MARK TOBIN | from Coffee Microcaps

· Podcast Episodes
Unloved, undiscovered and under-rated companies flying under the radar. Mark Tobin from Coffee Microcaps
Sharesight Award Winning Portfolio Tracker

The best part of Mark Tobin's job is finding innovative and disruptive companies that you don't hear about every day. Mark has been passionate about finding "undiscovered" microcap stocks ever since he began his career as an equity analyst in Sydney.

Working at Sydney based fund manager Wilson Asset Management, a small and microcap specialist manager, he was part of an investment team that was dedicated to finding undervalued small and microcap growth companies.

Ever since that first exposure to microcap stocks, Mark has been hooked on uncovering these hidden gems and following their story and evolution.

You kind of learn something new every day. You're exposed to businesses that are doing stuff that you won't really hear about or see in the ASX 200. Those are businesses are really operating in large mainstream markets that we can all kind of get our head around. Whereas, you know, I think we're gonna talk about a few companies in a bit, you know, the the kind of tree i I picked out from the recent conferences, you know, I I think are businesses that you wouldn't necessarily think of on a day-to-day basis.

Why are small companies on the ASX under-covered? There are several reasons, but one of them is that there are simply too many of them for the analysts to keep track of. According to the ASX website, there are over 2,000 listed companies on the exchange, and many of them have a market capitalization of less than $100 million. That means they are often overlooked by the mainstream financial media, which tends to focus on the larger and more established players.

Small companies also tend to have less liquidity and more volatility than their bigger counterparts. This means they are riskier and harder to trade, which can deter some investors from buying or selling them.

We talked about Luke Winchester from Merewether Capital who was a previous guest on this podcast. People like Luke who run a small-cap fund live and die by their decisions. They don't make money unless they are out-performing the market unlike large cap fundies who can closely track the ASX 200.

Somebody who's running Australian large cap product or a global equity fund that could be managing a couple of billion dollars in assets under management if they're charging even a half a percent or 0.75% management fee just on that funds management fee. You know, it covers a heck of a lot of costs and probably gives you out a decent level of profit.

Finally we talked about three microcaps that appeared at the last Coffee Microcaps conference in April. Water filtration with De.mem (ASX:DEM), helping to reduce the risk of travelers' diarrhea with Immuron (ASX:IMC), and timber and building materials supplier Big River Industries (ASX:BRI) which is nearly 100 years old.


Get 4 months free on an annual premium plan when you use Sharesight, the award-winning portfolio tracker. Sign up for a free trial today.

Sharesight automatically tracks price, performance and dividends from 240,000+ global stocks, crypto, ETFs and funds. Add cash accounts and property to get the full picture of your portfolio – all in one place.

Sharesight Award-winning portfolio tracker. Save 4 months

Portfolio tracker Sharesight tracks your trades, shows your true performance, and saves you time and money at tax time. Get 4 months free at this link


Chloe (1s):

Shares for Beginners, Phil Muscatello and Finpods are authorised reps of MoneySherpa. The information in this podcast is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal situation.

Mark (12s):

Valuation is an art not a science. Even though there can be a lot of maths involved, it's hard to value a stock at the best of times. And you know, for me to try and value a stock where you don't even have the first line in the P&L, you know, it makes it even even more difficult. So I generally try to find Stocks who have revenue as a get go.

Phil (33s):

G'day. And, welcome back to Shares for Beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello and I also host another occasional podcast series called Talking Companies with Mark Tobin from Coffeemicrocaps. You may have met him before On the podcast, we chat with CEOs from some of the undiscovered gems at the smaller end of the ASX Good day Mark

Mark (52s):

Good day Phil

Phil (54s):

Mark's work began as an equity analyst in Sydney, igniting a passion for uncovering hidden investment opportunities. His tenure with Wilson Asset Management, a renowned small and micro capped specialist manager shaped his path as he delved into the world of undervalued growth companies. From that point forward, Mark's relentless pursuit of undiscovered micro cap Stocks has been a driving force in his career. Did you like that? That was from chat g p T.

