Ynvisible Interactive (TSX-V: YNV) CEO Jani-Mikael Kuusisto on Recent Acquisition, Partnerships & Building the Ynvisible Brand in the IoT Space
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Small Cap Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Ynvisible Interactive (TSX-V: YNV)(OTC: YNVYF), Mr. Jani-Mikael Kuusisto. Jani-Mikael, how are you sir?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Doing great. Nice to be talking with you, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: It's been a few months. You've had some exciting news recently. Before we get into how you're starting off the fourth quarter, I want to get into how you ended the third quarter because it's been a busy several months for you.
We spoke in mid-July, and at the time you had announced the possibility of acquiring increased production capacity. I wanted to follow up on how that went and, frankly, the litany of news we've had since then. It's been busy.
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: It's been busy. Gerardo, I'd like to start by very briefly summarizing kind of what we do so you get a full picture of how all this activity fits into what we're doing.
We're dealing with printed electronics. This is the field where you have inks that have conductive properties. You take them into printing equipment and you can start to print electronic components. Our proprietary technologies are in the electrochromic display technology. So we have this ability to print these simple displays, visual indicators, that when you drive electricity into the inks they change color.
To make this all possible we obviously need the inks, we need the ability to print, and then we also need the ability to have the designers work with this technology and integrate this into an increasing number of IoT products, smart products, that are starting to have these chips and sensors and displays in them.
Gerardo Del Real: When you say IoT, I just want to clarify, you're meaning the internet of things, if I'm not mistaken. Right?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Correct. Yes. Internet of things. It was a hype term a few years back. Now it's a reality.
Gerardo Del Real: Love it. And you're making that a reality. You're obviously helping further that.
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Yes, we are. Yes, we are. So that's the key pillar, really the materials, the ability to produce them cost effectively with printing, and then give the tools to designers that they can get the technology in there.
So where we were when we last talked is we bought this company, Consensum Production in Sweden. Since then we successfully completed the acquisition and have integrated those operations into Ynvisible. We're actually in the process of renaming that company Ynvisible Production.
What we bought in Sweden was the ability to print these displays with roll-to-roll equipment. These are the type of printing equipment that are usually used to print stickers, labels, and any high-volume type of printed product or anything that requires large areas.
So now we have, within our company, the ability to really go into mass manufacturing of printing of these electrochromic displays. We also have the ability to convert those into the smart labels, the stickers.
So that's what we bought. It's really exciting from our customers' standpoint, because when we're dealing with many big global brands, obviously for the high volumes, they need to see that capability.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about the news in early September, because if you're successful in rolling this out and scaling this out profitably, I think this is going to have big implications moving forward for shareholders and for the company.
On September the 12th, you announced that you delivered a first commercial production run of prototypes to a globally leading healthcare and diagnostics company. I am fascinated by how you are able to do this with, frankly, better margins than currently exist and in a way where you can't use these disposable printed materials in a way that is wrong, which is so important in the medical field.
Can you elaborate a little bit as to that announcement and what that looks like moving forward?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Yeah. So as we said in that announcement, in that particular case we are looking at applying our electrochromic displays as a replacement to other electronic display technologies that are used in that product sector. That includes LED lights or LCD displays.
The advantage we offer is that our displays are much, much lower power consuming. They are easier to design and integrate into different diagnostic products. They're cheaper to manufacture. And they are much more disposable than what the other electronic display technologies are. So we offer multiple advantages.
This is not just not a one-off opportunity. Why this actually encompasses the entire healthcare sector is that there are more and more medical tests being done out in the field, at homes, at pharmacies. The healthcare cost of people driving to hospitals or doctors' appointments, it's just an expensive system.
So these tests are coming out into the field and they have to be extremely easy to use, they have to be cost effective, and they need to be easy to dispose of. Our display technology addresses all of those key needs.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful and fascinating. You also had several announcements following that one. The latest I want to get to in just a bit actually involves my hometown now, Austin, Texas, where I current reside, and have for the last seven years. I want to talk about that.
