Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) RSS feed en Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:46:59 -0400 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[Media files - The Canadian Securities Exchange enjoying incredible success fueled by cannabis ]]> Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:14:00 -0400 <![CDATA[News - CSE reports record-setting quarter; hits 500 issuers ]]> The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) released strong first-quarter 2019 results on Tuesday, topping new records for aggregate CSE issuer market capitalization and the value of financings in a 12-month period.

Even more notable? The fact that the exchange hit a promising number in the first quarter: 500 issuers (and growing), as cannabis, mining and technology companies chose the exchange for their primary listing. This is up 16% from the end of 2018, and up 47.5% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

“The rapid increase in issuers calling the Canadian Securities Exchange home is an undeniable vote of confidence in the trading and capital-raising environment we offer growth companies of all sizes,” said CEO Richard Carleton. “Strong trading liquidity and the efficiency of conducting financings as a CSE issuer are two aspects of our operations that we receive frequent feedback on, and the industry remains excited about our clearing and settlement facility. The CSE’s excellent start to 2019 maintains the momentum we have built in recent years by responding to the needs of issuers, investors, financial professionals, and other parties, both in Canada’s financial community and on a global level.”

READ: Canadian Securities Exchange enjoying best year yet; large cannabis financings a particular highlight

A few other notable highlights included trading volume in CSE-listed securities, which was 6.7 billion shares, a boost of 6.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. Additionally, the value of shares traded in CSE listed securities totaled C$6.3 billion, up 7.8% from the previous quarter. 

The aggregate market capitalization of CSE issuers rose 62.8% from the previous quarter to C$25.9 billion and financings completed by CSE issuers totaled C$716.7 million in Q1. For the annual period through March 31, 2019, it set a new record of C$5.2 billion, up 168% from the annual period a year earlier. 

According to a CSE release, "The records set for aggregate market capitalization and financings on a trailing 12-month basis reflected not only the strong growth in issuer count but also a general rebound in share prices that began in January and took the CSE Composite Index 36.3% higher in the first three months of the year." 

Cannabis most active sector

Cannabis was the name of the game for the CSE in the first quater, with cannabis and related issuers remaining the most active sector for capital raising, with gross proceeds of C$550.8 million through 81 financings, or 77% of all capital raised by CSE issuers.

In addition to this, companies in the diversified industry category raised C$92.3 million, or around 13% of all capital raised by issuers, and mining issuers completed financings, which totalled C$39.8 million, or 6%.

CSE has strong history and encouraging future

The CSE started operations in 2003, and was recognized as a stock exchange in 2004, with an aim to provide a modern and efficient alternative for companies looking to access the Canadian public capital markets.

The last year has seen significant financings, billion-dollar market caps, a steady stream of international listings, and financial institutions investing in CSE issuers. Fast-growing, well-capitalized companies and strong investor interest in them have helped to elevate the exchange, positioning it for a busy 2019. 

Contact Katie Lewis at

Wed, 24 Apr 2019 12:59:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - The new faces of mining: Developing sustainable projects for the next generation of mining exploration ]]> Anne Turner, Executive Director, Yukon Mining Alliance

James Rogers, President and Director, Global UAV Technologies; President and Director, Longford Exploration Services

Angela Johnson, Corporate Social Responsibility, SSR Mining

Shauntese Constantinoff, Senior External Project Relations Advisor, New Gold

To the outside eye, mining is often seen as an ossified industry, with visions of backhoes digging and drills turning.

But that’s not the whole picture. And the picture is evolving quickly thanks to millennials.

There are a host of millennials behind the scenes influencing change: enabling the industry to be more efficient and sustainable, alongside working with local Indigenous communities.

Proactive spoke to four millennials who are part of the wave of change.

How is new technology changing modes of work in both exploration and development?

JR: What we’re seeing is a trend towards safer, more efficient data collection. In particular, new technologies are being fostered by large corporations that have health and safety protocols that are far more robust than, say, a junior miner. I think that’s driving a lot of the technology and where it’s going. That’s not just about reducing cost but also reducing working hours in the field, such as data collection in inclement environments. Risk management is definitely one of the biggest drivers.

AJ: I think one of the biggest things I’ve seen in exploration is increased efficiency. So, even on our drills, the drill foreman has his iPad, and data that used to be captured on pen and paper in the field is now all streamlined and bluetoothed in real time.

READ: The new faces of mining: Engaging the millennial investor in mining opportunities

AT: Low-impact technology, like droning, is critical, especially for early stage. If you’re in these areas and you’re not really sure what’s happening, it’s great to use low-impact tech and get that initial assessment. At the more advanced stage, you’re starting to see things like directional gyrodrilling, where you are able to send the gyroscope down the drill and get instant readings. This kind of tech is useful but costly. The tech is there. But it’s not always in the budget.

For people considering getting into the mining industry, what career opportunities are there? What are the best growth sectors from an employment perspective?

AJ: If I was to give anyone advice, I would say data analytics. I think that’s becoming huge in the mining industry as far as re-targeting, or looking at data for exploration projects, compiling data, or looking at data in a new way. That’s a new and exciting field.

JR: I agree that data analytics and data management are huge. Lessening impact is also important. When you consider coming into the industry, think about how you’re going to reduce the impact of your work. The use of drones is just one example.

AT: I think our industry needs to do a better job of communicating the benefits of working in the industry in our day-to-day lives and in our communities. We’re not communicating all the benefits of this new tech and safety. There’s a lot of room for people in social media, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and relationship-building. Anyone that can build a strong relationship will be able to have a strong hold in this industry.

SC: The opportunities in this industry are many, enabling people to provide for their families and support their communities in a substantial way. Communicating these opportunities and benefits is key. 

Further to that, resource exploration and development must take into account local communities, such as First Nations, and any impact it may have. How do we do a better job of communicating the benefits from an employment perspective?

SC: I would say get out into the communities, hold information sessions, etc. so that people not only understand the impact, but the many benefits as well.

As an example, we helped facilitate an Indigenous-led Training and Employment Strategy with several of the local First Nation communities near the project I work on to get everyone better prepared for future opportunities and start to identify and address any barriers to employment.

AT: I think what you’re doing from a company perspective is incredible. We’re working on an initiative that will launch this spring, to go into communities to host a mining day. We’re also working to get mining-related curriculum into schools as well. Connecting with that age group of 5-18 is really important.

We’re also trying to work really closely with politicians and influencers. When you talk about it to media, about green technology and clean jobs, there’s this sentiment that mining doesn’t have that. The fact is you’re not getting clean tech without mining, as you need these minerals to come from safe, regulated parts of the world to truly have clean industries and products – like electric cars. Lastly, one of the things we forget to communicate is if you want to stay and work in or near your community, mining is going to be an option for high-paying, rewarding, growth careers.

SC: Having a local workforce, at the end of the day, in their own territories, can benefit an entire community. It is crucial to start learning about the communities and what is important to them at an early stage. It’s a good idea to find out where people’s skill levels are, having transferable skills is important too in a finite industry, and the potential to work with and train in local Indigenous communities could be one of the biggest assets for a project.

So where’s the gap?

JR: I feel like the biggest gap is the juniors, because they are jumping on and off of projects and there’s a short period of engagement. Or they go test the water with a 1000-meter drill program and expect to come back the next year with a fully funded drill program but it doesn’t happen.

How can we mitigate that? Sometimes these projects just aren’t feasible. Even if a junior is responsible and tries to engage the community, there is just a general fickle nature of the finance community around resources and the ability to advance a project.

AJ: On that point, that’s the challenge that we face as explorers, is that social chain of custody. We’re all told, engage early, engage often, continue engagement even when you’re not exploring. But it boils down to funds. This is a real challenge and it’s a real debate and topic we have to tackle in the industry.

I do think it’s getting more noticed. We’re talking about it far more.

What haven’t we talked about?

AJ: One thing I find interesting is governance, in terms of what investors are asking us to disclose. That’s a huge part of something that is changing, right as we speak. ESG, or governance scores, are becoming increasingly important for investors. Investors are now calling companies, asking about disclosures: from climate change to human rights policies. They’re asking for that. I had no idea a few years ago that this would become so important and is an evolving piece of the industry.

AT: One of the initiatives we just launched is Virtual Yukon, which is a virtual reality tour of the Yukon. We’re using it both as a CSR and engagement education tool as well as an investor tool. We’re going to be taking drones over most of the major communities and you’ll be able to visit different places. You can see some of the individual mining projects and companies can use it. We will also use it in the communities. Overall, using digital tools will be a huge asset to companies, investors and communities.


Contact Katie Lewis at

Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:49:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Canadian Securities Exchange enjoying best year yet; large cannabis financings a particular highlight ]]> It is clear from speaking with people both inside the Canadian Securities Exchange and around the broader financial community that 2018 is going to be remembered as perhaps the most transformational year in the CSE’s history.

Huge financings, billion-dollar market caps, a steady stream of international listings, and financial institutions investing in CSE issuers like never before are only some of the talking points.  Fast-growing, well-capitalized companies and strong investor interest in them have elevated the exchange to a new level.

