Link Global Technologies – Low-cost Energy Solution for New Generation Data Centres (Transcript)

Interview with Stephen Jenkins, President and CEO of Link Global Technologies.

Link Global Technologies build and manage semi-portable, self-contained power solutions (containers) that can be rapidly deployed in virtually any environment. They are a low-cost energy supplier to the data-mining/data-hosting space.

Link Global started as a crypto-mining company, but recognised the opportunity of a bigger play in 2 additional sections: providing mobile date centre solutions and developing IP around energy efficiency. They have just carried out an IPO of 5,000,000 common shares at a price of $0.30 per share for total gross proceeds of $1,500,000.

This is Jenkins’ first foray into the realm of public companies; all his previous experience came with private companies.

There are question marks as to whether Link Global can compete with its rivals, especially big hitters like Cisco with a market cap of $190.59B! Jenkins remains adamant that despite the massive difference in available capital, Link Global can compete in the big leagues.

What did you make of Stephen Jenkins? Are you crazy about crypto? Can Link Global prosper against the technological behemoths that surround it? Comment below.

Interview highlights:

  • Company Overview
  • Going Public and IPO Raise: What Will They Do With the Money? Who’s Supporting it?
  • What Are They Focusing On?
  • Crypto Currency Mining Origin Story: Why Did They Choose This Commodity, Who’s Involved in it and Why Stay With it?
  • Energy Supplier: How Will They Compete in the Market? Who’s Got the Right Experience to Assure Success?
  • What are New Shareholders Buying Into?
  • Peers and Competition: Why Will This Junior Survive?

Click here to watch the interview.

Matthew Gordon: I’m interested in your strategy and how you’re going to move forward. I’d love you to kind of tell our folks, our followers, subscribers, a little bit about what you’re planning to do.

Stephen Jenkins: Sure. So Link Global Technology started primarily as a crypto mining company. Got in on the craze, located some machines down in low cost power, Oregon, and has been building a business based on crypto mining. But we quickly recognize the opportunities, I think in a much bigger place. So, that is providing the infrastructure for not just crypto mining, but also data centres in general. So, we’ve really launched what we think are three pretty exciting branches to our business. Those being the underlying revenue from crypto mining. Number two is providing mobile data centre solutions for all types of data centres. And number three, is developing some IP around energy efficiency.

Matthew Gordon: Kind of interesting. You’re a relatively small company. You know, the IPO, you going to raise some money on that. I think you’re issuing like 5MILshares. What sort of price you thinking?

Stephen Jenkins: 5MIL shares at 30 cents.

Matthew Gordon: 30 cents. With this IPO, you’re raising some money. What are you gonna do with it?

Stephen Jenkins: So, what we’re doing with it is we’re actually just building more. We’re basically building out more places to put in machines, but also really to build some more of the mobile units. And eventually we’ll use that. We’re partnering with a few people. We already have a partnership in Canada right now with Astra and we’re co-locating with them. We’ll build out that data centre for them. So, we’ve got things, I think, in the works. Obviously, we we’ve been in the IPO process for a long time. After the IPO happens, we can you know, really get busy with our business, put it that way.

Matthew Gordon: Get by focused on the business of doing business.

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. It’s a long process.

Matthew Gordon: It really is.

Stephen Jenkins: And, you know, it again, goes to show you that the maturity of the crypto or immaturity of the crypto market. Anything could happen in the crypto market. We had exchanges fall apart. We had a bunch of other things happen. So, the commission came to us and said, well, how are you going to deal with it? Quite rightfully so. But what that did is it dragged on an IPO process for much longer than we were hoping. But at the second time, it made us look at our own business to see is this where we really want to be? And I still think we have a good underlying opportunity in that crypto space with all these other verticals.

Matthew Gordon: So, you’ve got a busy few days in front of you. You’re going public 14th, 15th?

Stephen Jenkins: November 15th. We should be trading the 14th or the 15th. Yeah. It’s been a fairly busy time.