Mark (1m 24s):

Very good.

Phil (1m 25s):

Glad to see

Mark (1m 26s):

You're, you're moving with the Times Phil, all these fancy technologies.

Phil (1m 29s):

Oh no, I just wanted to make sure you had a, an heroic entrance to the podcast. So tell us about catching the micro cap bug at Wilson Asset Management and I know, I know we've covered this before, but it's always, you know, not everyone's listened to every episode and I think it's worthwhile going through the origin story again.

Mark (1m 48s):

Yeah, so I was at Wilson Asset Management, it's a, it's a few moons ago now. They were really known as a a, a kind of a small cap boutique manager at that point there was only three listed investment companies. They've obviously branched out into many, many more since I had left. And within those three listed investment companies, there was kind of two main strategies, both focused on the small and micro cap end. And within those strategies, you know, we always had a bit of a focus on micro cap Stocks. Ones that would be too small for say other small cap managers who are running, you know, just like a pure standalone small cap fund.

Mark (2m 27s):

But we taught, you know, could kind of graduate hop into the small cap universe proper. And those were the companies that highlight, you know, really liked because you'd go to maybe a briefing if one of the brokers was hosting the company or you know, you'd maybe go and visit their headquarters if you're on a day trip. Wilsons me obviously based in Sydney. If we were down in Melbourne for a day visiting companies or up in Brisbane or the company itself might be in Sydney for a bit of a road show. And you know, you'd ask the CEOs and say no have any, you'd be trying to feel out has anybody else looking at this business, you know, have you any other kind of institutional investors been in contact or ever.

Mark (3m 9s):

And you know, a lot of the time they'd say, no we haven't. We were like the first one they've heard from in a year or a year and a half. And I really liked those ones, you know, because It was something that was really off the radar. It felt like you were the kind of first to a story before kind of the rest of our competitors caught onto it. And then, yeah, I left Wilson Asset Management and through one thing in another, ended up starting Coffee Microcaps. And the reason I started was more of a frustration for myself in that, you know, there's plenty of conferences in I would say the small capina and definitely in the large capina and a lot of sector specialist ones. A lot of your listeners have probably maybe been to a few of the, the big mining conferences that happen, for example, like IMARK and Melbourne or the Gold Coast Mining Conference, you know, events are BioShares another one in the biotechnology side or techno and the technology side.

Mark (4m 5s):

But there wasn't, you know, that many events for microcap companies in particular. And I said, well I'm gonna start my own conference. And I guess It was also to try and meet a couple of other micro cap investors because if you don't, you know, have a place where you all congregate to come and see a few Stocks, you know, you only run into these people maybe if you attend the AGM and and they attend the AGM. So yeah, back in 2018 I decided I'm gonna start Coffee Microcaps and then we did our first conference live event in Sydney. It was March, 2019 or April, 2019. I can't remember exactly which month It was now. And yeah, that was the first time we've been running in-person events since then.

Mark (4m 49s):

Obviously took a bit of a break in Covid and during Covid we started the online events, which we're still doing. And you know, it's been a great journey. I've met so many interesting people along the way and lots of other micro cap investors that were, you know, just names on, on Twitter for a lot of the time. And It was really great to catch up with 'em in person and get a bit of a deeper understanding of how they're investing and you know, what their history was. You know, some of them used to be in the market in various ways, whether they were brokers or corporate advisors or some of them, you know, Investor relations people. And you know, some of them have been so successful, they've gotten full-time ahead. They mightn't be running a fund, but their full-time job is micro cap investing.