Total capital raised by CSE issuers looks set to increase by over 500% compared to 2017, with a chance at topping the $5 billion mark.  Curaleaf Holdings certainly played its part, raising $520 million during its listing transaction in October.  The company stated in a related news release that over 100 financial institutions had supported its financing.

Rapid expansion of market capitalization

“Clearly, standout events have been taking place over the last few months, with the number of very large US-based cannabis issuers that have joined the exchange,” remarks Richard Carleton, CSE Chief Executive Officer, during a discussion in late November.  “We are seeing the most rapid expansion of market capitalization and impact on the exchange since our inception.”

Climbing 13.25% year-to-date, the total market capitalization of CSE listed companies is growing appreciably thanks to the contributions of several larger entrants to the marketplace.  And while Curaleaf leads the way with its $2+ billion valuation, there are plenty of other issuers that qualify as solid mid-caps in the Canadian market.  Microcaps still constitute the majority of listings, but bigger companies are finding the exchange to be a suitable home as well.

It’s no secret that the CSE is the go-to exchange for listing cannabis companies with operations in the United States.  The CSE never shied away from the cannabis industry in Canada, and when considering how to manage prospective issuers from south of the border, exchange officials spent time with regulators and professional services providers to confirm there was a high degree of comfort with the industry’s risk profile.  One of the advantages of investing in public companies, after all, is strict disclosure standards designed to ensure that investment risk can be accurately assessed.

The next development in the cannabis sector at the CSE, beyond more large listings almost ready to debut, is the development of cannabis index products in 2019.  “The CSE is the only location globally where you see as heavy a concentration of US cannabis issuers, so we are the logical place for such an index to be calculated and disseminated,” notes Carleton.  Could related ETFs be far behind?

Whilst cannabis stocks may be dominating the headlines, the CSE has also welcomed a strong contingent of new mining companies in 2018, a total of 57 through the end of November.

“We have in fact seen a significant number – and in absolute numbers almost a record – of mining companies get onto the exchange and receive funding this year,” says Carleton.  “My sense is that some of the profits from trading in the cannabis space over the last couple of years are being applied to the mining sector.”

Tech listings have been increasing as well, even though appetite for everything blockchain has slowed compared to the enthusiasm of late 2017.  Interestingly, the industry enthusiasm for cannabis might just dovetail with ongoing international outreach initiatives by the CSE to put new funding alternatives on the table in the tech space.

Canadian public equity markets a viable alternative for US companies

Smaller companies in the US and other international markets are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain private funding as private equity funds increase in size and need to make larger investments in portfolio components.  A primary Canadian listing on the CSE would be worth considering for many young growth companies.

“We are being exposed to advisors in the United States who are beginning to understand that the Canadian public equity markets are in fact a viable alternative for US companies looking for growth capital,” says Carleton.  “We’ve had conversations with a number of these professionals about taking what we have learned from the capitalization efforts in the US cannabis space and applying that to companies from other sectors that perhaps have not been that well served by the venture capital and private equity models that are the principal source of growth capital for early stage US companies.”

Speaking of tech, the CSE has an ongoing project of its own in the form of a blockchain-enabled clearing and settlement facility.  The project team is in the late stages of quality assurance and plans call for moving to external testing with dealers and other interested parties before the end of 2018.

“Dealers continue to be extremely eager to get their hands on it,” Carleton explains.  “They understand the business case and the client service benefits, as well as the number of companies that would like to use security tokens as a means of securing capital.  We continue to be very excited about this facility and it is going to be one of the things on the agenda for 2019.”

Continually working to improve the issuer experience is an important part of the CSE’s culture, and that’s reflected in exchange staff organizing or participating in over 80 events during 2018.

New Toronto office 

The CSE seeks to make that part of its business even stronger in 2019 with relocation to a new office, the highest office floor in Toronto, no less – 72 stories up at First Canadian Place.  “This was really brought on by the anticipated growth in our staffing levels, particularly in the listings regulation area,” says Carleton.  “It is important that we continue to maintain high service levels for our issuers and deploy our regulatory responsibilities as an exchange.”

A full-blown market opening centre is in the works and it will be just one of several first-day activities designed to ensure that a new issuer’s launch into the public markets gets off to a good start.  “The new First Canadian Place location will provide the space and a spectacular backdrop to have exactly that kind of experience.”

New issuers will be pleased to learn that they are joining an exchange that again set full-year records for trading volume, trading value, and other measures of investor participation.

Trading volume up

In the first 11 months of the year, trading volume was already 54.97% higher than the total for all of 2017, topping 27.05 billion shares.  Most measures of investor activity had actually surpassed last year’s record levels by mid-summer.  And with the listing application pipeline exceptionally healthy as we head into year-end, look for 2019 to be another blockbuster.

Granted, capital markets in Canada are having a better year in general, but the CSE’s pace of growth in 2018 is validation of a business model that puts the needs of issuers first.  Fund managers from around the world confirm this, sophisticated management teams who choose the CSE over multiple alternatives confirm this, and investors trading tens of millions of shares per day in individual companies confirm this.

Carleton and his team see it first-hand and fully anticipate 2019 to be another year of growth and progress in many forms.  Be it cannabis and tech businesses listing from the US, Israeli companies following up on the CSE’s multiyear effort there to introduce the CSE listing concept, or new investors learning about the many opportunities presented by CSE issuers, the outlook could hardly be brighter.

“Things are going well but we need to keep our foot on the accelerator,” Carleton concludes.  “Top quality service for our issuers, a fair and well-regulated trading environment, and continued innovation in the exchange’s technology and business practices.  It has worked so far, and we are going to keep at it.”

Thu, 20 Dec 2018 20:20:00 -0500
<![CDATA[Media files - Canadian Securities Exchange achieving unprecedented growth in 2018 ]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:12:00 -0400 <![CDATA[Media files - A 'record year' for the Canadian Securities Exchange, says CEO Richard Carleton ]]> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:13:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Difference Makers – CSE’s Top Performers Share More in Common than You Might Think ]]> Every investor in microcap stocks is in it for the big win, targeting double-digit or larger gains virtually every time they make a purchase.  Alas, if only it were that easy…most microcaps don’t turn in market-beating performance, and far too many end up costing investors all of their money.

Professional money managers typically follow a strict set of rules for choosing the stocks to include in their portfolio – a formula, if you will, to help make the right choices.  Stellar returns remain far from assured, but winning companies seem to share particular traits that are easily identifiable.

By the same token, public company managers can take certain steps to give their companies the best chance for success, both in attaining corporate goals and in achieving full valuation in the market – objectives that are not exactly mutually exclusive.

The CSE has been home to more than a few prolific performers over the years and we profile four recent success stories in this article.  What makes these companies tick, why are their shares investor favourites, and what exactly do they do that enables their respective stock prices to perform so well?  Is there a magic formula?  Let’s find out.


“There is no magic formula,” states Cory Brandolini, CEO and founder of RESAAS Services Inc. which at its peak to date sat 1,892% above its February 2011 Initial Public Offering price of $0.25.  Priced at around $1.60 at date of publication – despite its business being miles ahead of where it was when the stock was at $4.98 – the share price still represents a gain to original investors that anyone would be happy with.

“Share price appreciation is a function of two things,” Brandolini explains.  “One, execute your business plan and make sure you are growing every month, and two, get that message out so people can understand clearly what you are trying to do.  There is no magic to that – it is just hard work, execution on your model, growth of your user base in our case, and messaging that to the investment community.”

RESAAS was deliberate in formulating the right course of action before executing its business plan, spending over a year canvassing potential clients through focus group-style forums and one-on-one meetings with brokers and CEOs from all of the major brands.  RESAAS clearly had a vision as to how they felt the industry needed to evolve and the results of a year’s worth of industry data collection served to confirm the team’s ideas.

The company then went into a calculated “stealth development” phase before launching the platform on a global basis. The result is a cloud platform connecting the entire real estate services industry around the world in real time.  Finding out what you don’t know after you’ve already created your product can be lethally expensive, and since Brandolini and RESAAS CFO Cam Shippit come from the financial industry, they understand how critical a strong start is to long-term success.

“Our ideology is that we wanted to transform the industry – not disrupt professionals but advance their model,” says Brandolini.  “Technology was not the industry’s strong suit.  It needed to be solved from an outsider’s point of view, an agnostic point of view, by somebody who didn’t have a dog in the fight but was simply trying to address the legacy based problems within the real estate services industry.”

And what an industry to choose.  As estimated by the US Federal Reserve, the value of combined commercial and residential real estate assets in the United States alone totals some US $40 trillion.  Even though only a small percentage of properties change hands each year, the commissions available to real estate agents reach into the billions.

The RESAAS platform is a gorgeous piece of online architecture that gives realtors, brokerages, multi-national franchises and associations their own industry-specific enterprise social network.  Users get to custom-brand their own environment and enjoy the functionality of real-time information sharing. Think of the power of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and the productivity of (NYSE:CRM).  “There had never been a platform built exclusively for the real estate enterprise side that advances the industry past its early baby boomer designed infrastructure,” says Brandolini.

In the third quarter of 2015, the company expanded its suite of services with the addition of the RESAAS Marketplace, where industry professionals can access a wide variety of services from companies such as Top Producer, DocuSign and Dotloop at prices available only to RESAAS members.  There are now over 50 participating companies, and counting, in the RESAAS Marketplace.  “Our strategy early on was to allow other real estate service providers that offer best in class products the ability to integrate directly into our platform and expose their services within our Marketplace,” says Brandolini.

