Vancouver-based mining communications firm Vrify will invest in technologies and people underpinning its “3D press release” subscription service after raising C$6 million of equity funding with backing from RCF Jolimont, Beedie Capital and Tiny Capital.
The six-year-old company aims to increase its 60-strong team by 25% over the next 12 months and enhance its 3D virtual site-tour platform and delivery capability. Founder and CEO Steve de Jong, a former mining company executive, said Vrify would also “explore artificial intelligence applications to increase efficiency for users” and launch a new communication course for mining professionals.
de Jong hatched the idea for Vrify while travelling the world promoting Integra Gold Corp, which was bought by Eldorado Gold for C$590 million in 2017. If charter planes were not flown out to the often-remote sites, he said, project information was limited to word-dense PDFs and slide decks. He wanted to create an i-pad app that leveraged site drone photography and 3D drill-hole and other visualisations to improve investor communications.
“We see a future where companies have rich data visualisation tools at their fingertips, and two-way communication is the norm – a future where the Vrify platform is the primary conduit in which every decision across the sector is made,” de Jong said this week.
“We believe it’s only a matter of time before every mining company and mining investor will look back at the days before Vrify, and shake their heads at the vacuum of information that investment decisions were historically made in.”
Vrify now claims to have 130 clients in 70 countries, and more than 120% year-on-year, software-as-a-service (SaaS) recurring revenue growth.
“This growth has positioned VRIFY as the leading communications technology platform in the mining sector, attracting attention from Jolimont, one of the largest global mining investment firms, as well as technology investment funds Tiny, and Beedie Capital,” the company said.
“[Vrify’s] easy-to-use collaboration and visualisation tools are a step-change for how mining companies present complex 3D information, leading to significant improvements in collaboration and much more productive meetings,” said RCF Jolimont director Charles Gillies, who will join Vrify’s board.
“The tool will reduce costs, and improve understanding across the mining industry.”
Vrify has previously raised C$13 million from a “number of strategic industry partners”.
de Jong described the latest eight-month fundraising process as “really tough”.
“But … we’ve got two of the largest mining technology investors on the planet backing us now, alongside with some more tech investors,” he said.
Tiny co-founder Andrew Wilkinson said: “There are riches in niches and we particularly like this one.”