Canada Business Report 2017

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Discovery Reports

Griffis Capital takes hands-on, innovative approach towards win-win investments

Toronto-based investment company expands from natural resources to information technology and health care

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 5:36pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 5:36pm

Beyond helping private companies raise early-stage capital, Griffis Capital takes a hands-on approach to see each investment through. This means managing these companies or bringing them to the public markets, whether through an initial public offering, a reverse takeover process or sale to a third-party purchaser.

“We are not passive investors,” says Tom Griffis, director and CEO. “We play an active role in almost every investment we make – from founding private companies to participating in the selection, due diligence and completion of acquisitions, and debt and equity financings. We are always involved, be it at the corporate level or on the operational side.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Griffis International, the Toronto-based company has been focusing on natural resources since 1986, but has expanded to information technology and health care.

Among its biggest investments are its artificial intelligence company – Minerva Intelligence – and gold projects in Ghana, where it has been active and successful for 30 years. One of the company’s most promising projects in the region is an offshore dredging opportunity that targets potential production of up to 500,000 ounces per year.

[Marijuana] is an industry that is breaking into new ground, one which needs expansion capital, but has yet to be backed by traditional banks
Tom Griffis, director and CEO, Griffis Capital

“What is even better is that our by-products and waste products such as gravel and heavy metals are all reusable in various applications,” Griffis says. “Used in construction, gravel is not only beneficial, but is especially valuable in Ghana as the country currently has a shortage of good construction aggregates. Being able to sell waste products and cover all costs while

helping the communities is a win-win investment, and that’s what we always strive to achieve.”

Reinforcing its proactive role in its investments, Griffis is also developing innovative artificial intelligence as an effective tool in resource explorations. The company also looks forward to enhancing relationships with investment groups, particularly in Asia where Griffis also aims to explore viable opportunities.

Another segment that Griffis is thrilled to pursue is the flourishing cannabis or marijuana industry, which is anticipated to see unprecedented growth due to its increasing legalisation for medical and recreational use in North America.

“This is an industry that is breaking into new ground, one which needs expansion capital, but has yet to be backed by traditional banks,” Griffis says. “Akin to the Prohibition Era in the early 20th century in the United States, early investors will be creating enormous wealth in a brand-new sector. Ten years from now, everybody is going to say, ‘Why didn’t I get into that when it started?’ It is an enormous industry that is not going away.”