Then in the fourth quarter of last year RESAAS introduced an exciting new feature on the platform called RealTimeMLS.

“At the end of 2015 we launched a game-changer for Real Estate Associations. RealTimeMLS is a technology that looks to eliminate static data collecting and turn that process into a real-time model,” says Brandolini.  “With RealTimeMLS, for any listing that an agent posts on the RESAAS platform, all of the members of his or her local association will be notified of that listing in real time, and the listing information will be pushed to that agent’s local MLS.”

Standing behind this young tech juggernaut is a balance sheet that at December 2015 boasted $6.8 million in cash and just over $438,000 in accounts payable and liabilities.  RESAAS has raised well over $20 million since it was established but at the end of last year had barely over 33 million shares outstanding.  Talk about solid corporate financial management.

Modern tech companies often get high-per user valuations, and there is little reason to believe RESAAS will not one day visit those hallowed realms.  After all, its user base is ultra-focused and full of high-paid professionals with shared interests that at the same time have something in common with every single one of us, as we all need somewhere to live.

Asked about achieving appropriate share valuation, Brandolini has one more piece of advice.  “You have to be able to get your value proposition across,” he says.  “Are you disrupting an industry, are you advancing an industry, or are you solving an industry problem?  You had better be able to answer one of those three questions affirmatively if you want the value of your company to be properly recognized on the stock market.”

Lite Access Technologies (CSE:LTE)

Lite Access Technologies listed on the CSE in a transaction that saw the company raise just over $1.84 million at $0.25 per share, with its first trade printing on June 1, 2015.  Since then, its stock price has closed as high as $1.80, up 620%, and at time of publication was $1.61, or 544% higher.

Lite Access could hardly have chosen a better time to go public, what with a worldwide “supercycle” in optical fibre installation by large telecoms driving growth for the company’s products and services.  And if that cycle is, as the company suggests, merely in the second inning, it is easy to understand why investors have gotten so excited about the prospects for strong, sustained earnings.

“Everyone today is touched by the digital world and realizes that high broadband speed and capacity is essential to a modern economy, economic growth and the daily lives of most consumers,” says Michael Plotnikoff, Lite Access co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.  “And as rapidly as fiber optic deployment is growing in a general sense, the micro-trenching and air-blown fibre sub-sector that Lite Access specializes in is growing faster.  We not only offer pure-play exposure to the space, but our total integrated solutions are based on both proven technologies and widely accepted installation methodologies considered to be the solution of choice for fibre-optic connectivity – that is pretty difficult to find.”

Lite Access uses specially designed proprietary equipment to create “micro-trenches” into which it places exclusive crush-proof microduct (micro-conduit) designed for all types of telecom applications, both for today’s needs and those of the future.  The microduct serves as a medium through which optical fibre is blown using compressed air to create high-speed broadband connectivity in a matter of minutes and at a cost far less than with traditional cable installation methods.

The beauty of the system, and a main factor driving demand, is the lack of interference with the local environment and archaeologically sensitive areas both during initial installation and any subsequent upgrade cycle.  As the micro-trenches are narrow, Lite Access installation teams can be in and out of a site quickly (micro-trenching and installing up to 1 metre per minute of microduct) and at a cost much lower than more disruptive conventional methods.

Later, when fibre needs to be replaced due to technological obsolescence or upgraded in support of future growth requirements, there is no need to dig up the roadway again.  Lite Access simply blows new fibre from the starting point through to its destination at the other end and, voila, there is your upgrade.  Nobody outside of the companies involved even knows it took place.

As Plotnikoff explains, Lite Access is a pioneer in the micro-trenching and air-blown fibre business, and as the industry shifts into high gear he has a proven team behind him that has successfully completed dozens of projects globally, some quite challenging from an engineering perspective and at times not possible using traditional installation methods.  Well-rounded project and management experience is serving Lite Access well from both an operations standpoint and in the market with investors.  It is one of several important boxes it has ticked.

Good people?  Check.  And that includes over a dozen partners around the world certified to install microduct and handle air-blown optical fibre installation.  These partners will contribute to a re-balancing of the revenue stream in future years as they collectively come to install more of Lite Access’s patented equipment and supplies than the company does itself.

Good financial management?  Check that box, too.  Lite Access has just 30.6 million shares outstanding and no financing has been conducted since the initial $0.25 round.  A corporate update released February 1 explained that milestone payments had been received on a $7 million project for BC’s Haida Gwaii community, plus there was over $1 million in receivables and inventory on the most recent balance sheet.

Another key point to note is that with the types of customers Lite Access has – which include cities and municipalities, First Nations and Native Americans, as well as private enterprise and local governments – odds are the company rarely, if ever, finds itself chasing anyone for payment.

Plotnikoff speaks warmly about shareholders he has interacted with over the past year, saying some have essentially become advocates for the brand, helping build awareness and even calling in with business opportunities.  Shareholders are welcome to visit the company’s headquarters and main warehouse in Richmond, British Columbia, if that level of contact is important to them.

“Our shareholders are comfortable because they have an open line of communication and clear, transparent access to information,” explains Plotnikoff.  “I like to think that if we preserve that approach as a principal component of our corporate culture and continue to deliver growth, we will always have a strong degree of support in the market.”


PUDO Inc. debuted on the CSE on July 28, 2015 at $0.70, proceeded to drop to $0.18, yet within two weeks was conducting a private placement of 1.1 million shares at $0.63.  Using that as a reference price, the stock has closed up as much as 443%, and as of publication date is up a still respectable 280%.

“While you are out and about, we’re here accepting your deliveries” reads the tagline on the company’s website, and that pretty much captures the essence of the PUDO service.  We all know how frustrating it is to be waiting for a package, only to arrive home and find that someone tried to deliver it, but unable to do so left a sticky message indicating that you cannot obtain your parcel until the following day.  Even more annoying is learning that the package had been delivered, only to be stolen off the front stoop.

PUDO completely eliminates this inefficiency by creating locations called PUDO Points where customers can specify their parcels be dropped off so as to be picked up at their convenience.

The benefits to all participants in a transaction run deeper than that, but at its core the service makes life more convenient for consumers.  It is the simplicity and connection to all of us that PUDO CEO Frank Coccia believes is behind the impressive performance by the company’s shares in the short time the company has been public.

“It is a story that everyone understands,” says Coccia.  “It is not a biotech company or mining exploration where it can be difficult to see the real potential.  I enjoy going out and speaking with investors.   They see that couriers, retailers and consumers can have a field day with this.”

Digging a little deeper, one learns why the concept would have more natural allies than competitors.  Coccia explains that PUDO seeks nothing more than to provide pick-up points inside convenience stores and other established physical locations.

Couriers thus know they have a guaranteed delivery and save money by not having to attempt re-deliveries after a failed visit.  Retailers that ship product to fulfill customer orders gain flexibility to negotiate with multiple couriers and thereby reduce their shipping costs.  The consumer gains the peace of mind that comes with knowing a parcel is available to pick up at a convenient location whenever they like.  Convenience stores and other PUDO Points not only earn fees for holding and putting parcels in the hands of their owners, but also from impulse buys thanks to the extra foot traffic.

Coccia says that investors also like the fact that PUDO keeps its costs under control by needing little more than to maintain and support the technology behind the service.  “The beauty of PUDO is that we don’t own anything outside the technology,” explains Coccia.  “The bricks and mortar is already there.  We are just taking advantage of the elements in an ecosystem that already exists.”

Growth on the ground has been quick to date, with Coccia saying that the company has already established some 800 PUDO Points in Canada and the US and over 6,000 registered locations, this latter category being locations signed up that have yet to go through training so they are fully ready to roll.

“Once we hit 3,500 to 4,000 locations in Canada then we should be exactly where we want to be,” Coccia says.  “In the US we have over 3,700 registered locations at present and ultimately want 16,000 to 20,000.  Once we reach those two numbers we will have a fixed cost with a control centre that manages everything.”

Experience helps small companies avoid costly mistakes, and fortunately for PUDO Coccia has been at this for 35 years.  “I built niche courier systems, which basically are courier systems for one industry.  We did it for the travel industry and the financial services sector and for lawyers serving one another documents and papers.  It is all about consolidation where people can pick up mail and drop off their mail.”

Coccia expects growth to continue apace, thanks in part to several potential partners he is talking to in the US.  “We’d suddenly have a network in the US that could rival that of any national carrier – UPS or even the post office,” he says.

With just 15.6 million shares outstanding, PUDO has plenty of room to maneuver if Coccia deems it necessary to raise equity capital for supporting growth.  And while the company is not flush with cash, liabilities are fairly low as well, so with revenue beginning to come in Coccia has a good shot at preserving a nice share structure until PUDO reaches the point at which it becomes self-funding.

Experienced management, enviable share structure, rapid growth, consistent communication.  Does that qualify as a formula?

VirtualArmor (CSE:VAI)

VirtualArmor debuted on the CSE in November of last year at $0.25.  It sat quietly for its first couple of months before starting to build a following that has since seen the stock close as high as $0.75 (a 200% gain), and more recently at $0.65 (up 160%).