Matthew Gordon: Exciting, exciting times. Is this your first public company?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. So, I’ve always been focused on private companies and this is my first foray into the public side. It’s definitely respecting that there is the market side, but respecting that, you know, everybody that buys into this company buys into any company, whether it’s private or public, we have to be able show people that we’re working for them.

Matthew Gordon: For sure. For sure. Okay. Well, you mentioned Lee Gable in there, well known. Who else? Who are the other names involved in supporting this IPO?

Stephen Jenkins: So really, they’re the main body underwriting this. And we’ve really stuck with them and we haven’t had to go out to find. We’ve had a lot of interest and much credit to them as well for raising awareness about what we’re doing. And really right now where we’re staying very tight. We like that it’s tight. We could have raised more money, but we want to stay focused.

Matthew Gordon: Yeah. Well, I agree with that. I think that’s smart and unusual for the Canadian market. You’re not raising a whole stock of money. But you’ve got already three branches to it. And again, when we sort of analyse companies and look at companies, we want to understand what they’re trying to be when they grow up, as it were. So, you started this crypto, you’ve kind of got the energy component to this, which I think is quite exciting. And then you’ve also, of course, obviously got the container technology as well. What’s the focus?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. Great question. So, what we’re using the crypto mining for is really that’s our what I would call our endemic cash flow at this time. So, we’ve managed to cover our overheads and get through a long IPO process with the exchange by having a Bitcoin mining ongoing. But I would say that in in the larger play is that it’s providing infrastructure for data centres in general. That means, you know, IP around energy efficiency is number one for sure. And using data, integrating it into mobile data centres.

Matthew Gordon: Right. And so why have you morphed like that, because obviously crypto has been fairly erratic, I think is be fair to say in terms of the price of Bitcoin etc. as people get excited and then it falls off again and it comes back up. So, what was your origin story with regards to crypto? Why did you kick off in that space?

Stephen Jenkins: So, we looked at crypto as a very interesting part and potentially some substantial blue sky on the revenue side. But watching and being involved in it day to day realized it’s a highly volatile, highly unpredictable market. We’ve got things coming up next May. So, we want to provide for people. One is this blue-sky opportunity with what could have happened with crypto. But two, is some revenue knowledge and some consistency in the business in terms of growth. So, providing infrastructure is always a good way to do that.

Matthew Gordon: Right. I’d agree with that. I wonder why keep the crypto bid at all if it’s that erratic. Why not focus on what seems to be quite a big demand area, which is energy and technology run energy supply.

Stephen Jenkins: That’s a great question, Matthew. We’re actually quite good and quite efficient at crypto mining. We have a very knowledgeable team behind that. We don’t do anything too complicated. We mined Bitcoin. That’s it, bitcoin core, so that’s all we do. We can turn that to Fiat. So, we use that as really as we say, as our cash flow. But we also we’re also using that to learn about the infrastructure that we’re building. So, we use that to demonstrate to people that we actually know what we’re doing ourselves as well, so we can lower our base costs by our own energy efficiency innovation.

Matthew Gordon: Okay. I can understand that. You’ve kind of got a working model which I guess you can test yourselves. And I guess it’s something you’d hope that you’ve come less dependent on that revenue stream. So how many machines have you got actually deployed at the moment?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. So, we have 1400 machines working now. What we’ll be doing and as profiled in our in our use of proceeds, we’ll be upgrading some of those machines in the short term. But again, I think, you know, watching how fast innovation is occurring in this space, it’s absolutely incredible. So, these machines are really only good at the outside for two years. So, unless you’re paying them back and making them, you know, cash positive within 18 months, you’re really fallen behind the curve. So, we’ll watch that closely and we want to be very conscious of our capital expenditures in that area. We’ll get to mine a little bit. And I think that really helps on a lot of cases. It’s still good cash flow today.

Matthew Gordon: Steve, if you don’t mind, tell me a little bit about some of the names that… You were kind enough to send the document over and some names on there. Michael Vogel, who’s well-known in the crypto space. I mean, how did you come across him? Why is he working with you?