Mark (5m 34s):

And those are the really interesting stories to hear. And you know, I really think those are some of the, the best investors in Australia because they, you know, they haven't got a management fee or performance fee to keep them going. They've gotta make money from their portfolio day in, day out if they're going to pay their mortgage and you know, put kids into school and you know, go to Coles and Woolies every week. So, you know, as meeting some of those people who are doing it on a full-time basis has been probably one of the best parts of the job. And you know, meeting some old, old colleagues comp from competitors who, you know, have moved to different places are gone on to start their own funds, you know, has also been great to catch up with people and, and keep in touch with people.

Mark (6m 21s):

So I think that's, you know, the kind of coffee micro cap story in a bit of a nutshell. Yeah,

Phil (6m 26s):

It's a bit of the, it's like gold miners fossicking isn't it? Just looking around for those undiscovered gems as we said in the introduction. And Luke Winchester, he runs that Merewether capital fund. He was on the podcast a few episodes ago and he works in this space as well. And it's like he said, people looking at these kind of companies, they really do have to perform. It's not like many fund managers in the big end of town. I mean they can often do something very close to mirroring what's going on on the index and you know, try and outperform by one or 2% if possible. But the fund management, the fund managers and the people in this space, like you said, they really do live or die by the quality of the companies that they're choosing in their portfolios.

Mark (7m 12s):

No, exactly. And I mean the other thing with the micro cap funds, even if you are somebody like Luke or some of the others can never really have a big micro cap fund because of the liquidity constraints. And I, you know, I don't want to get too technical on it, but it's hard to have a micro cap fund with funds under management in my opinion anyway, you know, probably greater than like $150 million or $200 million I think, you know, that's probably the cap. So, you know, the, the size of the fund is never going to generate, you know, large amounts of performance fee. If you take 1% performance fee on 150 million, now that's gotta pay for, you know, your A F S L license, probably rent of a small office.

Mark (7m 55s):

It's gotta, you know, cover a whole load of backend administration and a salary for the fund manager, maybe one analyst. Then if you start subtracting all of those costs, it doesn't leave a hell of a lot of profit. So where they gonna make their money, they're gonna make it in a performance fee. Now you contrast that somebody who's running Australian large cap product or a global equity fund that could be managing a couple of billion dollars in assets under management of, they're charging even a half a percent or 0.75% management fee just on that funds management fee. You know, it covers a heck of a lot of costs and probably gives you out a decent level of profit even if you make no performance fee.

Mark (8m 40s):

So I think when you look at guys like Luke and the guys from micro equities or you know, OC funds management down in Melbourne, there's a host of, you know, ones I can name. But for those guys to really have a successful and sustainable business performance fees is where it's at because you're never going to have a billion dollar fund dollar management micro cap fund in the Australian market because liquidity constraints will just end up forcing you up the market cap curve and then you just won't be a micro cap fund anymore. You'll be more into small and mid cap. So if your investors are investing with you for micro cap exposure, all of a sudden you won't be delivering what you're supposed to be delivering.

Mark (9m 22s):

So I think, yeah, do you really, it it's really performance driven and for those, as I said, you know, full-time micro cap investors and I know a few of them, they've really gotta be sure that they're, on average, their winners are doing better than their losers.

QAV Tony Kynaston taking the stress out of share investing

Phil (9m 36s):

So when we think about the ASX200 or the ASX300, whereabouts is the micro cap sector sort of in that spectrum in markets?

Mark (9m 51s):

Look, the, the ASX300, you might get a few micro caps at the very bottom of that index, you know, you know companies in and around, you know, two 90 or 2 95, but you're basically talking, you know, a lot of stuff outside the AkSX300, which is still a lot of companies, there's 1500 companies capped under 300 million. And I was even looking at the, the other day, if you take the median market cap, so where, you know, 50% of the companies are, it's roughly around that 50 million mark. So you know, of the 2000 odd companies, over a thousand of them are capped under 50 million and then, you know, the rest are, are capped above it.

