Simplifya Archives - Green Market Report

StaffOctober 8, 2021
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Green Market Report asked some of the top technology leaders in the cannabis industry for their thoughts on how tech is changing the cannabis world. Here’s what we learned:

Simplifya Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Marion Mariathasan

   “Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance. 

Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.” 

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45 percent. 

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. 

 


Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Creative Director Andreas “Dre” Neumann

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its shareowners. 

Dre is a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous successful creative and technology companies and is a disruptive thinker, who before joining Jushi, served as the creative director and head of content for Idean, a leading global design agency that creates powerful digital experiences and uses design as a strategic tool to transform companies. He founded a partnership with British multinational communications and advertising agency network with 114 offices in 76 countries and over 6,500 staff, Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he implemented creative strategies such as launching a branded content unit called Gum in an effort to reach more young people, who are increasingly tuning out traditional advertising. 

In addition to being a known and respected leader in the creative and technology arenas, Dre is known for his photography and work with artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and many others. He has also been cited as one of the world’s top rock photographers and will be featured in an upcoming documentary on Amazon scheduled to premiere in early 2021.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer at springbig

“The cannabis industry is adopting native and cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate. Computing power has increased exponentially (at an affordable cost), so we all have supercomputers on hand, which helps development teams tackle AI/ML problems, predictive analysis, user segmentation, early fraud detection and more. Technology also has added tremendous value in the form of agri-tech, cloud evolution, and data science for improving this industry as a whole.

At springbig, we are leveraging technology to push the limits and capture trends that help our merchants achieve goals above and beyond 100%. The spingbig platform provides the ability for our partners to be in constant contact with end users. We have other offerings that provide numerous opportunities for improvement of user experience, instore, e-commerce and omni.”

Navin is the CTO of springbig, a leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications solutions for cannabis retailers and cannabis brands. Founded in 2017, springbig offers a single source of truth CRM that becomes the database of record for in-store and online customers that captures key purchasing and behavioral data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS and eCommerce systems. Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

 

 

 

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli, Co-Founder and Chief Payments Officer at KindTap

“As a fintech company in the cannabis space, we can wholeheartedly say that technology is shaping the future of the industry with the consumer at the forefront of the conversation. From convenience to compliance and now even our credit payment option with loyalty points, advances in technology are bringing the consumer the best experience possible while still keeping all the backend bells & whistles legally sound.”

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli is a payments executive with extensive experience in prepaid, debit, credit, and emerging payments and broad and deep knowledge of issuing and acquiring sides of the market. In 2019, Cathy joined KindTap, a fintech company with a team that was focused on the same cannabis payments problem she spotted a few years back. Together in September 2021, they formally launched KindTap and are the first company to bring a credit payment option to the cannabis industry. 

KindTap launched first to the Massachusetts market and will hit multiple US markets, including Florida, Maine, and New York by the end of 2021, bringing consumers immediate, revolving credit lines for upfront cannabis purchases and allowing merchants to seamlessly accept digital credit payments.  About 3 years ago while working for a client in Denver, Cathy became aware of how broken payments were in cannabis. Broken isn’t even the right word – payments simply didn’t exist in the cannabis market. Cathy’s pioneering spirit kicked-in and she refocused her consulting to the cannabis segment. 

 

 

 

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-founder & CEO of Jane Technologies

“Our goal at Jane has always been to provide value for the entire ecosystem; we want customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and we want sellers to succeed. As the largest e-commerce platform in North American cannabis, the digitization of the industry has allowed us to keep the industry in line with the mainstream, allowing shopping for cannabis to be as accessible as shopping online for everything else in the world, all while ensuring an even playing field for brands and dispensaries.”

Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. Socrates began using cannabis as a way to re-acclimate to civilian life upon return from active duty, but found himself questioning the origins of cannabis since it was illegal at the time. Fast forward to today and Socrates is now the founder and CEO of Jane Technologies- the e-commerce solution for legal cannabis retailers and brands. He holds a B.S. in Leadership & Management Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point Academy and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and previously served as a commander of an Apache helicopter company. 

 


StaffApril 27, 2020
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Cannabis investors are still writing checks despite the ongoing bear market for the industry. Although it does seem like the bulk of that money is shifting towards software brands. The latest company to announce a successful fundraising campaign is Simplifya. 

This company closed on $1.5 million of its currently over-subscribed bridge round and the company said it expects to close an additional $1 million as part of the expanded round in the next 30-45 days. Simplifya is a provider of regulatory and operational compliance software for the cannabis industry.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to have investors and a board of directors who understand the value of compliance, and the need for risk mitigation in this industry,” said Marion Mariathasan, Simplifya CEO. “Their support, combined with the passion of our team, is what has allowed us to build and innovate the type of content-driven compliance technology that we are bringing to the industry on an enterprise-level.” 

Certainly one of the reasons investors felt secure enough to jump in is that over the past year Simplifya’s client base and revenue have nearly doubled. The company continues to diversify its core product offerings to help streamline and manage operational compliance, and establish channel partnerships and collaborations, such as the collaboration announced on April 6, 2020, with industry leader Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN). Simplifya also works with major channel partners, industry associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies as it pushes for more awareness around the critical importance of compliance and risk mitigation.