Stephen Jenkins: So, Michael, he developed a company called Net Coins, which was really a good on ramp off ramp for Fiat currency. We came across Michael because we’re actually using a service to provide us with the Fiat, so on ramp, off ramp from bitcoin to cash. And we started discussing, Michael saw what we’re doing, got quite excited about it. He’s built, you know, and he really understands the crypto space. So, he’s been very valuable to us in terms of, you know, looking at our business and helping us decide if we’re on the right course with respect to crypto.

Stephen Jenkins: Great question. Jeff is a electrical engineer, 35 years’ experience. He’s well versed in automation. So, he’s done a lot of work within Canada’s space power. He’s done a lot of work within automation for skids and containers. And he’s really what we look at as our expert on the electrical side. Ed Smith is a well-known engineer, Phoenix Energy. He helps us with the heating and cooling side of stuff. So, they come together and really my focus is on the energy, renewable energy, but also taking the technical garb and putting it in English for people. So, I’m a bridge between the technical side and what I think are the retail people that maybe don’t understand all the technicalities of it. It’s a good team.

Matthew Gordon: Yeah. And then there’s have a guy in her called Feng Tao, quite successful Chinese businessman. How has he become involved with you? What’s his role here?

Stephen Jenkins: Lee Gable’s is the underwriting and financier for the project. Tao is very well known in China for being successful in terms of business. And he is the largest shareholder in the company. He has offered some incredible insights into the crypto market. Chinese are obviously very, very big players in the crypto space. So, he’s provided us with really great contacts and I think he provides that high level vision of what can be in that space and understands business very well.

Matthew Gordon: So, is that it or is there a kind of link to China in terms of the production and manufacture of some of your products?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. So, some things maybe that are early stage, but there’s no question where when we’re bringing over hardware, anything to do with crypto, all the hardware is still coming from mainland China or from Hong Kong. So yeah, we’ve got to have those contacts and we’ve got some interesting ideas about things that can be done and certainly he does as well. But yeah, it’s a critical connection for sure.

Matthew Gordon: Just staying on him, he’s your largest shareholder. How much does he hold?

Stephen Jenkins: He’s under 10%.

Matthew Gordon: OK. And has he introduced other money from China, or was that the idea?

Stephen Jenkins: Well, there was no question that, you know, they have a discussion there about to what’s going on in North America. There’s obviously an interest to grow the business to North America. So, he’s been incredibly helpful with respect to introductions and that kind of stuff. So, we have growing relationships, for sure.

Matthew Gordon: Right. OK. Let’s come back to the energy component, because again, I see what’s going on out there in the marketplace. You got players like Amazon and Google and Facebook. They’re building these huge data centres. You’ve got a lot of second three, second tier, third tier companies out there as well with their kind of respective technologies. Where do you hope to sit in all of this? I mean, how do you compete with those second, third tier companies?

Stephen Jenkins: The bottom line is that the demand for something like Amazon Web Services is overwhelming. Where we are in Oregon right now, there’s 14 data centres just for Amazon. They’re building another 16. And they’re also learning that, you know, that the demand for products and innovation in this space is huge. So, we’ve had early discussions with a number of players in the market. And we know that this will provide us a really enormous step forward, I think, in terms of our own business. So, we’ll stay focused in that area in Oregon, because that’s really where you’re seeing lowest cost power and the biggest development of data centres right now.

Matthew Gordon: OK. So, I named a few big names there. And I appreciate you can’t say too much about names, a few big names operating in that space around there. Have you got relationships with these people? Are you in conversations with them? What is it that you’re actually talking to them about? Are you going to be a supplier to them or what’s the relationship look like?

Stephen Jenkins: Well, it depends on what we can provide for them. So, we’re fairly motivated, I think, on the energy innovation side. And providing turnkey mobile data centres that integrate our own IP in there. So, what we’ll do with them is and what we’ve been doing is just really having early stage discussions about what they want, understanding what their needs are. So, we make sure that our focus is to fulfil their needs. Right. And just to give you an example, one data centre for Amazon is using $1.6MIL a month in power. 200,000 gallons per minute in water. So, that’s all money they’re spending out. So, whatever we can do for them, let’s say we can provide 20/30% energy savings. That’s a massive amount of number or what could be 30 data centres. So, yeah, of course, they’re interested.