Mark (10m 36s):

So there's a long, long list of companies that You can fit into your micro cap definition. And there's no hard and fast definition I finding in Australia. I mean I use 300 million and under as as a micro cap And that gives you, if you do a stock screener that'll give you 1500 names. If you take the a S X 300 and you say, okay, I'm going to look at everything outside the 300, you know, you're probably talking 1700 or 1800 names. So whether you use anything below a certain index point or a certain absolute market cap level, you know you're gonna find a heck of a lot of companies definitely probably over a thousand no matter which way you slice and dice it.

Mark (11m 20s):


Phil (11m 20s):

You generally discount or you, you filter out companies in the biotech and mining space as well, don't you?

Mark (11m 27s):

Yeah, I mean what I try and do with coffee micro caps is, you know, I, the first thing I do is I try and find companies that are interesting to me and you know, ones I think that, you know, have a good story and I think would be interesting to other micro cap investors and you know, when we worked or when I worked at Wilson Asset Management, you know, we didn't do too much in the resources space, pretty much non-existent or the biotechnology space also kind of. So in terms of understanding the opportunities that those companies present and, you know, trying to value or in most cases for the junior resources and the biotech names, you know, trying to understand the opportunity they're chasing or the, or the inherent value that they're looking for.

Mark (12m 12s):

You know, I, I just don't have that real kind of skillset there. But on the other sector, so whether that's industrials or retail or technology or healthcare, you know, I think I can find stuff that's interesting for various different angles, whether that's valuation angle, whether it's turnaround angle, whether it's from an expansion angle where new products or new markets or new CEOs come in with a new strategy. You know, I think I can start to highlight stories to other micro cap investors that, you know, I think they'll find interesting or to be one to, you know, maybe put on the watch list and keep an eye on.

Mark (12m 54s):

So yeah, the other thing is with the resources and, and the biotech side of things, I just think that those have a very good ecosystem that's kind of developed around them where investors can go and find out in probably much more detail and a and much more in depth from other conferences or websites or, you know, so I don't think, you know, hearing them on coffee micro caps is going to really add a whole lot of value to people who look at that space on a, on a regular basis. Whereas I think on coffee micro caps, you know, I can add a bit of value to, you know, companies that might be a bit off the radar and are interesting from some kind of an investment angle.

Phil (13m 43s):

So what is it about this end of the market that investors might find interesting in terms of including something in their portfolio?

Mark (13m 53s):

You know, I think what's interesting about it is just the array of products and services that you, you come across down descend of the market. You get a lot of specialist niche businesses that are, you know, doing something in a particular market or a particular sector that is small relative to let's say an an Amazon or a Facebook or whatever. But you know, they're at the start of their journey where they're doing, you know, maybe a couple of million in revenue, but in Australia or maybe even a bit internationally, you know, they've got a large market in terms of where they are now that they can expand into. And you know, You can get a, you know, a business that can go from 10 million to 150 million in revenue over the course of a couple of years.

Mark (14m 45s):

And you know, I think just that small niche end where you've got companies doing very special stuff, you know, I find it quite interesting, you know, that's the best part of my, my job is, you know, you, you kind of learn something new every day. You're exposed to businesses that are doing stuff that you won't really hear about or see in the ASX 200. Those are businesses are really operating in large mainstream markets that we can all kind of get our head around. Whereas, you know, I think we're gonna talk about a few companies in a bit, you know, the the kind of tree i I picked out from the recent conferences, you know, I I think are businesses that you wouldn't necessarily think of on a day-to-day basis.

Mark (15m 26s):

And that's the kind of the interesting stuff you're gonna come across down the small end of the market.

Chloe (15m 31s):

Super is one of the most important investments you'll ever make. But how do you know if you are in the best fund for your situation head to life Sherpa dot com au to find out more life Sherpa Australia's most affordable online financial advice.

Phil (15m 51s):

And yeah, you referred to liquidity a little earlier on in our conversation, and this is an issue with this end of the market and a lot of the price action can be affected by the lack of liquidity here. Tell us about that and what investors should be careful or mindful of.

