Monaker Group, Inc. (OTCQB: MKGI), a digital marketing company focused on the Travel, Home and Employment sectors, released today an update from Mr. William Kerby, the Company's Chairman & CEO.
Dear Fellow Shareholders,
I am happy to report we have made significant progress improving the foundation of the Company and launching initiatives on several fronts that should achieve meaningful growth and viability for our Company benefitting Monaker Group Stakeholders. In the past 100 days, the Company came to terms with key debtholders whereby it was able to modify and/or eliminate debt and restrictive covenants hampering our plans. These changes allowed us to immediately commence building out our core assets and foster key new partnerships.
Monaker at its core is a video centric marketing company that has positioned itself at the forefront of the exploding video market. Large corporations are racing to catch up with consumer's insatiable desire to obtain information and entertainment through video platforms that additionally provide the ability to transact. Monaker has focused its efforts on arguably the three highest consumer passion areas "Travel, Home and Work," knowing that a customer in one vertical is highly likely to be a potential customer in the other two verticals enabling us to cross market the platforms. In order to accelerate our platforms, the Company has established key supplier relationships in the home, travel and employment verticals based on our ability to better market their products utilizing video to targeted consumers across large distribution channels. In short we strive to provide the right product to the right customer at the right time!
We have recently reported by press release a number of milestones including completing our corporate name change to Monaker Group Inc., and we are in the final stages of updating our new corporate websites (www.MonakerGroup.com, www.HomeAndAwayClub.com, www.Maupintour.com, www.NextTrip.com) as well as previously announced partner portal websites (e.g. www.NameYourFee.com, www.uBid.com,www.RRTV.com and are in the process of adding key Tourism Boards as joint marketing partners) to reflect current initiatives and activities.
On July 24, 2015 we were approved and began trading under our new trading symbol MKGI on the OTC Markets OTCQB platform. The OTCQB venture market is home to approximately 1,000 U.S. and international companies that have uniformly met the new standards and eligibility requirements that were implemented over the last year. More than 2,000 companies were removed from OTCQB for failing to meet the OTCQB standards. The new OTCQB standards were introduced to efficiently provide a public venture market for dynamic companies to mature and expand their businesses.
We are current with our SEC and Regulatory filings and our primary goal is to scale the Monaker Group businesses across the Travel, Employment and Home Consumer Sectors. To that end we have issued news on several fronts as follows:
- Maupintour, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monaker, has a 66 year operating history and is widely recognized in the Travel Industry as an innovator for developing specialty luxury tours for the discerning traveler. At its height in the 1990s, under Tom Maupin, Maupintour booked over $60 million in travel annually. The company is working internally and with partners to quickly re-establish Maupintour as the premier Vacation and Tour Company with its great pedigree. Our recently launched Video Tour Guides ("VTG") combined with Maupintour's history, reputation, growing partnerships and platforms are a great step forward. VTG's help consumers meet these vacation needs by delivering video in support of great travel packages allowing customers to select the right travel offering. Within the first 60 days of introduction, we have seen adoption of the Maupintour VTG's by travel agents, tourism boards, wholesalers and are actively working with large distribution partners like Atout France (the French Tourism Board) to integrate our offerings into their websites, newsletters and outreach to their 260,000 U.S based followers. These new experiential trips, additional offerings in the pipeline, and the launch of our Video Tour Guides and highly targeted messaging with new partnerships, should drive Maupintour back to the forefront of extraordinary vacation travel while at the same time providing a clear path to revenue growth for our stakeholders.
- NextTrip.com is a video based website that is being integrated into the extensive product and services platforms with Mark Travel -- the largest travel wholesaler in North America. In gaining access to Mark's vast travel product purchasing power, NextTrip.com will be able to compete pricewise with the other major online travel players, however travel is not entirely won on price. NextTrip.com plans to accelerate travel offerings utilizing video and strategic partnerships with large distribution capabilities. To this end, the Company recently announced a partnership with uBid.com to become their travel supplier. uBid is in the process of integrating our travel offerings into their websites and will actively market VTG's to their 6,000,000 active users.
- Monaker will utilize its relationship with R&R Television's network to air 30 second commercials and selective Travel programing for its partners. R&R TV broadcasts into approximately 37 million households in the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. Additionally, a distribution agreement has been reached with Simply Me that will position R&R Television to be carried on a VOD platform on Dish Network, Verizon FIOS and the 126 million mobile devices on Verizon Wireless. Monaker holds a ten percent interest in R&R TV.