Matthew Gordon: Yeah, they would be. And is that the type of products and intellectual property which you are developing currently? Because you talked earlier, you’ve got a bunch of crypto guys on the team, which is great. But around energy, who on the team has got that kind of background build to bring this on board?

Stephen Jenkins: So, the team we have electrical engineers, 35 years’ experience in automation and in containerized solutions, skid solutions so that they’re semi mobile solutions. So, bringing together people with understanding of how data centres operate, how computers operate and how power operates is really what our focus is and that’s how we’ve got forward on IP and innovation in energy efficiency. So, if you look, there’s been a lot of exploration today on DC data centres. So, we know that, you know, between alternating current and direct current, we know there’s real great gains to be had on DC data centres.

Matthew Gordon: Right. I mean, it kind of fascinates me how these big companies make investment decisions, right? They’re making a lot of money. Reliability, it’s got to be more important to them than energy saving, surely, isn’t it?

Stephen Jenkins: Oh, for sure. But if you want if you look at, say, one of the Amazon data centres as a good example, they’re backing up that entire data centre with Diesel Jensen. So, they’re using generators that are diesel powered. They’re conscious of the marketplace as well. And, you know, social impacts and perspectives and perceptions on green power. So, they didn’t want to have these massive diesel generators hanging out of all their data centres. What we can provide, and one of my focuses is renewable energy. So, in somewhere like Oregon, you’ve got massive wind resources, you have massive solar resources, but you don’t necessarily have a way to put those into the data centre in a coherent fashion. What battery storage does is which is one of the other things we’re playing with right now. It provides this amazing opportunity to… Doesn’t matter what type of energy you provide or what kind of generation you’re getting. They will put them in batteries and distribute that when needed. You can also use these solutions for managing power on a grid scale. All of the major utilities want to be able to manage power at a grid scale. So, if you’re relevant enough in the marketplace, you have enough power draw, they can use you to balance an entire group. There’s a lot of opportunities that are coming that we have our fingers in, but we want to stay focused as well on creating value. Step by step for our shareholders. So, I think there’s really this to balance one of, you know, letting all the minds get crazy and think about what could be, but also how to get there is really important, step by step.

Matthew Gordon: So, you’re private at the moment but you’re doing the Canadian thing, going public at a relatively early stage. What is it that you’re selling to the public? What are they buying into at the moment? I’m hearing a lot of stories about intellectual property, around product development, product innovation. You’re talking to the right customers, but you’ve got to have something for them to buy. So, what are your shareholders or the new shareholders buying into?

Stephen Jenkins: So, they’re buying into a company that’s really already generating revenue, has survived on its own for over a year process of an IPO. So, a private company that’s been run like a private company, we may be going public, but we’ll continue to be very, very cash conscious. You have to be in this marketplace today. Investors are much more sophisticated there nowadays than they have been ever. So, I think one is, you know, providing that ongoing responsibility and fiduciary duty around our cash flow and what we’re doing, but also at the same time, they’re buying into this company that’s really operating, has proven operations already and also is stepping forward and more into the marketplace of larger data centres and energy efficiency.

Matthew Gordon: Okay. So, you’ve got a track record of producing cash through the crypto component, but you are morphing the company into allowing it to play in a much bigger space, which is an efficient energy space. What have you got today which investors can put their finger on and go I understand what these guys are going to produce, I understand what they’re going to sell, I understand where the revenue is coming from. How do they get a sense of that?

Stephen Jenkins: Well, one is I think you can always go back. Everything we’ve done to date is public record. So, that to me gives me comfort. Two is we actually have already built our own mobile data centre solutions for our own equipment and we’ve deployed those. They’ve been operating without fail since day one. So, May 2018 we deployed our first mobile solution for a data centre or for crypto mining. It’s irrelevant which one. And we’ve simply made more and more of those mobile data centres available for ourselves. So, people can come and see that they can see that we’ve delivered it. You know what I think is a very, very reasonable price. But also, it’s UL certified. So, we’re not one of the companies that jumped on the market and sort of put up crypto miners in a very sketchy way. We’ve had two huge power surges in Oregon. Both of them didn’t do any damage to us because we built our equipment properly. And I think those are things that we can say today that we’ve really proven our way.

