Co-owners of the company: Jimmy Angers (Executive Vice-President Strategy and Innovation), Yan Gagnon (President and Founder of SPYPOINT), and Danny Angers (Executive Vice-President Business Development (Photo: Exposeimage)
In February, while reporting a major investment of $M35, Yan Gagnon, Jimmy Angers, and Danny Angers, the young leaders of Victoriaville’s SPYPOINT, claimed that this was just the beginning: the first major phase of a major investment plan. And they kept their word.
Just a few months later, they completed the second phase of their strategic plan. With the stated intention of connecting the world, the three men formed a group of five companies under the management of the Techno-X Group (GTX). The company has the wind in its sails, so much so that it has had to acquire human capital in one of its subsidiaries.
GTX is particularly good at artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, applying these advanced technologies to the hunting and security camera and cellular connectivity markets. “What’s
been growing exponentially in recent years, what makes the difference is cellular connectivity,” said Danny Angers, Executive Vice-President Business Development.
Over time, SPYPOINT’s executives have found that clients use their camera not only for hunting, but also as a security camera to monitor different locations, whether it is a sugar shack, a residence, or a construction site. The security camera sector gave birth to the VOSKER company. “SPYPOINT, with its hunting cameras, has been in existence for 17 years and has recorded a very strong growth, generating a turnover of tens of millions of dollars. And VOSKER, which started from nothing two years ago, should overtake SPYPOINT within two years,“ observes Danny
GTX is experiencing such a demand for hunting and security cameras it struggles to provide. “And what also explains our fast growth is that the cameras sold last year are being connected
this year,” he notes.
Connecting the World
According to its directors, GTX continues to grow because it is constantly innovating and offering good products. “But what makes the difference is not so much the camera, it’s the fact that it’s cellular. It’s the connectivity. We are experiencing great growth, but there are many markets that are not connected,“ reiterates Danny Angers. He mentions, among others, excavators, boats, snowmobiles, or fire hydrants.
GTX can connect them all with the Internet of Things. They developed a platform which can connect everything. Danny Angers mentions that one of the reasons why the company is so successful is, because of the pandemic, people have never wanted to do things remotely more. The three young leaders are thinking big, wanting to create a Quebec technology giant to “connect the world and make acquisitions” and anticipating a turnover in the billions of dollars. “Over the years, we have been able to conclude agreements in 145 countries; agreements with
the big Bell, Rogers, Telus, and AT&T suppliers,“ confides Danny Angers.
GTX executives don’t doubt that the company’s development depends on its employees, especially those referred to as “technology giants”. According to Danny Angers, the employees
are the ones driving the company forward.
The fast growth, however, means that the company has hit a wall in one aspect: customer service. “We weren’t ready. We received tens of thousands of calls and emails a day,“ says the young entrepreneur. Which led to the creation of ZENIOX. This new entity will be able to meet the demand and respond properly to customers. However, management was well aware that there would never be enough people to meet the demand. Hence a mix with artificial intelligence, which reduced the number of hires. But GTX still had to expand its staff. After a more or less successful trial with an outsourcing service in Longueuil, GTX agreed to launch its own customer service centre: ZENIOX. “Since they had 1,000 employees and they were going to lay off some because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made them an offer to buy human capital. We added 90 people to ZENIOX, hard-working people that we will train. They will be our employees, with all benefits and salary increases,“ says Danny Angers. The first acquisition of human capital brings the total number of GTX employees to 345.
The Next Steps
With the wind in its sails, GTX is evaluating opportunities for business acquisitions. “In that sense, we’re looking for financing. We want Quebec’s government to help us: we want to be the next Bombardier, the big company creating tens of thousands of jobs.“ pleads Danny Angers. “The root of the war is the continuous data connection,” explains Danny Angers. GTX already collects more than a billion data points a year, which is comparable, he says, to a US technology giant. The planned acquisitions will allow for the accumulation of data. “Within five years, we will increase to 500 billion data points per year. The more we collect, the more we will make artificial intelligence capable of realizing a futuristic reality worthy of science fiction. Humanity will go into an ultra-connected mode. Within 5 to 10 years, we think we’ll have enough eyes in the United States to see the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Florida and be able to say that a tornado is forming in Seattle,“ he imagines.
To keep moving forward, “to fight on equal terms”, says Danny Angers, ”GTX is asking the government and other partners for millions of dollars. The people we are fighting against in China have gotten millions from their government. The Chinese government has even approached us to buy us out. That means they see the full potential of GTX. But we don’t want to sell. We know that we’ve got something big! American investors are also showing a lot of interest in the Victoriaville company, but we want to keep it Quebecer. It’s a question of pride,“ says Danny Angers. It started here from nothing, and it got worldwide.
An investment between $M80 and $M100, would allow GTX to double its sales figure in 1 year and to multiply it by 10 in 5 years, allowing the company to reach the billion. At the moment of
the interview, the executives were hoping to meet the Minister for Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon.
“Investing in GTX is not risky. The company is already making money and a long-term investment should pay itself 10 times over. With our own money, we decided to invest 7 million this year and the same amount next year. We are working to acquire a company in the United States and are also discussing acquiring a new one in Quebec. We have also identified 180 potential targets to be acquired within five years. We are investing, but we still need help to fight our rivals, and we would like the investors to be from Quebec,“ he concludes.