Mark (16m 7s):

Yeah, I'm, I'm reminded of the, the old saying, you know, when you're investing in micro cap Stocks, you know, liquidity is a feature, it's, it's not a bug and it just comes with the territory. And you know, I've got a watch list I think of 150 Stocks I keep an eye on, on a kind of day-to-day basis. And you know, you'll see a stock up eight, 9% on, you know, there's been no a S X announcement in the market itself. If you look at, you know, the all odds of the 200 for the day, it might have been flat and then, you know, the following day you, the market's down a bit and, but you know, the same stock is now down 6%. And then you look over into, you know, what was the volume It was traded on, it could be 8,000 Shares or 12,000 Shares and you know, the share price may be like 60 cents.

Mark (16m 53s):

So yeah, you will get kind of big jumps up and down on a daily basis in share prices on just some of the, the small volumes that are are traded. I think, you know, in micro caps, that's just something you've gotta accept. And I think for smaller retail investors, you know, who aren't trying to commit large amounts of capital, if they're, you know, only dealing in a couple of thousand dollars here or there, it, it's probably not that much of a concern for people like Luke as you mentioned earlier, who's running a proper fund. It's a bit more of a consideration from him as not so much a risk but something he's gotta be mindful on a portfolio level, you know, what's the liquidity of his portfolio overall and how does he take advantage of it when he peers, whether that's to to sell a stock or to buy a stock.

Mark (17m 44s):

Yeah, I think for micro caps it's a feature of this part of the market, nah, bug and you just gotta manage it, learn to deal with it and just know that you're gonna have these relatively big swings in price on, on, on low volumes from kind of day to day, week to week, whatever it might be. And it's just part and parcel I guess of, of micro cap investing.

Phil (18m 8s):

I know Mark that you don't have any holdings in any of the companies that you cover, obviously for con reasons of conflict of interest. But if you were looking to invest in any of these companies, what sort of process would you start using to identify opportunities? Yeah,

Mark (18m 25s):

I mean, as you say, I don't have holdings in any companies for conflict of interest reasons and it, you know, makes compliance a lot simpler as well when you don't. But in terms of, you know, looking for companies, I, I can give you the process that I use, you know, to try and find companies to present at the conferences and you know, the, the first thing is are they capped under 300 million? So that's kind of my starting point for trying to find a micro cap. The second step then is are they in revenue? You know, so for a lot of the like biotechs and junior resources, you know, a lot of them are pre-revenue so that's another reason they tend to kind of fall out and valuation is in art now has science.

Mark (19m 7s):

Even though there can be a lot of mats involved, it's hard to value a stock at the best of times. And you know, for me to try and value a stock where you don't even have the first line in the p and l, you know, it makes it even even more difficult. So I generally try to find Stocks who have revenue as a get go. And then the second thing is, you know, how close are they to cashflow break even or you know, turning a profit ideally are already profitable and you know, paying a dividend even maybe. So, you know, I kind of start to filter down down through that and I mean if we just talk about dividends quickly for a second, you know, it might be interesting fact 'cause I've been doing a, a bit of, bit of stock screening, you know, let's say you screen for you know, stuff capped under 300 million and that's, you know, producing dividend as well.

Mark (19m 59s):

The last screen I ran for that, I think it turned up like 150 companies. So you know, just because something's a micro cap stock doesn't mean that they're all unprofitable, you know, and not making money. You know, there's quite a few of them are, you know, solid dividend paying Stocks and it's, you know, maybe something people aren't really aware of when they think of micro cap Stocks that, you know, You can find Stocks down this end of the market who are actually dividend paying.

Phil (20m 28s):

Yeah, it's not something you think about in this end of the market at all is it? But yeah, you're right. I mean a lot of these are solid industrial companies. Often many of them have been around for tens of, you know, decades at a time and doing not terribly sexy, you know, software as a service stuff or you know, anything to do with new technology. They have good solid businesses producing things.