Matthew Gordon: Right. I was doing some research and I was trying to find companies which did similar things to you and I couldn’t. Who are the other players? Who are your peers in this space at the moment?

Stephen Jenkins: I think there’s certainly lots I mean, you have lots that are focused on crypto mining. You have some people that are playing in the providing mobile data centres. You have massive players. You have Cisco, Sun Microsystems, you have massive players that are building these portable data centres now because everybody started recognizing there’s an opportunity there. So, you’re certainly seeing what I would call is fringe players trying a couple of things. And it’s just that I think it’s also the age of the market. It’s still very new. So, Sun Microsystems, they’re building mobile data centres that might be a million dollars a pop. So, there’s certainly room in there for us to operate.

Matthew Gordon: But how do you compete against people like that? I mean, they’ve got big pockets here. They can spend outspend you, surely? I mean, how do you win?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. So, I think what we provide is a really focused, detailed mobile data centre at a price that nobody else can compete with. We certainly have them operating already in a number of locations. So, we’re in two locations with plans to expand. So, I think we’re proving it out ourselves. We’re not just selling it and saying, there you go. We’re selling it. And we’re just simply making them better because we rely on them to operate ourselves as well. So, I think we’re going to provide a really good product that I think will be competitive in a space. And listen, nobody wants to be first, right? Everybody wants to be first to be second because you’ve got a proven product there. If there wasn’t competition in the space, it would mean there’s no business there. And having the big players in there shows you that there’s space, right? So, we’ll run the business very tight and be very, very competitive.

Matthew Gordon: Okay. That says to me you’re going to undercut the competition, right? In other markets, when you look at other verticals, the big guys will go in there. They don’t mind providing a loss because they want to own that space. I mean, are you susceptible to some kind of behaviour like that or do you think that it’s going to be easier for you to have conversations?

Stephen Jenkins: I think the market space is going to get very competitive. There’s no question. By saying that, you’ve got to find ways to build a very cost-effective product. And, you know, knowing who wants what and understanding how it works. We have those people I think already that they’re building some of those units for other people as well. So, we understand what’s going on in the marketplace. But it’ll evolve over time. And the mobile data centre market will become very mature in the next five years, I think.

Matthew Gordon: Yeah. There’s a lot of players out there in the market place, okay. So how does a small company like you hope to survive? Are you still going to be around in five years’ time? And what are you doing to ensure that you are?

Stephen Jenkins: Yeah. So, one is I think we’re creating our own revenue and we continue to keep our revenue stream alive with crypto mining. Number two is we’re building containers for ourselves. But at the same time, these data centres; Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, they all are looking now at these mobile data centres. We can do those. We can provide reliability, quality, price. So, we know because we’re proving it out for ourselves that we can also do that for the bigger entities, regardless of who’s in that marketplace. If it’s Sun Microsystems or somebody like that building, we’re still going to be a player in there and there’s still going to be a need for the services we find.

Matthew Gordon: Stephen, thanks for running us through that story. I wish you every success for the IPO next week. I hope that goes smoothly. I think you’re in the right space. Very, very interesting space that you’ve decided to operate in. And you seem to be talking to a lot of the right names. So, I wish you well. Stay in touch and let us know how you get on.

Stephen Jenkins: Matthew, thanks. Thanks for your time and thanks for the questions. Also, I think it’ll be a good discussion after the IPO happens. We can we can start to delve into other areas, because I know that we’re really excited about moving forward and moving forward quickly.

Matthew Gordon: Thanks very much for watching. We hope you enjoyed that. And if you did, please click the button in the corner of the screen to subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also catch us on our website and Crux Cast, our podcast series. Plus, most days you can catch us on LinkedIn or on Twitter. We love getting your feedback, so please keep that coming. And we’ll speak to you again soon.

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