Categories Interviews, Technology

mPhase Technologies CEO Anshu Bhatnagar: Our core focus will be on EV charging

In an interview with AlphaStreet, CEO of the nanotech battery manufacturer talks in detail about how the company's mPower charging network stands out from the crowd
Electric vehicle EV charging
Image: iStock

Tell us briefly about the business and market opportunity. Also, touch upon the recent name change that you had announced. 

We’ve been around for a long time and have a long history in battery and nanotechnology. I joined the company in 2019 and as part of that, moved from an R&D-focused company to a more revenue-generating company. So we looked at the IP and patent portfolio that we had, and we decided there’s a good opportunity both in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

And as we built this out, additional opportunities rose on EV charging. So that’s really the core of what we do today. We have a lot of other revenue streams that are linked. But for investors to look at us, is as another EV charging company and compare us to what other charging companies are doing. And really, the closest comparison would be that of Volta, which is essentially an EV charging company that has a marketing or digital advertising platform. So we’re very similar in that, where we’re a charging company with a consumer engagement platform.

The purpose behind the name change is that we’ve had a subsidiary called mPower for a long time. The company has been building mPower batteries and other products into the mPower brand, and we just felt that the name is better suited for where we’re moving forward. So we think it better suits our vision. 

To an average EV owner, what’s the value prospect of charging from an mPower EV + network, as there are so many other options available. So why should he/she come to the specific charging network? 

Really where the difference lies today is that most of these charging networks that you see, they provide the user the ability to charge their vehicle, and that’s about it. They will show you where you can charge and where’s the closest charging locations. 

But I think life is changing and the way people interact is changing. And with the sort of advent of EV or electric charging, people are not going to treat it the same way they did with the gas-powered vehicles. EV charging is now becoming part of the destination. So essentially what happens is, if you’re traveling from point A to point B, you might want to just charge at your destination as opposed to having to find a place in the middle. 

And secondly, if you are having to charge while you’re en route to your destination, you’ll be there for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour plus. You don’t want to just sit in your car. And if you have to sit in your car, you want that experience to be a good one as well. 

mPhase technologies Q1 2022 earnings

So really where we distinguish ourselves is where somebody else might show you that there’s a destination to charge, you might be sitting in a parking lot for potentially an hour. In our case, we can actually guide you to the right locations. So if you’re en route, we can — hey I know your profile, and based on that you like Starbucks coffee. Why don’t you refuel at their charger at the hundred and seventy-five-mile mark? You have a Starbucks coffee there. We have 5G connectivity there. So you can just grab your cup of coffee, get some work done, your kids can download some movies. 

So, it’s really that overall experience and that makes you a happy customer. But importantly, from a retail perspective, they end up with a customer they never had. So now you have a happy retailer as well. And this is kind of a win-win proposition for everybody.

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What are the target geographies for this charging network, at least in the initial phase of the rollout?  

We’ve announced a couple of major wins. We’ve looked at Florida, Illinois, Virginia. We have quite a few other locations in our pipeline. We’re trying to get a critical mass and that way our platform becomes more relevant. 

We’ve signed up a thousand plus locations in each region that we’re entering and we’ll continue to do that. We are rolling this out nationally but our target is to try to get as many locations as possible. Georgia, might be the next one, Texas might be another one that’s in our pipeline, and of course, California is a big market for us.

You have a long history of operations and there was a long period of time when the company wasn’t generating any revenues. How has this affected the fundamentals of the company? 

The company was still, fortunately, very R&D focused. The company spent a lot of time developing a large patent portfolio that is still very relevant today. We get a lot of interest in that patent portfolio that we have. But just from a fundamental standpoint, one of the things that it did for us is we have a huge net operating loss carried forward. 

So that’s something that we are still taking advantage of looking forward to as we start generating revenue and profits. We’re probably the only EV charging company today that I know of that’s actually making money right now.

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According to you, how will an EV charging station look like ten years down the line? 

We’ve had internal combustion engines for a very long time and we’re at an interesting point where everything is changing. With the pandemic, one change that came out was that people are now beginning to work remotely and it’s probably not going to change completely.

A hybrid work environment is really where things are moving towards. And now with the shift into EV charging, the car becomes an extension of people’s lives and where they work. 

We feel that five or ten years from now, each location opens up an opportunity for a lot of different types of micro experiences. If you need to have a quick meeting, you can go to a place five minutes from your house, you can connect your vehicles and have a little micro experience. 

What is going to be the management’s focus over the next two years? 

We’re going to continue to roll out. We’ve been rolling out at an extremely fast rate. We’re essentially buying every charger we can get our hands on. So what investors will see moving forward is a lot more locations. And as we start rolling out the EV consumer engagement side of our business, I think that should be very exciting for investors. We have some near-term plans to uplist to a major exchange.

Investors should look at the company and compare what our peers are doing in the space and realize how undervalued the stock is. And that’s not going to be there for very long, especially as we start getting equity research. If we were going to be compared even the same as our peers, it’s anywhere between 70-100 times sales. So that’s what they’re trading at. 

So we feel that this is probably the best value play, as well as growth play. So, anyone who’s a growth stock investor, or value stock investor, this is a company to look at.



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