Interview: Executive Chairman and Founder Jonathan Bixby talks with Stockbox Media

Jul 3, 2024

This interview is for information only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in the company featured.

Interviewer: Welcome to this StockBox interview.Joining us today is Jonathan Bixby, the Executive Chairman and Founder of Cykel AI, as you move from the Aquis Exchange to the main board of the London Stock Exchange via an RTO and to Mustang Energy. So you're now trading as Mustang Energy on the LSE, it's effectively a wholly-owned subsidiary. So thank you very much for your time, Jonathan, how are you doing?

Jonathan Bixby: I'm very well, really, really excited about the opportunity to be trading on the LSE today.

Interviewer: First of all, what was the reason behind the move from Aquis to the main board of the LSE?

Jonathan Bixby: Yeah, great question, Mark. I think to start with, you have to go back and say, why did we list anyways? So the idea in terms of listing was everyone hearing about AI, everyone wants a piece of it. You can buy some of the Magnificent 7, you can buy NVIDIA as a stock - as someone who's interested in the public markets, but all of that early stage opportunity and risk/reward is being taken by venture capitalists. It happened in the last cycle as well, where venture capitalists get into these tech companies with huge opportunities and big markets early, and the reality is that small folks aren't allowed to invest in those companies because those rounds are filled with big venture capital firms. I think there's an opportunity to have risk capital at the earliest stage in the most exciting spaces in the world. So if you want to beat the indexes, and you want to get something a little bit longer on the risk and reward curve, you would want to invest in an early-stage AI company. That's why we listed on Aquis, and frankly, the opportunity now is even larger by listing on the LSE. The reason that we went up to the LSE - the main board - the most prestigious stock exchange in the world, again, giving people inventory and opportunity to invest in things that they think are the future.

Interviewer: Excellent, good stuff, and well done on the move over. I know we spoke not long after IPO when you IPO’d on the Aquis Exchange and we did have a good conversation, where you made the analogy that ChatGPT was the brains you wanted to make the hands and sort of utilities for AI. You were in a closed beta phase, sort of 90% there and were getting ready to go to market, you said with the best possible product you could. So, what have the team been working on since that IPO since going back to sort of the Q4 of last year? How have things been developing?

Jonathan Bixby: Yeah, they've been developing really well actually. And, maybe what I'll do is I'll, I'll get a little bit even grander with the vision here. Where I had first sort of founded the company on this idea that Chat GPT was the brain and as you well put it, we were going to be the hands. I actually think it's even bigger than that. And so the analogy that I'm using now as we get into sales opportunities and partnership opportunities, which are going very well and I'll get back to you, is the idea that we've had, this revolution, for example, in phones, right? When, back in the day, when I was using a Blackberry and I swore by the Blackberry and then the iPhone came out that iPhone was a voila/holy crap moment. And that changed my interaction with the phone forever. I think the same thing happened in the car space? Tesla came out with a Tesla, the first time I drove a Tesla, I was just blown, literally blown away, and that revolutionized the cars and driving for me.  On the personal computing side, we've gone massive lengths in the last 50 or 60 years from the abacus to the punch card, to the command interface, to the graphical user interface. And the reality is that we are moving into a space where we're going to have autonomous computing. And so, when I think of Cykel now, it's more than just hands really. What we're building is the interface to allow a knowledge worker to get as much leverage out of their job as possible, and creating this autonomous computing experience, which is the future. When we're pitching that to our customers, and our partners, it's almost having that exact same voila moment that you got when you first use an iPhone and I first got into a Tesla. And that experience of every day, I am using this tool 8 to 10 hours a day as a knowledge worker, you know what that tool is not nearly as efficient as it possibly can be. And so the hands analogy is great, but we're actually building an autonomous computer that leverages everything a knowledge worker needs to do for the future. And that's obviously incredibly exciting and gratifying to see that working.

Interviewer: When you say knowledge worker, could you explain what you mean by that?

Jonathan Bixby: So a knowledge worker is essentially you and I, and everyone else listening to this, we go to work in the morning and we use our big brains to create leverage. And so it's accountants, it's lawyers, it’s stockbrokers, it's anyone using a computer and their brain. That is a knowledge worker.

Interviewer: Ok. So what product or products do you have then? And how ready are they?

Jonathan Bixby: So the Cykel Agent, which is the first version of our product as we had mentioned in the last interview, was in closed beta through Q4 and Q1. We had some pretty ambitious sales targets of five customers, obviously that went very, very well and you can read our prospectus a little bit more on how we've done there, but we smashed that. We also have a partnership pipeline, which is incredibly strong and we think ultimately we're going to go to market through partnerships. So we are going to market through people that are already selling into these organizations and have relationships with CFOs and CTOs in those organizations, and we're seeing real leverage points around those people coming in with our agent tool, and being able to sell that with great margin to the enterprise.

Interviewer: OK. So, you smashed your five target customers that you wanted to get in Q1. So can you give an example of the customers that you're working with and what the solution is that the Cykel agent provides?