But you also announced a manufacturing agreement in early October. Can you elaborate on that a bit please?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Yeah. So with our operations in Sweden we now have equipment that can produce high volumes. We are still at a stage where we don't fill up the machines with electrochromics printing. So what we're able to do now is we're able to offer those machines in that capacity to other companies in our field, in our field of printed electronics. When they develop these exciting new components, we help them scale that into high-volume manufacture.
Invisense, our customer in this case, is an exciting company. They've developed these sensors that you can sense humidity in building structures, so you embed them and then you can check if there's any leakages anywhere in the building and such. A wonderful concept. They have a great rollout strategies starting in Europe and they're coming into the US next year with their end client.
We're in a position that we're producing the volume production. And furthermore, as we learn about this technology we learn how that humidity sensor can be combined with our displays to offer those technologies to other sectors, for instance the healthcare sector and many others.
Gerardo Del Real: The approach seems pretty systematic, pretty pragmatic. I don't think it's a coincidence that you close the deal on the production facility, you immediately announce a deal where you're able to scale out the production, obviously.
And now that brings me to the announcement here with the company based in Austin, which is exciting for many reasons. One, it involves the education sector. Two, electronics. Two areas that I'm passionate about. Can we talk about that a bit?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Yeah. The Austin case was also exciting for me. First time I've had a chance to visit Austin, a great city.
The company, Electroninks, is doing something really wonderful. They're introducing these conductive inks and printed electronics essentially into the hands of consumers. They've developed these electronic kits that are used for educational purposes, and they also have developed a pen. They're selling this pen, Circuit Scribe, to consumers, to designers. You can draw your circuits. So you can draw by hand a circuit board and attach different components to it.
The collaboration we announced is that now when they sell their kits they will start including also our displays with those kits. Now why this is a big thing for us, I mentioned earlier that to roll out a technology it's key to give the designers the tools that they can work with your technology and incorporate it into your products. Electroninks' tools, combined with our displays, offer that solution to designers.
Furthermore, even consumers can now buy them. So even consumers at home can start to figure out what to do with these new interactive technologies.
Gerardo Del Real: That's fascinating. It's also fascinating to me that a lot of where these kits go, they end up oftentimes in the hands of children, to provide them exposure to this fascinating technology. Right? So I know that the company does a really good job of getting these kits out to schools, and in the world of STEM, where kids – I have one that is just fascinated by all this. It really gives them exposure at an early age, so I can't say enough about that.
Obviously, the goal of the company is not just to make the world a better place, but also to make money. Can we talk about the IP advantage that the company has?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: If we look Ynvisible's IP, like I said, it's very much around the electrochromic system. So this is the color-changing inks and the ability to turn those into displays. We have patents in this area, but a lot of our intellectual property is around the secret formulas for the inks that we're developing and how you're able to print with them.
We actually have a lot of intellectual property that is already being built, has been built, and furthermore of course we want to build a brand for ourselves. So we want Ynvisible to be known all around the planet, starting of course with the printing industry, the designers, and gradually even the consumers.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. What can we expect to close out the year? Obviously a very, very busy 2019 thus far. What can shareholders look forward to here in the coming quarters?
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Well, we're putting a very strong push in our sales and marketing. We have a new Vice President of Sales & Marketing starting with us the beginning of November. We will be out at a lot of different events. For instance, for our US audience we will be out in Santa Clara November 20th and 21st at IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA, the biggest event in our field.
If you're out in California in November do come and check it out. We have a booth. We have a speech. Electroninks has a speech there as well. So a strong push on sales and marketing.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. We'll make sure we put a link up to the website. It's a fascinating technology. It's a fascinating company. Jani-Mikael, thank you so much for your time today.
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Gerardo, great talking with you. Thanks for the opportunity.
Gerardo Del Real: Any time.
Jani-Mikael Kuusisto: Thanks.