As one of the big market moves through October in the small caps space, The Sentiment caught up with Crowd Media Chairman, Steven Schapera after CM8 shares rose 57.6% through October, closing at $0.041 having started the month at $0.026.
In the interview, Schapera discusses where he sees value in Crowd Media and his vision for the Company over the next 2 years.
Click below to watch.
AC: Hi, my name is Alfred Chan, and today we’re joined at The Sentiment by one of the big market movers through October with Crowd Media chairman Steven Schapera, joining us all the way over from London. Steven, welcome to The Sentiment.
SS: Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure to spread the gospel of conversational commerce.
AC: Steven. It’s now been 12 months since you put together a consortium that invested $2.7 million in Crowd Media. But I think it’s fair to say that none of us could have imagined, you know, the next 12 months turning out the way it has with the onset of a pandemic. I’ve got to ask, if you knew we were about to enter a pandemic, would you have done things any differently?
SS: Well, uh, we would have stocked up on masks and hand sanitizer and probably worked even faster than we have been working. If that’s possible. But, um, you paint an interesting picture, knowing that something tectonic is about to happen, what would you do to prepare? And in fact, our investment group did just this.
SS: When we predicted a tectonic shift in the way commerce will be conducted across social media in coming is conversational commerce. And it looks like we were right. So, we sought out the world’s best Q and A forum upon which we could consolidate the digital conversation with visual augmentation, to build our technology.
SS: And this Q and A leapfrogging has saved us at least three or four years of high-risk R and D and probably $10 million or more. Yeah, just so that you know, for some time now Crowd’s Q and A division has answered more than 1 million questions a month, at least 65% of which are answered with AI. And that number is climbing every month.
SS: So Crowd Media is the only listed company on the planet that gives investors exposure to this tech, uh, breakthrough technology. As we’ve said, the next step will be to be able to FaceTime with Lewis Hamilton about F1 or to check with Gustave Eiffel about the Eiffel Tower. It’s only two years away for Crowd and that’s our Holy grail.
AC: Since you’ve come on board, Steven. Um, you’ve brought with you a lot of retail experience and connections from BECCA cosmetics which you founded before exiting in 2016. Alongside the Crowd Direct division, um, which you started upon your arrival, I think you’ve generated about $350,000 in revenue. How do you foresee Crowd Direct progressing in your second year at Crowd Media?
SS: You know, influencer marketing as it is today is part science and part art. In either case it’s, it’s built upon experimentation. Each successful test is tweaked further to, to optimize. It’s a very lengthy and iterative process. And just when you think you have, right, right. There’s another wave of change.
SS: It’s yeah, it’s like standing at the water’s edge and watching every wave. After some time you get to be able to predict just where you need to be to catch that wave. The old days of it being enough to simply be in the water and catch, whatever swell comes along those days are gone. The next 12 months, we will continue as we are selling exemplary products to millennials, but we will broaden our reach by adding services within the InsureTech and FinTech spaces.
SS: Their scalability makes them hugely attractive. And they respond better to influencer marketing than physical products. As Crowds Media cements its position as an immediate tech player, we will have to build and buy capability. We’re here for the long term. And that means we will not sacrifice the jackpot of a huge return.That is just a few short years away for a modest revenue gain today.
AC: Steven it’s clear that Crowd is in a much healthier financial position compared to, um, prior to your appointment. Um, but there is still some baggage in debt carried by the business. If revenue is not the core focus at the moment, which seems to be a pretty common trend among the FinTech and BNPL space, how does crowd plan to fund operations for the next two years of your three horizon strategy?
SS: We’re a company of entrepreneurs. We’re not traditional corporate managers and entrepreneurs are very used to working with limited resources. So unless compelling new opportunities present, we will always work with the resources that we have and we plan everything around that.
AC: We’ve seen some good activity around Crowd’s share price over the past month, but as you know, the eCommerce sector moves very quickly. These memories can often be short-lived. How would you personally assess your first 12 months as chairman of Crowd Media?
SS: My job as chairman is to lead the Crowd team. They’ve done an exceptional job of embracing the vision, committing to the objective and executing at great speed on the strategies needed under I’m really super proud of them. Share price is just an indicator of performance, but it’s not the only indicator and investors don’t always value assets correctly.
SS: A lot of that depends on their knowledge of the space. The fact is that we’re pioneering a new frontier with our talking head and it’s our view that we’re currently undervalued. This just gives existing shareholders even more to be excited about it at exit time when we bear the fruit.
AC: Speaking of the next 12 months Steven, Crowd has publicly stated that your next focus will be in the FinTech and InsureTech spaces.Can you just talk us through, uh, what you might be looking for in potential brand partners in those spaces?
SS: We know from our experience with consumer behavior in the influencer marketing space, that FinTech and InsureTech are extremely reactive to influence advertising much more linearly than physical products. It’s a growth lever that we know how to pull, and we know exactly which InsureTech and FinTech services we want to promote. We are currently working to obtain the necessary licenses to operate in this highly regulated space. So let’s talk again in 12 months time.
AC: Steven. Thank you very much for your time and we look forward to catching up again with you. Next time.
SS: It’s been my pleasure. I’m really looking forward to it.
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