Executive Q&A: CEO says uplisting to major stock exchange in its plans
The move is among several other strategies to continue its growth
Art Smith is CEO of Digerati Technologies Inc., a cloud-based phone and network services provider.
Prior to founding Digerati (OTCQB: DTGI), Smith helped found Globalscape Inc., a secure file transfer company, along with Digerati Chairman Craig Clement, who was Globalscape’s founding CEO. Clement also was previously chief operating officer of XPEL Inc. (Nasdaq: XPEL).
Smith sat with the Business Journal for an exclusive interview to talk about Digerati’s growth plans and aspirations to move up in stock exchanges.
What is Digerati’s business strategy?
We’re still in the early stages of our business plan, but we’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve done really well over the last three years. … We’ve a taken a company from essentially a startup with $200,000 in annual revenue to just under $15 million in annual revenue — $14.6 million to be exact. We’ve done that through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.
We’ve got a real opportunity here to build a solid company in San Antonio. Within our background, we’ve been involved with several companies that have done well here locally. And we have big plans for Digerati.
There’s high growth opportunity in this this market organically, on a global basis. The market’s expected to go from around $37 billion to $165 billion in market value over the next six years for UCaaS, or unified communications as a service, which is essentially a cloud-based software that is subscription-based and 100% tied to communication services or telecommunication products.
One of your major goals is to move from listing your stock over the counter to a major stock exchange. What are your plans to get there?
We’ve done it before. If you look at Globalscape as an example, it was on the OTC for many years, before we spun it off. And now, as you know, it was bought [by Minnesota-based Helpsystems last year].
-Bottom line, it’s a logical next step for us.
For Digerati, it’s a stated objective. We also disclosed that we hired The Maxim Group LLC, … who has also worked with a couple of other public companies here in San Antonio. One of them is a Nasdaq company, so we’ve got a very strict objective. We’re working towards that uplist of the company, and I think we’re very well-positioned to accomplish that goal.
Where do you have a presence, and will that expand in the future?
We have a very good presence in Texas and Florida. … We’re going to continue to look at opportunities for acquisition as part of our business model. … We’re always looking at adjacent markets to Texas and Florida [for growth], but there’s opportunity here in Texas and in Florida. If you look at it at a macro level, where businesses are moving, they’re moving to Texas. In the Northeast, there’s a lot of a lot of businesses and individuals moving into Florida.
I can’t currently disclose specifics, but we’re looking at [further acquisition] opportunities here in Texas and in Florida.
This interview was shortened and edited for clarity.