Jane Technologies Inc Fastest Growing B2C Cannabis Online Marketplace in US
Jane Technologies Inc is a private cannabis tech company with a rapidly growing cannabis online marketplace. CEO Socrates Rosenfeld explains that the company’s platform is designed to make online shopping for cannabis as simple as online shopping for any other product. Rosenfeld believes Jane Technologies competes well with the Yelp and Shopify online shopping models and provides full automation for its business partners. Jane Technologies is the fastest growing and largest B2C cannabis online marketplace in the US and its immediate focus is to grow its footprint in a sustainable way. Jane Technologies is not a publicly traded company but has drawn considerable interest from the private markets.
Benjamin A. Smith: Socrates, welcome to the program.
Socrates Rosenfeld: Thanks for having me, Ben. We really appreciate it, it’s great to be on.
Benjamin A. Smith: Yeah, you bet.
Ed Milewski: I gotta ask you, how’s Aristotle doing? Just kidding.
Socrates Rosenfeld: You know what? When we find him, I’ll let you know.
Benjamin A. Smith: Now, my first question pertains to the platform. Now, can you tell us what is unique and different about it, and why cannabis consumers would want to go to the Jane Technologies platform as opposed to the OCS or whatever platform they reside in provincially?
Socrates Rosenfeld: Yeah, absolutely. So really what it boils down to is, we try to make shopping online for cannabis, at least here in the United States, as simple and straightforward as shopping online for just about everything else in this world.
So if you look at the other online marketplaces that exist in this world, call it Amazon or any other retail item, GrubHub for instance for ordering from restaurants, Air BNB is a great example for when you want to find a place to stay for the weekend – the consumer has purchasing power every step of the way. So do you use Amazon as a natural example, the last item you purchased on Amazon, you probably typed in a search term as broad or as specific as you would want; you were able to curate down that search, be recommended products based on how other people just like you are shopping, and then ultimately you have the purchasing power to compare by price, read reviews from actual validated, verified consumers, and then make a purchase from a local or a seller of your choice.
Ultimately, you become almost a pseudo-subject matter expert in a matter of minutes on the retail item or the restaurant or the, you know, apartment building that you’re looking to stay in, and that’s the shopping experience that we’re able to provide here in the US.
Benjamin A. Smith: Okay. Do you have a value-add service where you provide delivery to your consumer, where they can, you know, not only purchase the bud but get it delivered within the same day as opposed to getting it delivered through the post?
Socrates Rosenfeld: Oh, absolutely. So in the States as you know, each disparate state market has different regulations around delivery. In a state like California, for instance, where delivery is available, what we do now is we enable brick and mortar stores to fulfill the order via delivery. So we have fulfillment software that works with other fleet management solutions.
So again, it just goes back to providing the consumer with as much optionality, with as much purchasing power as possible so that if there is a consumer who says Hey, only show me the products that can actually get delivered to my home, we enable that. And just to be clear, we don’t ourselves fulfill the last mile, meaning, we don’t have drivers that take the product and deliver it, but we certainly enable those brick and mortar dispensaries to fulfill, where it’s legal, the online orders that want to be delivered to their home. And we do so with relative ease.
Benjamin A. Smith: So who’s your primary competition right now, and are you located in Canada, or are you just specifically a US platform currently?
Socrates Rosenfeld: Right now, we’re specifically in the United States. We’re headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. In terms of direct competition, there is really no direct competitor that we’ve come across, meaning, there is no true online marketplace that allows the consumer to do a buy product search and compare other like sellers against that single product.
That being said, obviously those that are operating in the e-commerce space are ones that we consider to be indirect competitors, and we segment the market in three separate ways. One we call is the Yelp model; this is your static directory listing. Out there, there are some older software companies that have a directory listing of certain dispensaries or certain products, but there’s no real-time integration, there’s no automation of e-commerce. So really we compete quite nicely against the quote-unquote Yelp model.