Mark (20m 53s):

Yeah, no exactly. I mean if we just take the last conference I, you know, if we two companies that are kind of in kind of similar industries sectors, I would say anyway, It was, and we've had actually, well the CEOs on here and talking companies before, but you know, Steve Boland from Acrow Form Work and Construction, you know, a business that's, I think it's been around for 40 years, hasn't been listed for 40 years but I think it's been around for 40 years and you know, that's a solid dividend paying business and for anybody who doesn't know what they do, they do a lot of the farm work, that kind of concrete shuttering you'll see on big infrastructure projects.

Mark (21m 33s):

So you know, things like West Connex, snowy Hydro, you know, major, major infrastructure projects and you know, the business has kind of evolved under Steve to be a, rather than that, you know, simple concrete form work they're doing, you know, much higher end kind of specialist engineered stuff these days and you know, done it very successfully. And I think if anybody had invested the day Steve was appointed c e o to today, who would've done very well of it. But that's a business where, you know, You can kind of see it every day if you're driving past or getting caught in traffic because of one of these projects and might see the Acrow Kynastonsign up there, you know, that's what, you know, a dividend paying micro cap.

Mark (22m 19s):

And similarly we had John Lorente from Big River Industries and you know, they supply essentially, you know, timber for a lot of, you know, high-end buildings, high-end residential, high-end commercial buildings, you know, that like beautiful like wood facades or floors or stairs or ballast straits, you know, a business that has also been around for 40, 50 years from its origins up in the northern rivers of New South Wales. And again, it's dividend paying, you know, makes a profit and it's got quite a, an interesting business 'cause they do timber yards but they also do the, you know, the specialist finished products as well.

Mark (23m 6s):

So they're kind of all through that kind of value chain of timber and timber related products. And again, you know, it's not kind of one that would, you know, jump out at most people, but it's a business that's, you know, operating in an interesting niche and you know, they've kind of got, you know, new South Wales is their main market, but they've kind of got plans to expand in into the other states. So there's two dividend ones that kind of jumped to mind just from the last set of conferences we did. So

Phil (23m 35s):

We finally met in face person to person for the first time at the conference back in April. It's a crazy world, isn't it, where people can form relationships and deal with each other and start businesses because you're up halfway around the world somewhere else. And I'm here in Australia and you come back for the, the conferences here.

Mark (23m 52s):

Yeah, and I mean that was, I mean for me It was a little less surreal because it's the kind of second time around the sun for me if I can say that because when I hosted the first conference back in 2019, I met so many people that had only ever engaged on over email or via Twitter for probably a couple of years before that. So when, when we met at the conference, It was the first time I met a lot of those people in person. So, you know, meeting you for the first time in Sydney in April, It was kind of the, the second time and you know, a lot of people I'd met kind of over that covid period for the first time or had kind of come in contact with coffee micro caps and I'd kind of gotten to know it was a first time meeting a good few with them and whereas because the conferences had been kind of running on a regular basis, you know, I might have an interaction with somebody on Twitter and then just say, oh I'm gonna see you at the, the next conference.

Mark (24m 46s):

It's only a couple of months away. So, you know, having the, the covid enforced break, you know, led to meeting a few more people than normal at a conference. But yeah, I mean 2019 was exactly the same people there. I probably known for three or four years. Luke Winches are being wild with him, who I, I was meeting kind of for the first time and having worked in Sydney for, you know, in the best part of five years or a little over five years, I didn't actually know a whole lot of investors from Melbourne or Brisbane. And we had a good few people fly in for the conference in Sydney 'cause we only used to host it in Sydney then. And you know, a lot of those people came up from Melbourne or down from Brisbane.

Mark (25m 29s):

I, you know, hadn't met in in person either. So It was really great to, to meet them in person.

Phil (25m 35s):

We'll get back to the show right after this brief message. Why am I buying, holding, or selling a share? If you can't answer that basic question, then you don't have a plan. The best investors are ruthless in executing their plans. I've been fortunate to meet many great investors on the podcast. Tony Kynaston

Mark (25m 51s):

is one of the best. He has a clear and systematic approach to investing that is honest, sensible, and methodical. It's called Q A V Quality at value. Q A V now offer an excellent light plan for only $29 per month. You can follow their buy and sell recommendations and learn the ropes and the first month is free using the promo code SFB light. Go to q v au to sign up.

Phil (26m 18s):

That's q AAV au. Using the promo code S F b light past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Please read the Q AAV F S G and consult a financial professional before investing. I receive a small commission for services I recommend and I only recommend services I use myself. So let's talk about a couple of the other companies that presented at the conference. You've got it first on your list is Immuron.

Mark (26m 41s):

Yeah, yeah, look, it's what's

Phil (26m 43s):

What's the code on that one?

Mark (26m 44s):

IMC is the code. I I think it's an interesting little, little business. So they have, their main product is travel land, which you might have seen in your local chemist warehouse or Terry White or whichever one you normally go to. And you know, it's basically they, they focus on international traveler market and traveler diarrhea and obviously business took a massive hit through Covid when nobody was traveling internationally. And you know, I think they obviously like really struggled through Covid and you know, now they're starting to see the benefits of all of this international travel. They've got a couple of other products, they've kind of gotten the pipeline and they're kind of rebuilding the business and they sell in the us they sell in Canada and they sell in Australia.

Mark (27m 30s):

That's their main markets. But I mean obviously there's plenty of other markets that they can expand into and you know, they've got a product that's approved by the F D A, the T G A and you know, a few other products come in and a lot of the problems that they have faced now that everything has opened back up over the last, you know, let's call it 12 or 18 months has been all the supply chain issues that, you know, lots of companies and CEOs have flagged that, you know, so they had huge demand for stock but they couldn't get it out fast enough because they had issues with the manufacturing side and they lost a lot of any kind of business that sells into, you know, retail change.

Mark (28m 10s):

You know, they lost shelf space through Covid and trying to get rearranged back onto the shelves of a lot of these and you know, just reestablishing those kind of sales partnerships has been a process, you know, it doesn't happen overnight. So I think Immuron, it's not a, a startup I'd say it's, you know, it's kind of more of a turnaround. They're kind of getting back to what they were doing kind of before Covid and they've got opportunities to expand with a kind of proven product. You know, it's well known in the markets that's already in. And I think to try and expand it into, you know, the UK or Germany or cross into Asia potentially, you know, a couple of markets there, maybe Japan or South Korea, you know, I think they've got a nice trajectory in front of them and I think it's, you know, one to kind of keep an eye on over the next year or two, see how they can rebuild the existing business and then expand into new markets with existing products and they've got one or two other products that they're currently developing and you know, if they can plug that into their existing distribution that they've got now, I think it's, I think it's an, an interesting little business.

Mark (29m 22s):


Phil (29m 22s):

And the next one on the list is De.mem, is that how you pronounce that one De.mem

Mark (29m 27s):

Deem yeah, De.mem. Yeah, this is, I think this talks to what we were talking about earlier now these like niche businesses that you wouldn't really have exposure to. So dm they do high high end filtration systems for businesses who are, you know, extracting water, using it in their production processes and then have waste water that, you know, needs to be released back into the water system but has to be treated before it leaves their plant. So they provide the, the membranes and the I guess, technology to do that. So it's used by a lot of heavy industry but also, you know, businesses like Coca-Cola and food manufacturers and you know, a whole host of businesses who use city water council water in their production process and then have to clean that up to an acceptable standard before releasing it kind of back into the system.

