Resurrection of leading junior commodities financing Deal Log
Kai Hoffmann re-launches Oreninc.com
By Don Hauka
When Kai Hoffmann heard his favourite financing information source was throwing in the towel, he picked up the gauntlet.
Hoffmann, Managing Director of Frankfurt, Germany based Soar Financial Partners, was surprised and saddened when he learned that Oreninc.com was shutting down. Like many professionals active in the junior commodities market, Hoffmann found the Oreninc Deal Log an invaluable source of information on financings in the sector.
“I thought, ‘Hey, I like this service!’ A lot of people I personally know have been using it in the past as well,” said Hoffmann.
“So I said, let’s see what we can build around it.”
Hoffmann quickly tracked down Oreninc.com founder Benjamin Cox with an eye to acquiring the site and its extensive database. A first meeting took place at PDAC in March of 2016.
“Ben had never really commercialized it, nor did he want to,” said Hoffmann. “He mostly used it for his own personal purposes and to get an edge in the market, so I figured ‘might as well try and generate some cash flow with it by adding a subscription service. Barely coming out of a bear market, the idea of generating cash flow was intriguing and was the original idea that attracted me to it.”
The deal officially closed in September and now under Hoffmann’s leadership, Oreninc.com is back and doing what it does best: giving investors, analysts, financial intuitions, CEOs and others information on the junior commodities space they can’t get anywhere else. And it’s free to subscribe.
“We track over 1,400 companies. Unless you’re really deeply involved in the markets, I’m not sure you have the capacity to look at 1,400 companies on a daily basis,” said Hoffmann. “We are the aggregator of that information.”
That breadth and depth of data has made Oreninc.com North America’s leading provider of relevant financing information in the junior commodities space of companies listed on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Stock Exchange. The company has been keeping track of financings in the junior mining as well as oil and gas space since 2011. The Oreninc Deal Log, which logs all relevant deal and company information into its proprietary database, has become the go-to website in the mining financing space for investors, analysts, fund managers and company executives alike.
Hoffmann says Oreninc strives to increase the visibility of transactions and to show financings activity in a digestible format. By logging activities daily, the company can pinpoint momentum changes in the markets, identify which commodities are trending, and which projects are currently receiving funding.
And that’s money in the bank for the players in the market.
“It means money to you,” said Hoffmann. “It all comes down to the bottom line. It saves a lot of time and effort. And it’s free to sign up.”
Oreninc’s data-driven methodology allows the company to examine financings from a quantitative standpoint. Their fundamental research serves as a platform to consult companies on capital raises and provide strategic management services. Furthermore, government agencies are using the data to track the health of the industry and policy effects.
“It’s a service that’s valuable in monetary terms to a lot of companies and not just companies; it’s for banks and brokers that are trying to staying ahead of the game,” said Hoffmann.
“It helps them with questions like, how should they price their financing to be competitive? How long does it take for some of the competitors to close a placement, what’s the discount on the financing, what’s the average mark-up on a flow-through financing? It actually helps them to produce better deals and get a better deal for themselves if they use it correctly. That’s one of the advantages of the database.”
And Hoffmann said Oreninc doesn’t use any techno-magic to keep its database up to date.
“We do it the old-fashioned way — with blood, sweat and tears,” laughs Hoffmann.
“To pull out the information, we hired highly competent data analysts manually typing in the deals into the database, so there is some manual labour involved, which we offer to the industry at no cost. It is all sponsorship based at the moment.”
Considering that there are thousands of deals a year with anywhere from 10 to 15 deals a day in peak season, that’s a lot of financial data to keep track of. But it paints a comprehensive picture of a stabilizing sector showing encouraging signs.
“We’re the only provider of data in that space that allows users to access data that dates back all the way to 2011. That’s a lot of data,” Hoffmann said.
Now that he has full control of the company, Hoffmann is busy putting his stamp on Oreninc. He said Oreninc.com has just been recently updated and new features have been added.
“With the back-logging of deals now complete, we recently restarted the Oreninc Index which shows the exact state and health of the Canadian junior commodities market in a chart format. We also re-published our proprietary project checklist previously developed by Cox and his old team, which we think is a really useful tool for the overall mining investor to do some basic due diligence on deals,” Hoffmann said.
Looking ahead, Hoffmann sees more features, unique content and even more information being added.
“The plan is to build a new financing hub here. We’ll work with the data we have and I think there’s lots more we can add to it,” he said.
“We also plan to add lots more relevant content. We’re soon going to add more contributors to the site — quality names people will know in the industry that I have met and spoken to that have agreed to produce exclusive weekly or bi-weekly content for us, so people will have a good reason to visit over and over again, not just for the deal database, but to provide them with additional information about the junior mining industry.”
Hoffmann’s passion for the resource sector started eight years ago. Born and raised in Germany, he was working for a small finance boutique in Frankfurt, when a mining deal landed on his desk. He had such a positive experience closing the deal that he was hooked.
And since he visits Vancouver so often, it only made sense for Hoffmann to locate his new firm on Howe Street in the heart of the city’s financial sector.
“I have a great team in North America,” said Hoffmann. “And all the mining companies are based in Canada so it made a lot more sense to have an office there (in Vancouver) based towards that, rather than in Frankfurt.”
All of which makes Hoffmann happy he followed his instincts not to let Oreninc fold. And if the reaction from subscribers is anything to go by, so are a lot of investors and others in the junior mining sector who count on the company to keep them up to date on what’s going on.
“It’s a very valuable source of information and the feedback we’ve been getting from the small retail investor to the large private equity firms is overwhelming,” said Hoffmann.