A basic analysis of the company yields some familiar themes, including experienced management and rapid growth underscored by hard-won advantages in a large, fast-growing market.

Founder and Chairman Christopher Blisard explains the challenges facing every entity with a presence on the Internet, and thereby the opportunity for VirtualArmor, in a manner hard to dispute.  “Where we are going as a world is that everything is being moved to the edge,” Blisard explains.  “You as a consumer or business want everything available all the time at any location.  We’ll continue to grow because technology is pushing the boundaries of where data is stored and those areas can become very vulnerable very quickly.  You really have no choice but to call companies like ours to take care of your problems.”

Established in 2001, VirtualArmor has crafted a business model over the years that Blisard says literally has no peer within the industry.  It involves working closely with hardware manufacturers so that the VirtualArmor team can go beyond providing a security overlay “a mile wide and an inch deep” and get inside the actual hardware, where the most talented of hackers often go to lay their traps.

“We work hand in hand with the manufacturer, plugging their software into our platform so we can go incredibly deep into every piece of equipment we are managing on your network.  It is not just a reactive environment at that point, but also a proactive environment.”

When VirtualArmor discusses security with a potential client, it insists on bringing the hardware that will serve as the backbone of the entity’s computer network.  Instead of trying to fix the myriad bugs inherent in a system that should have been designed better in the first place, VirtualArmor brings in what it knows will work.

Looking at the financial picture, accrual earnings were skewed in 2015 by non-cash items related to the go-public effort, but cash flow was positive for the year, and that’s the number that really counts.  Fiscal 2016 should be more indicative, and thus far is shaping up nicely.  The company announced on March 8 that it had booked US $2.4 million in sales in the previous 90 days.  Given that revenue for full-year 2015 was US $7.4 million, VirtualArmor is so far on pace to beat handily year on year.

Matthew Brennan, Vice President of Sales, points to the importance of convincing investors that growth in revenue and earnings is sustainable.  “When you have an organization as successful as ours and all of that revenue came from two salespeople, to know we are going to end the year at between six and eight salespeople suggests you will see things move in a positive direction,” he says.

Blisard adds that part of the benefit of listing on the CSE has been to broaden the understanding of VirtualArmor and give it new tools to conduct the full extent of the expansion it envisions.  “Looking at 2016 to 2017, the objective will be to expand our reach internationally,” he says.  “That includes going into Canada and Europe, and particularly the London market.”  Blisard goes on to explain that the company has a 10-person Security Operations Center, or SOC, just outside of London that can play a very helpful role in landing and serving local customers.

The revenue outlook is further enhanced by the stickiness of the client base, which is actually very easy to assess: “We have never lost a managed services customer and our longest one has been with us for 10 years,” says Blisard.

Also helping the share price was the announcement March 16 that the company was cancelling just under 3 million of its shares outstanding, and that several third-party shareholders had agreed to put a total of 3 million shares into escrow.  The resulting reduction in dilution, not to mention clear vote of confidence, set a positive tone that the stock price responded to immediately.

Blisard is happy with the way the stock has performed to date but points out that he knows education is a process and that it will take time for the company to build the following it thinks it ultimately deserves.

“For the Canadian markets a company like this is unique,” Blisard explains.  “The investment community understands the importance of cybersecurity in their lives.  The people we talk to understand the way our company is structured, how it drives revenue, how it drives profit, and where it sits within the cybersecurity world.”

Concludes Brennan, “It is very important that an investor understands there is a roadmap.  We made a good decision in not growing too quickly, taking our proceeds and placing smart bets on particular territories and hiring the right people.  I think it is key that the investment community understands this.”

The Conclusion

The keys to success?  Good people are absolutely indispensable – a capable management team knows how to get the most out of a business, and has the ability to address problems and get things back on track if something goes wrong.  From corporate strategy to financial management and dynamic communications, they know what makes successful businesses work and how to fire on all cylinders.  There is no substitute for experience.

Share structure is another aspect valued by most investors and managers – if things go right, good structure makes it easier to achieve high EPS, and having fewer shares out to weigh on the market price is clearly a good thing.  If things go wrong the well-structured company has superior flexibility in accessing capital markets for the funds needed to right the ship.  More often than not, good share structure is a reflection of skillful financial management as, of course, is a strong balance sheet.

Then there is being in the right business at the right time (good management again?) – considered another way, it is easier to ride a wave than to fight one.  And when a company’s growth outlook is built on a history of expansion already, it serves as a key to winning investor confidence.

So, no magic formula, unfortunately.  Just hard work, knowing what you are doing, achieving consistent growth of your business and communicating all of this efficiently.  It may not be the whole puzzle, but these are definitely some of its most important pieces.

Thu, 26 May 2016 13:05:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - CSE increases number of listed issuers by 35% in 2014 as growth accelerates ]]> The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) is coming off a banner 2014, with the exchange finishing the year with a total of 244 listed companies, a 35 percent increase from 2013.

Total trading volume for the year was 2.3 billion shares, up 165 percent from the previous year. CSE-listed companies also conducted 211 financings, raising a total of $155 million, $76 million more than 2013.

The company said the figures reflect its success in reducing the cost of capital for Canadian public companies, making the process of accessing Canadian public markets easier. 

For 2015, the Canadian exchange expects growth to remain strong, as it introduces several new initiatives aimed at further strengthening its competitive edge, it added.

The stock exchange not only offers lower listing costs than other exchanges in Canada, but the process to getting approved is much easier. Despite pretty standard regulatory and disclosure requirements across the Canadian landscape, the real difference between CSE and others is the business oversight at the exchange level. 

The CSE requires a monthly update from each issuer, which is not required on other exchanges, making up for the fact that upfront business diligence is not conducted by the CSE, dramatically reducing the time frame from application to listing as well as advisory and legal fees.

Companies from a wide range of business sectors listed on the CSE in 2014, including pharmaceutical, health care, technology, mining, clean tech, oil and gas and financial services.  Approximately half of new listings came in the form of public companies transitioning to the CSE from other exchanges, the CSE said.

Among those stand-out performers last year, Pivotal Therapeutics (CSE:PVO) and Helius Medical Technologies (CSE:HSM) each raised more than $7 million, while medical marijuana company Supreme Pharmaceuticals (CSE:SL) also completed a significant equity raise.

Supreme was also an exchange volume leader in 2014, alongside other companies in the medical marijuana sector such as Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE:ATT) and Affinor Growers (CSE:AFI), according to CSE's statement.

“Technology was a standout on the financing front, with issuers in the sector accounting for around half of all capital raised on the CSE in 2014,” said CSE chief executive officer Richard Carleton. 

“But fundraising challenges remain and this makes our operating model attractive for companies at the early to mid stages of development.  With no immediate relief on the horizon, our low-cost, highly efficient listing model will remain an important incentive for fast growing companies to work with us.”

The Canadian stock exchange's efforts to remain ahead of the game this year include a new program designed to enhance issuer liquidity, as well as new order routing, compliance and risk management tools to assist dealers and more resources to support existing issuers.

Plans also call for a broader foreign markets strategy, it said, after the CSE became a designated exchange with the leading operator of over-the-counter markets in the US in early 2014. Companies had greater trading liquidity as a result, as US investors gained access to CSE stocks through domestic broker platforms that were able to provide quotes denominated in US dollars.

The CSE is now looking to explore this model with exchanges in Europe and the UK in 2015.

“We put a lot of effort into raising our profile with key segments of the public finance community in Canada and internationally in 2014,” said Carleton. 

“Our goal is to build on those achievements throughout the current year, ensuring easier market access to enhance liquidity, reaching out to institutional investors to explain the merits of the CSE," he added.

Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:07:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - CSE hits record number of issuers as expansion ramps up on all fronts ]]> The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) says that its number of listed issuers rose almost 24 percent in September from the same time last year as companies increasingly look to tap into the junior exchange's many benefits.

The stock exchange not only offers lower listing costs than other exchanges in Canada, but the process to getting approved is much easier.

Despite pretty standard regulatory and disclosure requirements across the Canadian landscape, the real difference between CSE and others is the business oversight at the exchange level. The CSE requires a monthly update from each issuer, which is not required on other exchanges, making up for the fact that upfront business diligence is not conducted by the CSE, dramatically reducing the time frame from application to listing as well as advisory and legal fees.

The total number of issuers reached 250 for the first time on September 18. At the end of September, it had 253 listed issuers, a 23.5 percent increase over the same time last year.

Total equity capital raised by CSE issuers since the beginning of the year has also surpassed $100 million. As of the end of September, 87 issuers, spanning from oil and gas to pharma, had conducted 160 financings, raising a total of $109.9 million.

Trading volume also increased in the third quarter --- quite a feat amid a challenging landscape for Canadian juniors --- rising a whopping 252 percent compared to the same period in 2013 to 549 million shares.

"The accelerating expansion we see on all fronts illustrates clearly that entrepreneurs looking to tap the public markets for growth capital are increasingly aware of the advantages offered by the Canadian Securities Exchange," said CSE chief executive officer, Richard Carleton.

"Our streamlined compliance process, low listing costs and issuer support initiatives are proving the right fit for more and more businesses in an environment where cost of capital is more paramount to the success of small-cap companies than ever before."

Of the financings conducted so far on the CSE in 2014, notable ones included medical device developer Helius Medical Technologies (CSE:HSM), which raised some $7.62 million in May, and real estate social network RESAAS Services (CSE:RSS), which took in $4.0 million in July.

Tech sector financings contributed 51.4 percent of capital raised by CSE issuers in the first three quarters of this year. 

"Trading volume at record levels and issuers finding receptive audiences for financing efforts shows that a growing number of investors, both individuals and institutions, are coming to appreciate the opportunities to deploy capital available on the CSE," said James Black, VP of listings development at the exchange.

"Our services are attracting early stage businesses as well as companies that are already established in their respective industries." 

So far in 2014, the CSE has welcomed a record 60 new listed companies, and says it will continue to build on this number during the remaining months of this year, with a large number of applications in hand from prospective issuers.

In 2013, the CSE recorded a total of 37 issuers for 2013. The TSX welcomed 108 new issuers in 2013, down from 132 in 2012, while the TSX Venture listed 76 companies last year, far below the 161 in 2012.

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:30:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Chlormet Technologies gets best of both worlds in North American marijuana market ]]> Unlike other Canadian junior entrants in the marijuana space, Canada’s Chlormet Technologies (CSE:PUF) is looking to beef up its exposure to the burgeoning marijuana space on both sides of the border, with a producer license application pending for a medical marijuana facility in London, Ontario and an LOI with a license holder in the legal recreational marijuana industry in Washington State, U.S.A. 

While both markets share similarities, the difference in commercial potential is vast after Washington recently became the second U.S. state after Colorado to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. 

Canada’s new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), while quite promising, has led to a surge of new entrants in the sector that has bogged Health Canada down. The Canadian health regulator has been inundated with MMPR application requests, as the department has predicted the explosive industry will be worth some $1.3 billion by 2024 and that the number of users could increase 10-fold within five years. 

But the number of licenses granted so far by Health Canada, as of September 9, is just 13.

Hence Chlormet’s good idea to diversify its operations and bring itself exposure to a market that could bring in billions at a much quicker pace. 

The potential for the market in Washington State is evidenced by Seattle’s first recreational pot store having to close after running out of stock just three short days after opening. As of July, the state had issued its first 25 licenses to outlets under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in November 2012.

The state of Washington has allotted a total of 2 million square feet of growing space for the licensed production of marijuana. Under the new initiative, a licensee can manufacture as much product as they are able, with no limits on the amount of plants that can be grown within a defined foot print.

This backdrop compares to a federal court injunction in Canada in April that gave a coalition of people who use the drug for medicinal purposes an exemption from the new Health Canada rules, which were designed to eliminate 30,000 licenses for homegrown marijuana on April 1, and force patients to buy quality-grown pot from approved commercial producers.

The simple idea behind MMPR was to put licensed growing into the hands of a much smaller number of large commercial operations, as the old regime proved difficult to monitor owing to the many thousands of small-scale growers it covered.

“Our eyes are open because of the Canadian federal court granted injunction in April, and thought it would be best to start looking outside of Canada,” said interim chief executive of Chlormet, Yari Nieken in a recent interview with Proactiveinvestors.

Nieken also indicated that the potential market size of the legal recreational marijuana space in Washington made it very attractive. While in Canada there are between 32,000 to 40,000 registered medical marijuana users, Washington State’s has roughly 350-400,000 regular marijuana users, who can now access their recreational marijuana legally.  

Adding to this, due to Canada’s uncertain regulatory footing, the licensing process has slowed since the winter/spring of 2014. But Chlormet’s chief executive says there have been encouraging signals, with Health Canada recently sending two companies notices that they will be receiving licenses in the next 30 days, after not having granted a license for the past two and a half months.  In addition, the level of communication from Health Canada to Chlormet has dramatically improved as well, says Nieken, with the company receiving confirmation that it had reached the ‘enhanced screening stage’.

Chlormet earlier this year announced an exclusive option to acquire 100 percent of AAA Heidelberg, a private Ontario company that currently owns a secure 8,800 square foot commercial building and is located in London, Ontario. Since December last year, AAA Heidelberg has had an application pending with Health Canada for a new MMPR license for the production of up to 1,320 pounds of marijuana in the first year. 

The facility interior had been built out as per regulatory requirements, says the CEO, with Health Canada to be called on site to perform a final inspection of the building.

As a result of the early application, the licensing process is well underway. The facility will include four grow rooms, labs, offices and secure storage for the product. AAA Heidelberg is also armed with an experienced grow professional, who is currently a designated grower under the MMAR licensing, or old regime. The current crops from the facility, which are thriving and being grown under the continued MMAR licensing owing to the injunction, include 10 different strains of marijuana that range from high cannabidiol (CBD) content to high THC content. 

The product is expected to fetch between $5 and $15 per gram, depending on the strain, according to Chlormet.

Currently, Chlormet has a 16.5 percent equity stake in AAA Heidelberg, after having invested $120,000 in the business in March. It has an option to acquire the remaining 83.5 percent, subject to the grant of the MMPR license, by issuing up to 16 million common shares of Chlormet. 

In June, the company also signed a letter of intent with Babcock Bench Farms of Washington to lease property, building and equipment in support of its state-approved marijuana production and process license. 

Chlormet is not permitted to directly run a growing facility due to state restrictions and would therefore operate in the U.S. as a company that leases facilities, equipment, security and expertise to licensed growers. Indeed, the Babcock deal will be facilitated through a long-term facility and equipment lease agreement.

Babcock has been approved for a Tier 3 (the biggest category of license based on square footage) marijuana license in Washington State, with anticipated production of between 1,350 and 2,150 pounds of dried marijuana per quarter from the approved 21,000 square foot indoor facility.  This would generate revenue in excess of $6 million in the first year and revenue could start to be realized as early as May, 2015. 

To boot, the principals of the US-based company have already been growing for Washington State for the past two years, under a non-profit cooperative for approved medical marijuana patients.

Chlormet is currently conducting due diligence on this deal, with a definitive agreement required for the transaction to close.

“With AAA Heidelberg’s London, Ontario grow facility nearing completion and pending Health Canada's final approval for a MMPR license, the company has been actively searching for real, attainable and diversified opportunities to continue to bring shareholder value,” says Nieken, indicating that there may be additional deals in the near future.

The chief executive is expecting to complete due diligence in Washington within the coming few weeks. Its treasury has also been filled with the exercise of warrants from a March financing which has brought in more than $700,000.

“The exposure to the recreational space is a huge advantage to us given that Health Canada is currently inundated with applications and the injunction has, unquestionably, delayed the licensing process. 

“With the recent notice from Health Canada that we have passed through the enhanced screening process, we are convinced that we will receive a MMPR license.  The addition of near term revenue generation in the US puts us in a more viable position than other companies with MMPR applications in Canada,” adds Nieken.  

“We have a number of other opportunities that we are looking at - it is a great time to be in the marijuana sector.  It is going to be a fun ride over the coming years.” 

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:24:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Newnote to raise brand profile among small cap investors with new marketing program ]]> Shares of Newnote Financial Corp. (CSE:NEU) jumped over 23% Wednesday after unveiling an online marketing and awareness program through Agoracom, which it says will provide the Vancouver-based software and service company with significant exposure through millions of content brand insertions on the network over the next 12 months.

The company will also benefit from exclusive sponsorships of digital properties such as Agoracom TV, the Agoracom home page and the Agoracom Twitter account. 

Specializing in the development and acquisition of products and services specific to Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, Newnote aims for the creation of a self-contained 'eco system' of such services.

The company has already purchased its first Bitcoin ABM machine, a device that can convert fiat currency to Bitcoin in fifteen seconds and accepts notes from over 200 countries. The ABM – the first of many, according to Newnote – not only allows Newnote to make commission on withdrawals and trades, but the machine is also linked to the company's exchange. 

Just yesterday, the provider of crypto-currency financial products and Bitcoin financial solutions said that after selling out its initial mining capacity in just 12 hours, the company added another 100 terahashes to its cloud-hashing capability. 

Its cloud hashing platform allows the end user to mine for Bitcoins without having to deal with the expense of purchasing, configuring and maintaining expensive hardware, with the software distributing Bitcoin profits to users according to purchased hashing power.  A terahash is the speed of production of a trillion hashes per second, a hash being the smallest unit of mining work. Cloud hashing is expected to take off in the next few years in what is expected to be a global multi-billion dollar business.

Under the agreement with Agoracom, in exchange for the online advertising and marketing program, Newnote will issue shares for services, beginning with $12,500 in shares at the beginning of June. In total, it will issue to Agoracom $50,000 in shares in four tranches by March 1, 2015. The term of the deal is for 12 months, Newnote said.

Newnote's shares soared 23.7% in mid-afternoon trade in Toronto, to 47 Canadian cents. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has rocketed over 922%. 

Wed, 28 May 2014 14:06:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Lexaria rises on key manager appointments ]]> Lexaria Corp's (CSE:LXX) (OTCQB:LXRP) shares got a lift on Thursday after the company appointed new managers to help with its plan to buildout a medical marijuana production facility in Ontario, for which it has teamed up with peer Enertopia Corp (CSE:TOP). 

The company has named Greg Boone as its new human resources manager, who is tasked with placing key managers and execs in the new Ontario production facility and company-wide as necessary. Boone is currently the president of HEC Group, an executive search and management consulting company that specializes in building team to grow emerging companies.

Lexaria has also appointed Clark Kent as media manager to implement media needs for the new facility as well as broader company strategies. The company said he has more than 8 years experience in media management, communications and marketing, and has previously worked in fields including resources and medical diagnostics. 

“I welcome both Greg and Clark and I know their contributions will help position Lexaria for the success we are striving towards,” said CEO Chris Bunka. 

“Key appointments such as these, and the knowledge and experience represented by these latest members of our team, will continue to enable Lexaria to distinguish itself in this rapidly emerging industry through the quality and dedication of its people.”

Earlier this month, Lexaria said it teamed up with Enertopia to co-own and co-operate a marijuana grow facility, which is currently 30,000 square feet. The parties have a right of first refusal to expand the site by another 45,000 square feet to accomodate future growth. 

Site renovations are rapidly moving forward, and the phase one buildout for production space has been increased from 6,400 square feet to 14,000 square feet. Enertopia will own 51% in the production facility, and will pay 45% of all initial and ongoing expenses related to the project, while Lexaria will own a 49% stake and pay 55% of the costs. 

The companies have agreed to an initial five-year lease, with options to renew for another 15 years. 

The medical marijuana business has been a booming sector for Canadian juniors lately, with one after the other making their way into the arena after new regulations in Canada commercialized the production of the controversial drug. Lexaria and Enertopia's facility has yet to be granted a license under the new regulations.

Shares of Lexaria rallied 12.5% on Thursday to 36 Canadian cents. 

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:22:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Newnote Financial: pioneering crypto-currency transactions as online currencies set to change the face of money ]]> Bitcoin 'mining', the process that produces the decentralized digital currency that is set to transfigure monetary systems, shares at least one commonality with actual mining, in that it is a capital intensive activity. For Bitcoin miners, the stakes are high. It is into this brave new world of virtual currency that Vancouver-based software and service company Newnote Financial Corp. (CSE:NEU) steps.

Specializing in the development and acquisition of products and services specific to Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, Newnote aims for the creation of a self-contained 'eco system' of such services. “Everything we have ties in together in an integrated platform,” says president, CEO and director Paul Dickson.

There's no doubt that Bitcoin is slowly but surely gaining traction, an acceptance signaled recently by the currency's use in the purchase of a $500 000 villa in Bali.

Dickson, who allows that “most people just don't understand [Bitcoin] yet,” says he commonly describes Bitcoin in terms of mobile devices and app stores. “Bitcoin protocol is like an app store and Bitcoin is an app. Right now developers like us are pioneering new financial tools and utilities that are going to be added to the 'app store' – financial services like escrow and contracts.”

The company has already purchased its first Bitcoin ABM machine, a device that can convert fiat currency to Bitcoin in fifteen seconds and accepts notes from over 200 countries. The ABM – the first of many, according to Dickson – not only allows Newnote to make commission on withdrawals and trades, but the machine is also linked to the company's exchange. 

“So someone who buys Bitcoin from the ABM purchases automatically from our own exchange, from a human on the sell side, creating more liquidity on the exchange.”

The exchange Dickson refers to is another near-term development in Newnote's rapidly-developing story, also known as the Puretrade Bitcoin exchange, due to be opened “any day now.”

Of the planned exchange, Dickson says traders will find some familiar aspects. “It's going to have a lot of familiar trading tools – it will be like trading a stock.”

The company recently achieved a major milestone in its rapidly developing story, as Winrock Resources Inc.(CSE: WR), the company of which Newnote Networks Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary, changed its name to Newnote Financial Corp. and had its common shares approved for listing in early April. Newnote’s shares commenced trading under its new symbol [need exact date].

“We're really excited about that,” says Dickson. “We did it without getting halted – we did it delicately with tons of disclosure and we're quite pleased with the results.”

“Everything's coming to fruition at the same time. It's going to be an exciting next couple of weeks.”

Among the plans aborning is one that takes advantage of the capital intensive nature of the mining process for Bitcoin. 

Newnote's data centre, in full operation now, which has “six 10 tonne AC units and virtually unlimited power”, currently boasts capacity of “6 or 7 terahashes”, says Dickson – that is, a speed of production of a trillion hashes per second, a hash being the smallest unit of mining work. An order due in the next few weeks is set to bring the total to more than 10 terahashes, with further plans to get to 50 by December.

These machines can be bought or rented such that individuals can buy gigahashes (which correspond to a million hashes per second) for a set amount of time, with the resultant Bitcoin going straight to their Bitcoin wallet.  

Once again, the practice has a tie-in to other Newnote products. “When [a client] creates an account on the cloud hashing service, they automatically get an account on the Bitcoin exchange and vice-versa. So if you're trading on our exchange, you can go buy gigahashes; if you’re mining Bitcoin, you  can trade on the exchange. 

“We're creating an eco-system of Bitcoin services.”

The data centre is also a revenue stream in itself in that it currently hosts 12 of “other people's machines that rent the space from [Newnote]. We charge per kilowatt hour.”

Newnote has other ambitions beyond this, including its own crypto-currency currently under development for the explicit purpose of philanthropy.

The currency, called CryptoAid, is produced by a customization of the Bitcoin software. But unlike Bitcoin, which goes exclusively to the miner, CryptoAid is mined with the intention that a portion be redistributed.

While the miner gets the lion's share of the currency, a random amount within a range is sent to a manifest list of beneficiaries of that coin. The list, developed through votes cast by the CryptoAid community, is broken down such that a different level of importance and thus a greater amount of currency is awarded to those closer to the top of the list. 

“Unlike other charities, it doesn’t end,” says Dickson. 

“With CryptoAid, we continue the charity until you say stop.” And unlike Bitcoin, it can be efficiently mined currently with consumer-grade hardware.

It is a project close to Dickson's heart, and in the same vein with the youth entrepreneur program he founded. CryptoAid, says Dickson, is important to him “because there's no charity coin out there.” Ultimately, the chief executive is planning to form a CryptoAid foundation that will eventually be spun off from Newnote.

With the launch forecast for later this month, CryptoAid will be tradable for Bitcoin on the Puretrade exchange to start.

The process of inventing CryptoAid and the “technical knowhow” it conferred gave Newnote the inspiration for another revenue-stream based on the Bitcoin model, what Dickson calls “a vanity coin, or a marketing tool we offer other companies.”

Under this scenario, Newnote would pre-mine the coin in the quantity stipulated, supply a QR code to put in or on the company's product – under a bottle cap in the case of a beverage company for example – for the consumer to then scan with a mobile device in order to collect the coins, which could then be redeemed for products and prizes.

Another application could be a vanity coin that takes the name of a pop star with a large youth following, which could then be redeemed at concerts for branded. 

The marketing campaign “can last as long as you want,” says Dickson.

“Crypto-currencies are neat because you can trade them. They're unique, and you can create as many as you want. If it's a five year campaign, we will have to run the data centre for five years for them.  There's the potential for it to be a long term source of revenue.”

Certainly, Dickson sees the future as one in which acceptance of crypto-currencies is commonplace, pointing to such tacit endorsements as eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) recent launch of a crypto-currency section, and the acceptance of Bitcoin in payment for subscription to old media stalwart The Chicago Sun-Times. 

“Acceptance and the valuation in the short-term are going to continue to grow. Crypto-currency is going to be accepted as all it takes is for merchants to accept it. There are companies developing their POS [point of sale] services, and someone's going to add that to their existing infrastructure.  

“Once that happens, we're going to see Bitcoin acceptance will become just like using a debit card, but on your mobile device.”

It is a future Dickson sees as being wide open, and constrained only by imagination. 

“There's just so much you can do.. It's going to change things just like email changed communication forever. This is going to change money forever.”

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:05:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Brisio Innovations to capitalize on explosive mobile app growth with multi-dimensional platform ]]> Brisio Innovations (CSE:BZI) (OTCMKTS:NTCEF) has a game plan in place to reap the benefits of the mobile app space, which analysts worldwide are categorizing as one of the fastest-growing industries yet. 

The company’s strategy is to acquire, develop and market software applications for smart devices, which include phones, tablets, and wearable computers, among other items set to dominate the mobile device industry. 

Its goal is to become the destination site for users to discover the latest and best apps across multiple devices, as well as find related editorial content and reviews. 

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company is certainly moving fast. 

In the last 90 days, Brisio, which launched its business plan to aggregate mobile apps in December, managed to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange and complete 43 mobile app acquisitions. 

These apps, which are compatible with Android and iOS systems, increased the company’s overall installed base from zero to nearly 1.3 million, and hiked its combined daily downloads from zero to over 100,000 across its whole portfolio. 

Importantly, Brisio signed a game-changing preliminary deal to acquire an interest in the largest independent app store in Canada, known as OakBranch Media. If all goes according to plan, the platform, which currently attracts over 2.5 million users per month and is growing rapidly, will become the Brisio App Store. Right now, the curated app store has over 35,000 apps to its name.

“We’re not focused on any specific area for the apps. We’re driven by certain financial metrics and strategic ideas,” says president and CEO Paul Andreola, noting that one of these metrics is rapid payback, with expectations for this on some of its apps in as little as four to five months. 

The OakBranch independent app store is just another mechanism that Brisio will have to market its own apps and those of other developers, in the process helping consumers find the right type of apps for themselves.

“[OakBranch] has their own video studio as well as 13 journalists on staff and a YouTube channel, which will help build out the whole discovery process with our ability to market online,” adds Andreola. 

The YouTube channel attracts over 320,000 views per month, while the website draws in 230,000 unique visitors, in addition to the traffic the app store brings. Under the current terms of the deal, Brisio will pay C$130,000 for a 30% interest, with the option to boost its stake to almost 50% for an additional 250,000 shares and a cash payment of C$75,000.

“Within the mobile app space, which is one of the fastest growing industries ever, the discovery space is growing even faster. The challenge is to be able to get in front of everyone else in such a rapidly expanding market.”

Indeed, Andreola is speaking of the invariably high costs for developers to build and market an app, with many mid-size developers struggling because “big players are spending so much money”. 

“We have more than 1 million installed users that have proven they buy and use apps, giving us the ability to promote other products to these users.”

Andreola says that according to recent stats, there are 2 billion smartphone users within the next three years that are looking to download 50 apps each on average. “This is a staggering number. The question is how do you get in front of that and help people find what they are looking for. We are looking to solve that.”

Brisio’s value proposition is highlighted best by two recent transactions in the industry, the first of which is Baidu’s $1.9 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless, a Chinese Android app distributor. And recently, GetJar, the biggest open app store in the world with more than 3 million downloads per day, was bought out in what looks to be a $40 million transaction with China’s Sungy Mobile.  

The company’s chief executive says Brisio’s business is “relatively conservatively managed”, as it seeks to buy apps that already generate revenue and have “real solid business fundamentals”, including a growing user base and revenue.

“We expect to close on one significant acquisition every two to three months,” he stresses. 

The last app Brisio purchased, called Spermy’s Journey, is the most significant to date, according to the company’s president. “It has given us a lot of mileage. It was among the top 5 most downloaded apps in 19 countries and ranked as high as second most downloaded app in all of England.”

Indeed, the app, which was bought for US$130,000, was downloaded over four million times in the less than two months since its release. It also has potential franchise opportunities, as well as the possibility of multiple versions to accommodate for international languages and product placement.

Currently, the company’s apps, which are downloaded through its own website, or more often from the Google Play and Apple stores, are acquired with all the IP and source code. Brisio’s business model works by taking undercapitalized assets from developers that have not had much experience in marketing, and leveraging its own platform and installed user base to quickly solve this problem.

Brisio can convert apps from one platform and one language to many, and can also cross-market them to a global audience using its app store, giving developers access to “different marketing techniques” they otherwise wouldn’t benefit from to increase their app’s reach. 

“We maintain a relationship with the developer and can have them update the app on a contract basis if need be. With every acquisition, we also have a growing roster of app developers that we can use on an as-needed basis when we have our own ideas,” says Andreola.

Indeed, the company’s contractor base extends as far as Croatia and India, with these developers just a phone call away when Brisio has its own ideas of what to develop.

“We’re rapidly growing the business, and there’s no shortage of opportunities for what we’re doing. We surpassed all objectives with the first three months, and we will continue at this pace for the near future,” says Andreola, making the case that Brisio is undervalued given its current assets. 

Case in point: King Digital (NYSE:KING), the largest game developer on Facebook that is best known for its Candy Crush game saga, went public at $60 per user, and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) bought out WhatsApp for $42 per user. Brisio’s market cap is $5.8 million, and with its latest acquisition, picked up over 1.2 million installed users. 

“Using these metrics, the value for those users is extremely discounted right now.”

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:32:00 -0400
<![CDATA[News - Medical marijuana stocks take off as investors key in on first-mover advantage ]]> The legal cultivation of medical and adult use marijuana is a field set to bring prosperity to a great many people due to changes at the regulatory level combined with a groundswell of acceptance for the idea of use itself.

In the U.S., 17 states have legalized medical marijuana, two states have legalized adult use marijuana, and many more states have ballot measures in place for the November 2014 elections, while on this side of the 49th parallel, the newly established Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) have both cut down on the red tape and plethora of forms that characterized prescriptions for medical marijuana heretofore and opened up the market to commercial–scale production. 

According to some estimates, the current market of 40,000 patients in Canada could grow at the rate of 35 per cent or more per year, such that the industry's value, at $1.5 billion today, is projected to outstrip the North American wine industry, which stands at $35 billion.

“So it’s going to see growth of several thousands of percent over the next decade or more,” says president of Enertopia Corp. (CSE:TOP) (OTCBB:ENRT), Robert McAllister.

The Vancouver-based company is bracing for a surge in demand, of which it aims to snag a national market share of 5 to 10 per cent.

McAllister, who cites numbers in the order of 25 to 35 per cent profitability, sees the market expanding markedly in years to come. “I believe we are in a new industry being transformed with the legalization in multiple states in the U.S., and federal government support for the new system here in Canada.”

McAllister's expectations for the next two to three years involve a rapid increase in political acceptance: “Already, the approval for medical use of marijuana is running from 70-85 per cent and even on the adult use side, it's at a 45 to 60 per cent approval rating. 

“Thirty years ago, the approval was under 10 per cent, so we've seen acceptance by the general public and once something is accepted by the general public, politicians will always fall in line.”

While the old system provided for the cultivation of enough plants for four patients, the new system points towards scaling up to commercial quantities, a change likely to have major repercussions for growers.

Crucially, under the old system, capital costs for the average grower ran from $10,000 to $50,000; while the new system demands more of growers --- security systems, qualified scientists, shipping and labeling departments --- all of which have added greatly to the cost. McAllister estimates start-up costs under the new system to range from $250,000 to $500,000 at the entry level.

Thus, chief among the changes the new regulations are set to bring about in Canada is a move from “up to 24,000 people licensed to grow on their own” to a system where “only several dozen new producers are likely” to qualify under the new, more stringent guidelines, says McAllister.

The question, as McAllister puts it, is “how many of those growers are astute business people as well?”

Enertopia's near term focus is on taking significant positions in producers that produced under the old system, with an eye towards “helping them get approved under the new system.”

“Our platform is to help producers get licenced under the new system. We have a direct equity ownership interest in their company, so as they build up their production facilities and grow, the revenue will increase over time as well and that will benefit Enertopia and our shareholders.”

To that end, the company looks for existing growers which had operations “larger than 15-25 plants in someone's garage,” those who were, for example, growing for co-ops, and thus had more licenses and could raise more plants.

“We'll support them on the capital side, using Enertopia to raise funds and invest those funds immediately into those operations to build them up and get to Canada Health standards.”

Enertopia's plan is to look towards locations that have municipal support for production facilities and at existing facilities that can be upgraded and retrofitted, as opposed to building new structures.

From there, McAllister plans to expand Enertopia's hold on the market by finding patient groups through the network that it’s building, which includes doctor's networks. “At the end of the day, we’re going to need patients.”

Enertopia's stock has had quite a wild ride this year, driven McAllister thinks, by investors’ realization of a new industry being created, which they are willing to dip their toes into with the knowledge that some companies are set to emerge as billion dollar entities.

For now, investors tend to be “small guys”. However, “as more and more barriers are removed, more capital will come into the sector at higher levels,” he says. “People are really excited about what's going on and how it's transitioning.” Enertopia traded most recently at 56 Canadian cents, up more than 830% so far this year.

Mike Withrow, president CEO and director of Abattis Bioceuticals Corporation (CSE:ATT) (OTC:ATTBF) too sees a world of opportunity opening up, but the company takes a different, more diversified, approach.

With an eye on capitalizing on the move toward marijuana legalization south of the border and towards wider-spread medicinal use in Canada and internationally, the Vancouver-based specialty biotechnology company has plans for the development, manufacturing, licensing and marketing of natural health and wellness solutions addressing chronic illnesses. It recently negotiated a deal with two top researchers to set up an analytics lab in Washington State.

“We have the ability to manufacture and market the most scientifically advanced natural therapeutic formulas based on proprietary technologies through multiple distribution channels,” Withrow says.

The company licenses and markets proprietary ingredients, bio-similar compounds, and patented equipment. It also provides consulting services to North America's medicinal and adult marijuana markets via its wholly owned subsidiaries and seeks to utilize its Grow, Dry, Extract, Refine, and Sell model (known as GDERS) to produce pharmaceutical-grade phyto compounds with its ultimate goal of taking the lead in the emergent botanical drug market.

Its strategy involves growing cannabis with its proprietary indoor mass farming systems, drying it with unique low temperature drying systems to enhance quality, extracting the active ingredients, refining the product, and selling it around the world. The company has two Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) applications in, and is looking to becoming one of the few licensed producers of cannabis in Canada that is publicly traded. 