Mark (30m 31s):

And De.mem Have these high-end membranes and filters that they use in order for these companies to comply with environmental regulation standards that they are required to under their kind of operating license. So, you know, it's a very specialized technical business, you know, a business to business type operation. So, you know, you, you kind of completely different to Immuron And that, you know, you won't see the Logo at your, at your local retail or local chemist or you won't really come across it in kind of everyday living. But I think it's a really interesting business where they still have, you know, scope to expand and, you know, been on a, on a quiet path.

Mark (31m 17s):

They're just getting to that kind of inflection point of profitability. They've, you know, done one tour acquisitions which has given them a, a kind of a presence right across Australia. 'cause that's one of the things they said they wanted to do. If you look back maybe two, three years ago, they really wanted a national presence when you're dealing with somebody, you know, like Coca-Cola, you know, they don't wanna be dealing with one supplier in New South Wales and another supplier in wa. So they've managed to do that and you know, they're been slowly ticking along, getting new customers, doing more to acquisitions and you know, the is just coming up on that profitability inflection point. And I still think they've got, you know, room to grow.

Mark (31m 59s):

They've got a bit of a business in Singapore, they've got another bit of a business in Germany. So there's definitely scope for them to, you know, expand with their customers into internationally. I mean while there aren more recent customers in Australia was Juda I know, if you've ever heard of them, a big Swiss manufacturer, I'm pretty sure they're listed. But I mean if you look up the size of their operations, you know of if DM M can start expanding to some of their other sites, which they have, you know, around the globe, I think it's a great opportunity for them.

Phil (32m 35s):

So Mark, you're coming back to Sydney and Melbourne for a couple more conferences later this year. Give us the dates and where they'll be held.

Mark (32m 43s):

Yeah, so anyone who's been to one of our conferences before, they're at the same venues again, but anyone who wants to join us for the first time, the Sydney event is happening October 31st, which is a Tuesday and it'll be at the state library of New South Wales, which is just by the domain for people there in Sydney. And then on the Thursday of that week, Thursday the second, so just before the whole Melbourne Cup festivities kickoff, we'll be in Melbourne at the state library of Victoria for, which is, you know, bang smack in, in central Melbourne, C b D. So if you wanna join us at one of those tickets will probably go on sale probably end of September, early October.

Mark (33m 28s):

And yeah, we'll look forward to welcoming anybody who wants to join us in, in Sydney or Melbourne.

Phil (33m 32s):

And people can join the mailing list as well, can't they? Yeah,

Mark (33m 36s):

It'd probably the best way to go is to sub stack. So I do a Monthly newsletter on there or You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, I'm on pretty much most of the socials as well.

Phil (33m 48s):

Okay. We'll put all of those on the episode notes in the, the blog post as well.

Mark (33m 54s):

Thanks Phil.

Phil (33m 54s):

Okay Mark Tobin, it's great to chat with you again and talk to you again soon. And I, I just wanna say before we finish off as well, having gone to the previous conference in April, it's great, it's such an eye-opener to see the innovation that's going on in Aussie businesses. Great Aussie businesses of the future. Thanks

Mark (34m 10s):

Phil. And yeah, hopefully we'll see you in October.

Phil (34m 13s):

Definitely will. Okay, thanks mate.

Mark (34m 15s):

Thanks Phil.

Chloe (34m 15s):

Thanks for listening to Shares for Beginners. You can find more at Shares for Beginners dot com. If you enjoy listening, please take a moment to rate or review in your podcast player or tell a friend who might want to learn more about investing for their future.

TONY KYNASTON is a multi-millionaire professional investor thanks to the QAV checklist he developed . Tony's knowledge and calm analysis takes the guesswork out of share market investing.

Any advice in this blog post is general financial advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs before acting on the information. If you do choose to buy a financial product read the PDS and TMD and obtain appropriate financial advice tailored to your needs. Finpods Pty Ltd & Philip Muscatello are authorised representatives of MoneySherpa Pty Ltd which holds financial services licence 451289. Here's a link to our Financial Services Guide.