Jonathan Bixby: Yeah, absolutely. So we sort of bucket into three or four areas. I'll give you the simple one that I gave in the last conversation that we had, it's in our prospectus as well. Which is I'm a sales team, and I am constantly putting leads into Salesforce trying to get someone's email information as an example, and pulling these systems, into disparate systems, into Salesforce with one goal. And the goal is essentially to sell you something, not to actually be putting that information into Salesforce. So one of the great use cases that we have now is this idea that I can automate that. So I can get your name, I can put it into the tool, I can get your email through ZoomInfo, as an example - this is what the tool is doing to be clear - I can get the tool to add you to Salesforce. I can get the agent to get you into a meeting. I can get the agent to get you into a webinar and then I can get the agent to move you through Salesforce as you progress as a sales lead. That is all again, autonomous outside of the salesperson's control. And then the punch line of that is I'm giving a salesperson 30 to 40% more of their day to actually talk and pitch you and close opportunities and revenue. So what we are seeing is these people are closing more deals because they're being more efficient.

Interviewer: So taking away that admin of getting that meeting or that phone call, it's autonomously effectively doing that. That makes sense, optimizing people's time. Are Salesforce a customer?

Jonathan Bixby: Salesforce are not a customer, they are a potential partner, which is a very interesting opportunity there. Let me give you two more analogies. So another one is marketing. So the same thing, marketing is this use of these disparate technology tools. I want to create campaigns. I want to see if those campaigns are working. I want to optimize those campaigns. Imagine a tool where I could just say do an A B split test on this campaign right now. And again, this is just verbal or through the user interface and I am starting to get massive leverage for that marketing person. We're seeing that as another really, really good use case and then another one is e-commerce, right? So I've got a bunch of SKUs, I'm managing them across Amazon, I’m managing across Shopify, that is a ton of admin inventory tied to sales tied to marketing, tied to accounting all of those things again, can be automated through the agent.

Interviewer: OK. And is it a bespoke agent or is it a one size fits all?

Jonathan Bixby: Yeah. So that's actually a really good question. We started with this idea that we are going to be a SaaS based business and one size fits all. Learnings are very important in a tech company. We have learned that that is not where the market is at. The market is not at the place where you can just download this thing and use it yourself. This is where the partnership opportunity is so exciting because we're moving into this bespoke, more enterprise sales opportunity. What that does is it leads to much bigger deals, 5 and 6 figure style deals, and the margin is still great because we have the underlying tool that's already been built. But there's a more consultative sales approach and what we're seeing in that is a much more delighted customer and I think it can scale through partners as I already suggested.

Interviewer: That makes sense. I remember we talked about the SaaS model. I was going to ask you that, but you've cleared that up quite well there. So that makes a lot more sense going through partnerships for a bespoke solution. So you are revenue generating at the moment?

Jonathan Bixby: We are absolutely.

Interviewer: In terms of targets, metrics, growth plans, how you can measure yourself. What do the next sort of 3, 6 months look like?

Jonathan Bixby: More partners, more clients. So we are obviously just listed on the LSE as a new technology company, so we don't put out projections, because we are too early in that phase. We are going to update the market on a quarterly basis on some of the metrics that we care about, which are users, tasks, revenue, and we'll start to do that very shortly. And the ultimate reality is that we are in, I think the largest growth market in technology I've ever seen. I've been through web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and I've never seen anything like AI and you talk about these huge numbers and billions and trillions. I can't even keep track anymore. So, what I've seen is every company we talk to has an AI Task Force, is AI curious and is spending budget. And I've never been in an opportunity where it's literally 100% of every company is saying “If I don't do this, I'm gonna get left out.”   And guess what? They don't really know what to do.

Interviewer: Yeah, they don't know what to do. I think that's the thing. You don't know the scope. But yeah, you can't talk about forward-looking statements, but we will talk about that when we can or targets, but you're basically saying, grow users, grow tasks, grow revenue. Is that effectively what you're saying?

Jonathan Bixby: Grow, grow a great company and then coming back to it, grow a company where the valuation to get in as an investor, isn't NVIDIA and isn't Microsoft or Facebook, right? You can ride this wave with us through what I think is a huge growth market.

Interviewer: Well, talking just finishing off and riding that wave, the general AI space, I mean, yes, NVIDIA blowing off top there, fears of a bubble or you just think it's getting started and then just thinking about the MUST shareholders. You obviously feel this is, how would this be a much better opportunity for those guys to perhaps have been legacy shareholders in that shell?

Jonathan Bixby: Yeah, absolutely. So, I usually use a baseball analogy but for British users, I could use a football analogy. We are in the 1st 10 minutes of the game, or the second inning of a baseball game. We are in such an early stage in this, that the wave hasn't even started to crest yet. As it relates to the Mustang Holders, obviously, they’ve been a great group of people to work with. They have been looking for a transformational deal for some time, and I think AI, you know, it wasn't a hard pitch, but clearly with my track record and my team's track record, they looked at that and said, you know, we could have another Argo-style moment here, let's go do it. And that's where we're at.

Interviewer: Excellent. Well, thank you very much for your time today Jonathan Bixby, the Executive Chairman and Founder of Cykel AI. And we're going to be following this story very closely.

Jonathan Bixby: Thanks, Mark.