already disclosed – I really can’t talk about all the other big things that are happening until I have a press release about it. These are things I know we’ve talked about before, and I’m just pointing this out again for your audience today.
SH: Is there anything else you would like to discuss that I might have missed?
CEO: Well not really. I think the companies are doing well, we are excited about our future. I just noticed today that the Canadian government announced a program to help Ukrainian refugees who come to Canada, who can come to Canada, in search of employment. We would welcome them with open arms to Givex, as we have many new Canadians working for our company. We would be more than happy to work with the government and anyone else to help hire Ukrainians who come to Canada, seeking to escape this horrible event that is unfolding there right now.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing