In the past few months, CUV Ventures [TSX-V: CUV] has broken free from the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum & Litecoin and crypto stocks like St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp., Bitcoin Services & Hashchain Technology (down an average of ~87% from 52-week highs). CUV shares are also down, about 50%, but have settled in around C$0.20. The volatility wasn’t all bad, it served to introduce CUV to thousands of new investors. Management believes the company is well positioned, and they encourage readers to visit their website to better understand a number of important recent developments.
The difference between CUV and many cryptocurrencies & blockchain/crpyto stocks is that CUV is not a flash in the pan, a bubble, or worse — a ponzi / pyramid scheme! Of course, not all “Alt-coins” and crypto companies are scams, but many of them are. Most suffer from one or more of the following; overvaluation, no clear vision or business plan, lack of management with relevant experience, highly uncertain ability to monetize their business idea, and exposed to never-ending dilutive equity capital raises.
CUV is not merely the best house in a bad neighborhood, it’s a good house in any neighborhood. It was a viable business with millions of dollars in tech-derived revenue before the blockchain stock craze. The Company’s partnering with, and investing in, well respected entities and attracting strong managerial talent across corporate divisions. Perhaps the best evidence of CUV’s staying power can be found in the multiple funding partners it has aligned itself with.
To learn more about this very busy company, I spoke to its leader, Director & CEO Steve Marshall. Mr. Marshall is a trilingual serial entrepreneur specializing in international marketing and deal brokering. He has successfully founded businesses in; Spain, France, United Kingdom, Panama, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine & Cuba. In addition to CUV’s experienced management team, please take a moment to check out the strength of the Company’s Advisory Boards.
I said that CUV Ventures was a very busy company, please see links to 5 press releases at bottom of page, all 5 from this month… Without further introduction, here’s CEO Marshall in an interview we did by phone and email in the week ending March 21st.
Please describe CUV Ventures to readers. Which business opportunities are the main focus in 2018?
CUV Ventures Corp. [TSX-V: CUV] is a multi-asset, multidivisional Canadian company deploying advanced technologies in the; Money Remittance, Mobile Apps, Online Travel, Vacation Resort, Blockchain Systems, Invoice Factoring & Cryptotoken sectors. Our flagship technology is Revolupay®, an Apple & Android compatible, multinational remittance app, powered by blockchain protocols and aimed at the worldwide US$600 billion family remittance market. (market size estimate from recent World Bank report).
Our ₡CU Coin Cryptotoken, aligned with Revolupay®, promises to be the coin of choice for remittance senders, travelers and the hospitality industry. A division of the Company named Cuba Ventures is involved in Caribbean Basin strategic investments. The focus is to control noteworthy assets related to the Caribbean Basin (including Cuba), without owning assets domiciled in Cuba. This division harnesses over 80 years’ combined experience in JVs, joint production agreements and import/export permits for foreign enterprises.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary Travelucion Media is a licensed and bonded online travel company, Amadeus GDS affiliated, digital & print media powerhouse. Travelucion owns a vast portfolio of web assets consisting of 432 Cuba-centric websites, in up to 5 languages, which generate over 35 million page-views per year and direct traffic to Travelucion’s online booking & e-commerce sites, and proprietary online booking systems.
In 2017, we acquired an equity interest in the Florida, USA based, licensed and bonded Travel Agency; International Business & Travel Opportunities (“IBTO“), a Caribbean Basin focused travel facilitator operating trips in the region (including licensed Cuba trips for Americans).
In 2018, we acquired an equity stake in the Florida, USA based, Third Circle Publishing LLC, publisher of the esteemed and U.S. circulated print & digital magazine Cuba Trade Magazine. CUV Ventures now has guaranteed access to important print & digital media assets reaching tens of millions of consumers globally.
This year, we acquired 10% of FINTRAC-licensed remittance company Duales Inc. as part of the Revolupay® remittance app partner network. We also recently acquired an equity interest in the Miami, USA based, Business Advisory/Consultant Think-Tank Havana Consulting Group, as part of our progressive acquisition of key Cuba-related (but non Cuba-domiciled), businesses.
We are gradually building a non-Caribbean (Cuba) domiciled asset base, while in the interim, securing revenue, growth and attractive opportunities present in the Caribbean Basin, with an emphasis on the rapidly growing $4 billion dollar Cuban travel & tourism industry, $3 billion factoring and FinTech sector, $18.6 billion Caribbean remittance industry and international corporate consulting for Cuba’s $86 billion economy. With Raul Castro leaving Cuban politics next month, our Cuba Ventures division could become quite important in coming quarters.
On March 21st CUV Ventures issued a press release, the announcement of the official launch of the RevoluFIN factoring & lending platform. Please describe the importance of this news?
Yes, this is big news for us. RevoluFIN has only been active in public beta form since March 8th, but it has already garnered interest from 5 international entities seeking factoring loan services. Several potential lenders have also contacted us through the website. The RevoluFIN proprietary financing platform facilitates short-to-medium term loans and factoring for commercial transactions, chiefly in the travel and leisure sectors.
RevoluFIN recently obtained its initial seed capital guarantee of up to 40 million Euros (~C$63 million) from Vesilen Investments. RevoluFIN provides payment facilities for commercial Letter of Credit holders, and secured short-term financing requirements.
We’re really excited about this product offering, the division has already received multiple requests for loans, and we’re carefully studying these opportunities. We expect to earn about a 5% gross profit on loans made. 5% of C$60 M would be C$ 3 M in gross cash flow. Hopefully, this is just the beginning and we can grow this platform next year and beyond.
CUV Ventures partner Tyrval, a major worldwide supplier to the hospitality industry, has already begun submitting factoring requests for orders from numerous hotel chains. All loans, linked to Tyrval, hold the additional advantage of an extra 6% royalty on all sales, over and above the loan interest, as per our exclusive commercial agreement announced last year. So that could be up to 11% gross margin on Tyrval sales financed, and they have around C$10 million in the wings.
Companies that, by merely mentioning plans to investigate the possible use of blockchain technology, saw their share prices soar. Can you explain why blockchain technology is necessary for your main business?
Blockchain is a technology. We’re using it for security, for transaction speed and data accuracy. We are not your typical blockchain moniker play. Unlike in some companies, the applications for which we are using blockchain clearly will benefit from its use.
A problem that some companies are having is that they have an idea, a technology (blockchain), but not a platform that can be used day-to-day, like Revolupay. There’s a lot more than identifying an area that might thrive with blockchain, there has to be an efficient and logical way to monetize it.
We have the right applications, addressing important high-growth, high revenue markets, and a very talented team of experienced professionals. And, we’re collaborating and investing in other innovative companies, tapping into their vast expertise. Finally, we have aligned ourselves with multiple funding sources. Our prominent partnerships and offers of funding are testaments to the strength of our robust digital platform.
There are many companies, large and small, not to mention banks, operating in the remittance business around the world. Presumably, others are pursuing blockchain technologies. How will tiny CUV Ventures compete? What is your competitive advantage?
We are knowledgable, we have the right technology and, we have 35 million page views, a widely distributed online & print magazine, 800 partner websites and other crucial marketing advantages. Each 1% of the world remittance market is a $600 million dollar opportunity.
Even a tiny percentage of the global remittance market would be very significant for a company like CUV Ventures. While some market participants might be pursing blockchain, there’s no evidence that any major players are (in our niche markets). Small, nimble, smart, fast-moving companies like ours often do the heavy lifting for incumbents…. then they (we) get bought out.
Revolupay® seems central to a lot of what you’re doing. Can you tell us more about Revolupay®
We’re in the final stages of releasing Revolupay® a free Apple & Android powered digital wallet app, designed to be compatible with payments on the company’s, and third party travel websites, operate as a digital wallet for app-to-app transactions, and penetrate the global travel and estimated $600 billion remittance markets.
Shareholders have been provided with visuals of Beta 1 and 2 versions of this groundbreaking app, being development through world renowned app creator and, significant shareholder; UXS Mobile (of McDonald’s, Red Bull, EvoBank, etc. app fame).
Why do people need Apps like Revolupay and cryptotokens like ₡CU Coin? What’s wrong with Bitcoin & Paypal?
That’s a good question, we get asked that a lot. If one looks at a chart of bitcoin, one can instantly see the problem of using it as a ‘store of value‘ for routine transactions. The value of a single bitcoin collapsed nearly 70%! Some say that other popular coins are the answer, but Etherum, Ripple & Litecoin have experienced the same very high volatility, just look at their charts…. To be clear, ₡CU Coin is none of those, it’s not a speculative cryptocurrency, it’s simply a method to enact certain transactions across our platform.
To use Paypal, one needs to be linked to a bank account, but not everyone has a bank account, especially in developing nations, where the $600 billion remittance money ends up! In fact, a very significant percentage of people around the world have very limited or no access to banks or credit cards. There’s a true need for the services we are developing. The main risk we face is in consumers gaining the trust to try something new.
One thing is for certain though, the system currently in place to send and receive remittances is universally unloved– it’s slow, burdensome, expensive, non-transparent and less reliable than it should be. We think that over time, consumers will love our high-tech, hand-held, simple solutions, and that word of mouth will spread the message far and wide.
CUV Ventures has a lot going on, how soon before investors might see more meaningful revenues and profits?
Small cap companies with good ideas and smart people can only go so far, eventually they have to show investors the money. Unlike many so-called blockchain/crypto mining peers, we already have a solid base of revenue, and we believe that next year’s revenues could be two or three times greater than this year’s.
If all goes according to plan, (no guarantees) revenues we derive from our financial segments will be profitable, and growth should be strong for years to come. We’re not in this alone, we’ve signed on very capable and experienced partners & advisors, many of whom are shareholders in CUV Ventures, and members of our Advisory Boards.
We’re not rushing off in multiple directions, desperate to generate returns, we’re going about this in a prudent manner. Having strong financial backing allows our team to pursue the best ideas, not chase after mediocre (or worse) returns from, say bitcoin mining. Yes, we are looking into mining cryptocurrencies, but we’re only interested in doing it smartly.
So, for example, if we could get our hands on substantial, low-cost underutilized or unused computing power, that would afford us a margin for error in an otherwise highly speculative and somewhat unpredictable business.
Thanks Steve, I hope that readers will be watching your upcoming news flow along with me….
Important Press Releases, all from March 2018!
Update on Revolupay Remittance App
Disclosures: The content of this interview is for informational purposes only. Readers fully understand and agree that nothing contained herein, written by Peter Epstein of Epstein Research, [ER] including but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts, estimates, calculations, etc. is to be considered implicit or explicit, investment advice. Further, nothing contained herein is a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security. Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not responsible for investment actions taken by the reader. Mr. Epstein and [ER] have never been, and are not currently, a registered or licensed financial advisor or broker/dealer, investment advisor, stockbroker, trader, money manager, compliance or legal officer, and they do not perform market making activities. Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not directly employed by any company, group, organization, party or person. Shares of CUV Ventures are highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. Readers understand and agree that investments in small cap stocks can result in a 100% loss of invested funds. It is assumed and agreed upon by readers that they consult with their own licensed or registered financial advisors before making investment decisions.
At the time this article was posted, Peter Epstein owned shares in CUV Ventures and the Company was an advertiser on [ER]. By virtue of ownership of the Company’s shares and it being an advertiser on [ER], Peter Epstein is biased in his views on the Company. Readers understand and agree that they must conduct their own research, above and beyond reading this article. While the author believes he’s diligent in screening out companies that are unattractive investment opportunities, he cannot guarantee that his efforts will (or have been) successful. Mr. Epstein & [ER] are not responsible for any perceived, or actual, errors including, but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts & financial calculations, or for the completeness of this article. Mr. Epstein & [ER] are not expected or required to subsequently follow or cover events & news, or write about any particular company or topic. Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not experts in any company, industry sector or investment topic.