The other model that we compete with quite well is what we call, actually, the Shopify model, and for that really is, you know, if you think about what Shopify has been done, and it’s a great company, and I know it was founded up in Canada – they provide e-commerce more for the direct to consumer model, where if you’re, you know, if I’m a craftsman and I sell beer koozies, for instance, I would love to use a Shopify plug-in on my website and be able to just automate e-commerce direct to consumer.
Why that doesn’t necessarily apply so well down here in the United States is that there’s a lot of brick and mortar stores. And in the United States, product turnover is 40 percent week to week, which is quite astounding. So if you think about it, the products that you’re seeing on a store shelf at any given dispensary in the US, 4 out of 10 of those products won’t be the exact same the next week.
And so product turnover is extremely a significant variable in the equation of creating a well-oiled machine that is, you know, operating at the dispensary. And what we provide now is full automation, meaning, every single product that’s in your inventory system is, in real time, showing up on your online menu, and then vice-versa. If a customer, you know, orders a bunch of product and that inventory goes below a certain safety stock or inventory zero, it’ll automatically be removed from that online menu.
So we do things quite differently than the indirect competitors that we mentioned, but I think there is definitely room for other e-commerce solutions. We do what we do, and we think we do it quite well.
Benjamin A. Smith: Okay, so what are your plans for going public, if you have any, if any? Right now, of course, you’re a private enterprise, and I’m assuming that that will be dependent on your capital requirement needs, whether you can raise enough privately through the venture capital channels or expand elsewhere, and, you know, then you have to deal with the disclosures and everything that goes along with the capital markets, the expenses. So where are you at right now in terms of expansion, and do you foresee perhaps, you know, filing an IPO at some point to increase your expansionary ambitions?
Socrates Rosenfeld: So for us, really, our immediate focus is to grow our footprint in a sustainable manner. And right now, we’ve done a great job at expanding our footprint; we now have become the fastest-growing and largest B2C marketplace, online marketplace, here in the cannabis industry in the US, with over 600 dispensaries utilizing our software, plus 21 state markets, and that’s been accomplished in about 20 months.
So right now, we are built, and we consider ourselves as a fast-growing tech company. We have had no real need yet to go to the public markets. There’s a significant interest among the private investment base here in the US, and quite frankly, globally, interested in our software as it can scale in a very sustainable way, and has proven to be successful so far, at least in the past 20 months.
That being said, though, you know, in my opinion, cannabis is the fastest-growing industry across the world, and for us, we want to be having a seat at the table, not only in the US and Canada, but also in Europe, in Asia perhaps, and as a software company, you know, we’re afforded the opportunity to move quite quickly. If that’s the case and we do see opportunities, we will seek to accelerate our growth through funding, whether that’s through the public markets or private.
Ed Milewski: Sounds like a great story, Socrates. Congratulations.
Socrates Rosenfeld: Thank you very much. Yeah, my path to the cannabis industry is unique in the sense that I actually never consumed cannabis for much of my adult life, I was in the US Army for my 20s, I got out of the military after deploying to Iraq, and I don’t say cannabis saved my life, but I certainly say it has changed my life, and after talking to so many of my military friends and hearing very similar stories of how cannabis was able to help them, we decided to go and build something that can provide safe, legitimate, accountable access to this plant and this product for others like me and others. Hopefully in Canada and across the world.
I think in Canada they do an unbelievable job, and one that here in the US we’re looking at to replicate hopefully, of taking care of their veteran population and allowing them to have access to this medicine to help them re-integrate into society and heal.
Ed Milewski: Very good.
Benjamin A. Smith: Well, it sounds like a fantastic platform. It’s a story that we’re going to keep watching going forward, and we hope that you eventually end up, you know, on the north side of the border, and you know, users will have accessibility here. So we’ll be following your story going forward. Thank you so much for joining the program.
Socrates Rosenfeld: Thanks very much, guys. A pleasure.
Ed Milewski: Thanks a lot.
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