- Monaker has partnered with I.C.E. Gallery ("ICE") to create the Home& Away Club. Monaker Group expects to derive benefit from membership platform, where goods are sold for customer benefit at close-to-cost pricing, with operational profit derived from membership fees similar to the "Costco Model". The club has been designed for both homeowners and private label affinity groups. The benefits are far reaching, giving members' access to travel products (i.e. cruise, hotel, resort, air and car rental) lifestyle offerings (golf, skiing, wine clubs, high end merchandise, sports, concert and entertainment tickets, cosmetics, spa, and wellness programs) and recently added home products and services (roughly one million home products and services are being integrated). ICE's vast network has over 55 million subscribers worldwide and will form a core platform from which Monaker will be able to accelerate homeowner memberships utilizing its reach into the real estate service industr y via key relationships including through its ownership interest in RealBiz Media Group.
- Monaker has created a loyalty and incentive based program for real estate agents under the RealBiz platform and is additionally searching out opportunities to private label the platform to home service providers utilizing video marketing to generate loyalty and awareness of Home & Away Club product offerings. We are encouraged by the initial interest being generated.
- Monaker acquired 51% of NameYourFee.com website technology and staff as part of an ongoing partnership with the Jasper Group. NameYourFee.com is a next generation job recruiting solution that allows employers to specify the amount of commission they are willing to pay a recruiting firm for placing candidates. Recruiters can review the opportunity and accept or reject based upon their current order flow. Traditionally, recruiting firms charge up to 30% of the candidate's first year salary, but under this scenario the market can find and negotiate a more cost-effective fee. NameYourFee.com starts with a significant advantage through its ability to access over 6000 recruiters and significant databases in North America through Jasper Group's related companies. The immediate goal is to continue to grow these partnerships along with integrating the first video job postings, followed by an app which will allow both job candidate and companies to create, review and share video. T he first video job posting platform will be launched in this month.
As many of you may know, earlier this year Monaker Group (formerly Next 1 Interactive) and RealBiz Media (OTCQB: RBIZ) went through a deconsolidation and on August 6, 2015, I announced my resignation from the RealBiz Company. It was a very complex and consuming process deconsolidating the two companies but it is now complete and widely believed to be in the best interest of both companies. Monaker Group has maintained a 31 percent ownership interest in RBIZ. I remain a director of RBIZ and believe I left them in their best financial shape and outlook, and I am very happy to return to my true roots in the Travel and Consumer Sectors at the helm of Monaker Group at a very exciting time. I will be focusing all my time and attention for the advancement and success of Monaker. Years of time and effort has been expended to galvanize some past partnership and relationships in the Travel and Home Consumer space for the benefit of Monaker and I look forward to capitalizing on them.
Strengthening the TeamIn May, we added Jeff Stutin as Manager of Travel Operations. Jeff brings over 30 years of experience in the travel industry having worked with cruise lines, major travel consortiums and wholesalers assisting with operations, systems integration, marketing and sales.
In June, Richard Marshall joined Monaker as Director of Corporate Development. Richard brings over 20 years of experience working within public companies; most recently serving as Chief Development Officer for Digital Education Company. Prior to that position, Richard served as VP Investor Relations for a large multinational mining company and served as their VP of Corporate Development for several years during their growth and acquisitions phase. Prior to roles in Corporate Development and Investor Relations, Richard held sales and management positions at several investment banking firms.
In July, we added Andrew McGlasson as our Director of Sales. Andy comes from the retail software space having worked with Omni channel, Smart Space and Oracle. Key strengths include guiding projects from development stages through implementation of marketing programs and sales. Andrew understands how to establish effective partnership while remaining ever mindful to create substantial value for all parties thereby ensuring long term relationships.
I am also happy to report that Adam Friedman, our CFO has also chosen to focus all his time and attention at Monaker Group. Adam had previously split time between Monaker Group and RealBiz.
We are excited about our current focus and initiatives with various Monaker businesses and interests and believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the uptrend in the Travel, Employment and Home consumer sectors.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Monaker Group Chairman and CEO
About Monaker Group:
Monaker Group is a digital media marketing company focusing on lifestyle enrichment for consumers in the Travel, Home and Employment sectors. Core to its marketing services are key elements including proprietary video-centered technology and established partnerships that enhance its reach. Video is quickly becoming consumers preferred method of searching and educating themselves prior to purchases. Monaker's video creation technology and film libraries combine to create lifestyle video offerings that can be shared both to its customers and through "Trusted distribution systems" of its major partners. The end result is better engagement with consumers who gain in-depth information on related products and services helping to both inform and fulfill purchases. Unlike traditional marketing companies that simply charge for advertising creation, Monaker holds licenses and/or expertise in the travel, real estate and employment sectors allowing it to capture fees at the point of purc hase while the majority of transactions are handled by Monaker's partners. This should allow the company to capture greater revenues while eliminating much of the typical overhead associated with fulfillment. Monaker Group's core holdings include Maupintour, NameYourFee.com and RealBiz Media Group -- helping it to deliver marketing solutions to consumers at home, work and play.