High Tide Inc. (TSXV: HITI) (Nasdaq: HITI) is buying Bud Room Inc. in a deal valued at C$3.6 million or $2.8 million based on today’s currency exchange. The acquisition will also include all rights to the customized Fastendr retail kiosk and smart locker technology and Bud Room’s retail cannabis store located at 1910 St. Laurent Blvd in Ottawa, Ontario. The transaction will consist of C$3.24 Million paid in common shares of High Tide and C$360,000 cash for the assignment of C$360,000 of the vendors’ shareholder loans. The acquisition follows last month’s announcement by High Tide to offer C$40 million of common shares intended to fund two specific strategic initiatives it was developing including acquisitions.
Fastendr is a unique and fully automated technology that integrates retail kiosks and smart lockers to facilitate a better buying experience through browsing, ordering, and pickup. The technology is meant to create faster transaction times, increased average basket size, lower overhead and labor costs, and provides a seamless end-to-end customer experience.
“This deal is one of the most exciting acquisitions for High Tide to date, as it greatly enhances the customer experience in our stores while materially reducing overhead and labor costs in our ever-expanding retail portfolio. This technology will also allow us to generate third-party revenue, provide data collection and monetization opportunities, while supporting an unparalleled retail shopping experience for our customers, said Raj Grover, President and Chief Executive Officer of High Tide. “Fastendr is a perfect solution for smaller footprint stores as well as busier retail locations, as it allows for more transactions in less time and with less square footage. All Canna Cabana locations will be equipped with this technology, with the first installations planned for later this month in the province of Ontario. The customized Fastendr technology is a game-changer for our bricks-and-mortar retail business and has tremendous potential to be rolled out in our ancillary business divisions as well. This acquisition comes on the heels of several disruptive retail innovations by High Tide, such as our “one-stop shop” and “discount club” concepts,” added Mr. Grover.
High Tide noted in a statement that as the Canadian cannabis industry continues to become more competitive, it is essential for successful companies to innovate, using technology to differentiate themselves and improve the efficiency of their operations, in order to thrive. The company said it believes the Fastendr technology will improve its operational efficiency materially while also reducing operating expenses in its retail cannabis stores. High Tide also said it plans to grow and diversify its revenue by licensing the self-order kiosk and smart locker technology for use by third-party cannabis retailers across North America.
“When High Tide initially approached us we already had several interested parties at the table. However, it became clear that choosing a partnership with Raj and his team was a no-brainer for us because we felt that our innovation deserved to be in the hands of the best Cannabis company in Canada,” said Michael Di Duca, CEO of Bud Room. “This customer-centric technology was designed with the user experience in mind and it is my firm belief that with High Tide’s experience, history of operational execution, and financial resources, this technology can be effectively implemented across retail sectors on a world-class level,” added Mr. Di Duca.