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the company’s subsidiary, Biocube Systems, provide growers with an energy- and space-efficient cultivation system that generates high yields, enabling them to produce low-cost pharmaceutical-grade product. The subsidiary has just closed on acquiring the proprietary formulas from Green Gro Garden Supplies Ltd. and will build its customer base by marketing.  

But Abattis sees beyond the emergent medical and adult use marijuana industry, with Withrow noting that the company is looking to parlay its existing expertise into plants beyond marijuana. 

"Ultimately, we will be looking to what other medicinal plants we can fit into the model,” Withrow says.

But for now, marijuana cultivation provides a ripe opportunity, and one Withrow sees as the highest growth opportunity out of any sector in North America.

“The referendum in Colorado [which passed Amendment 64 legalizing personal use of marijuana for those over 21] changed everything. 

"Marijuana was already being accepted for medical purposes more and more, then when Colorado changed the law for recreational use --- that woke everyone up.”

The law kicked in January 1st of this year, and in the days that followed, Abattis' phone "started ringing like crazy".  On March 7th Washington issued its first licenses for cultivating marijuana for recreational purposes.

“We're positioned perfectly to capitalize on this rare opportunity. We've assembled everything needed to be at the forefront of the industry.”

Indeed, among Abattis' impressive roster of assets are 15 proprietary formulas, proprietary Flash Freeze Extraction equipment, two patent applications and one provisional application, as well as a five-year contract with a Canadian distributor, and exclusive worldwide rights to Mass Growing Systems used to construct controlled indoor pharma grade growing environments. 

It also has a lease on a $13 million dollar Botanical Drug Facility in Quebec, fully equipped to cut costs by using the only LED made in the US that it is currently testing with the manufacturer.

Abattis has been a volume leader on the Canadian Securities Exchange on several of the past recent days, with the stock last week hitting an all-time high of 95 Canadian cents, currently sitting at about 78 cents. 

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:50:00 -0400
<![CDATA[Media files - CSE CEO speaks with Proactive Investors ]]> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 14:26:00 -0500 <![CDATA[News - Simplified CSE offers faster and cheaper approach to listing in Canada ]]> After a recent rebranding and trading system consolidation, The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) is set for a raring start this year with a new simplified trading platform and lower issuing costs offering competitive advantages to other stock exchange alternatives in Canada. 

Indeed, the proof is in the pudding. The CSE, formerly the Canadian National Stock Exchange, estimates that it accounted for 17% of the new issuers entering the Canadian public markets last year, up from 11% in 2012. 

These numbers are only expected to increase with the upstart exchange’s recent move toward simplification. All Canadian-listed instruments are now offered on a single trading system, providing a continuous auction market service, where bids and offers are displayed and incoming marketable orders are traded on a price, broker and time algorithm.

Previously, the company operated with two brands, the Canadian National Stock Exchange, the listing facility, and Pure Trading, a venue that traded TSX and TSX-Venture-listed stocks. “We operated distinct trading platforms for each venue. This wasn’t cost effective for the organization and our dealer and vendor customers,” said CEO Richard Carleton in an interview with Proactive Investors last week. 

“With the recent combination of Pure and CNSX into a single technical platform, it made sense to also present a single brand to reduce confusion.” The change will reduce costs for both dealers and vendors and increase visibility and investor access for CSE issuers. 

Carleton explains that the move was instigated on the back of growing concerns from the investor community in Canada on the complexity of the country’s current market structure. “It’s a legitimate concern that the industry does really need to address,” the chief executive says.

“Think about the number of different platforms trading TSX stocks at this point.”

Case in point: the TMX, simply on its own, operates the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange, as well as TMX Select and Alpha.  Two books trading TSX-listed stocks are also each on offer from Omega and Chi-X Canada, in addition to several dark pools operating in Canada. 

Carleton says the consolidation and rebranding might be “contrarian” compared to other exchanges, but the company wanted to introduce further simplicity. “We wanted to give a clearer idea of what’s going on and who we are.”

And the new single platform is anticipated to draw in even more issuers, with the CSE listing a record percentage of companies from those coming into the Canadian public markets last year. The exchange recorded a total of 37 issuers for 2013, with close to 20% of new companies coming into the market in the fourth quarter choosing CSE as their listing venue, says Carleton. 

“More and more, people are cost conscious and concerned with the amount of bureaucracy and length of time it takes to get on an exchange in Canada. [The CSE] provides a very attractive model for a public company, as although there is a heavier continuous disclosure burden, it does mean companies can get listed much more quickly than alternatives.”

Despite pretty standard regulatory and disclosure requirements across the Canadian landscape, the chief executive explains that the difference between CSE and others is the “business oversight at the exchange level”, believing that the broader investment community is better suited to value a given company. The CSE requires a monthly update from each issuer, which is not required on other exchanges, making up for the fact that upfront business diligence is not conducted by the CSE, dramatically reducing the time frame from application to listing as well as advisory and legal fees.

“We’re not second guessing management, but rather leaving decisions to be made in the public capital markets, where we believe they should be made.”

“We rely on the broader market to assess the business risk. From a regulatory perspective, it’s the same level of scrutiny.”

Going into 2014, Carleton is expecting an absolute increase in the number of companies and share capital being raised from public markets. He is also hoping for an increase in the amount of trading, with trading levels down quite substantially across the board in Canada from the peak in March 2011. 

“We hope to see a renewal of activity in this regard,” says the chief executive.

Although the CSE has seen an increase in its market share over the last year, this comes amid a backdrop where the total number of companies coming into the market has fallen quite dramatically from the peak due to declining commodity prices -- in particular, gold. The TSX welcomed 108 new issuers in 2013, down from 132 in 2012, while the TSX Venture listed 76 companies last year, far below the 161 in 2012.

“Against this, we’re very pleased with the increasing market share we are seeing. The feedback we get from issuers is that they’re very happy with the approach we take. It’s a faster and lower-cost trip to public markets.”

An overarching trend in 2013 was that a growing percentage of overall listings hailed from the tech sector, given the weak environment for miners. Carleton gives the examples of CSE-listed RESAAS (CSE:RSS) and Gener8 (CSE:GNR), which both listed last year and have had incredibly strong runs. RESAAS, a social networking platform designed for real estate professionals, saw its stock rise more than 620% in the past 12 months. Shares of Gener8, which provides 3D conversion services for the entertainment industry and has worked on such films as The Amazing Spider-Man, more than quadrupled in value. 

“We think the success of these companies is going to encourage a lot of other entrepreneurs.”

The CSE is also backed by some high profile names in the industry, which is sure to lure potential issuers and has given the exchange “tremendous credibility with the independent dealer community”, according to Carleton. Indeed, last September, the company got a boost from Dundee Corp chief executive Ned Goodman, who acquired one third of the then CNSX Markets and joined the board as deputy chairman. Goodman has long expressed his belief that the major exchanges are failing entrepreneurs. Tom Caldwell, chairman of Caldwell Securities, owns another third of the CSE and is the chairman of the organization, while the remaining third is owned by a mix of individual shareholders, dealers and institutions.

“Goodman is an extraordinarily important figure in his own right in financing a number of companies in mining, tech and clean tech. He’s been able to assist with a number of introductions and referrals and opened several doors with the dealer community,” says Carleton.

He adds that the independent dealer community in Canada, which provides the bulk of corporate finance advisory and trading services for early-stage companies, has a “strong attachment” to the CSE and what it represents. Meanwhile, the TMX Group is owned by a consortium of large banks and other financial institutions, which Carleton says doesn’t necessarily have “the interests of early-stage markets at the forefront.”

The CSE chief is looking forward to an active year in 2014, which will include the launch of a formal “market-making” program for CSE-listed stocks that will include technology features, such as the automated execution of odd-lot orders. An odd-lot is an order amount for a security that is less than the normal unit of trading for that particular asset. 

“We will continue to enhance services for companies to tell their stories to a crowded market, and will look to improve dealer relations by offering a lower cost of capital for Canadian issuers.”

Mon, 13 Jan 2014 08:37:00 -0500
<![CDATA[News - CNSX changes its name to Canadian Securities Exchange ]]> Effective today, the Canadian National Stock Exchange will now be known as the Canadian Securities Exchange going forward, according to a statement released earlier this morning by the Canadian index. 

Its abbreviation will also now be changed to "CSE", with all of the stock exchange's web services now available at

The company said the choice of the new name reinforces three of the central characteristics of the organization, including Candian headquarters in Toronto, and the fact that it provides listings and trading services for more than just common equities. Convertible debentures, debt instruments, provincial government bonds, structured products and income trusts are also currently listed on the exchange. 

"We are looking to reduce complexity and cost in the delivery of exchange services wherever possible," said CEO Richard Carleton in the statement.

"Our recent trading system consolidation where all Canadian listed instruments are offered on a single trading system is a great example of this approach. We are also well known for our responsive and cost effective services for companies looking to raise capital from the public equity markets.

"By presenting all of our services under a strong, unified, brand, we are reinforcing our position as the exchange for entrepreneurs in Canada." 

The Canadian stock exchange provides a single, continuous auction market service, where bids and offers are displayed and incoming marketable orders are traded on a price, broker, and time algorithm.

The CSE will be hosting a number of events across Canada to introduce the new brand to investors in the coming weeks, it said. 

Mon, 06 Jan 2014 14:02:00 -0500