“At the rate and pace at which we are growing, it is our hope that Simplifya will someday serve as the nucleus for compliance and risk mitigation standards and services for the cannabis industry,” continued Mariathasan. “We know that compliance will be critical to the expansion and legitimacy of the cannabis industry as it continues to grow, and we are proud to do our part to support it.”

What They Do

Cannabis compliance and risk mitigation can often be hard to understand in a practical manner as to what exactly are the nuts and bolts of staying within the rules and regulations. One example is Simplifya Verified which is a fast, easy-to-use search engine that provides all of the data points needed for cannabis license verification, taking the guesswork out of business transactions and delivering ancillary service companies, like insurance providers and financial institutions. The products are available in 18 states, with key features that include straightforward self-audit checklists, SOP templates customized by license type and tied directly to the state regulations, and an online Smart Cabinet document storage system.


William SumnerJuly 23, 2019
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It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for July 23, 2019.

On the Site

Consumer Preference Is Shaping Cannabis Consumption

As the restrictions on cannabis start loosening, new consumer demands are shaping the industry. The following infographic is contributed content from Ionic Brands.

Executive Spotlight: Marion Mariathasan of Simplifya

If there is someone who exemplifies a smart investor in the cannabis industry, it’s Marion Mariathasan, currently the co-founder and CEO of Simplifya, the industry’s leading regulatory compliance tool for licensees and those who audit them. Green Market Report caught up with Mariathasan to hear about his path to where he is now in the cannabis space.

Amplify Investments

Amplify Investments is getting into the cannabis industry. Today, Amplify ETF’s announced the launch of Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE Arca: CNBS), an actively managed ETF covering the cannabis industry. Tim Seymour, CIO of Seymour Asset Management and CNBC Fast Money co-host, will act as the fund’s portfolio manager.

In Other News

Curaleaf

Today, Curaleaf Holdings (OTCMKTS: CURLF) received a warning letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration regarding what the agency says are unsubstantiated health claims on its products; including the company’s  CBD Lotion, Pain-Relief Patch, Tincture, Disposable Vape Pen, and its Bido CBD for Pets. “You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited…” reads the letter. “Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.” Curaleaf has 15 days to respond to the FDA’s letter and take corrective actions.

Sundial Growers

Sundial Growers, an early-stage Canadian cannabis producer, announced today the terms of its initial public offering (IPO). Hoping to raise $130 million, the company is offering 10 million shares ranging in price between $12 and $14. Founded in 2006, the company recorded an annual revenue of $1 million. Sundial hopes to lists its shares on the NASDAQ market under the symbol SNDL.  Cowen, BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, Barclays, and CIBC Capital Markets are leading the IPO as joint bookrunners.


Anne-Marie FischerJuly 23, 2019
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If there is someone who exemplifies a smart investor in the cannabis industry, it’s Marion Mariathasan, currently the co-founder and CEO of Simplifya, the industry’s leading regulatory compliance tool for licensees and those who audit them.

Mariathasan is a serial investor and entrepreneur if there ever was one. More attracted to ancillary cannabis services and solutions, he has personally founded or invested in about 14 different cannabis companies, including Ceylon Solutions, providing high-quality development solutions for the cannabis industry. He is also the largest shareholder of Leafwire, a platform for companies and investors to create funding relationships, and continues to be on the Boards of several organizations.

Green Market Report caught up with Mariathasan to hear about his path to where he is now in the cannabis space. 

Name: Marion Mariathasan

Title: Co-Founder/CEO 

Company: Simplifya

Years at current company: “I wish I could take credit for this concept,” says Mariathasan, explaining that the renowned cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP is to be attributed to the idea surrounding compliance software. Mariathasan came on board in October 2016 as the company’s first investor, making his commitment in February 2106 in advance of the launch. 

Education profile: Mariathasan is certainly well-equipped to take on a role in the tech side of cannabis. A graduate from the University of Kansas and Emporia State University, studying Architecture, Computer Science, and Computer Information Systems, his career emerged at the forefront of technology. He began his work as a computer programmer for a leading medical software company and has since held positions in some of the world’s leading tech companies. 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: It’s difficult for Mariathasan to isolate just one successful professional accomplishment before making his foray into cannabis. Mariathasan is responsible for staring a handful of tech companies, so he sees his success as more cumulative. “What I’m most proud of is taking a concept that aims to solve a problem, and being able to build upon it, grow it, raise money, and sell it.”

Company Mission: Simplifya gives businesses the power to delegate, review, and proactively manage compliance tasks across all facilities and license types. With easy-to-use tools for scheduling, audit management, and tracking issues, Simplifya gives license holders a 360-degree view of their compliance. According to Mariathasan, their mission extends “to enable the cannabis industry and the movement to continue forward by helping license holders preserve their license. License is the most valuable asset that they have. If they’re not compliant from a regulatory and operational perspective, can get hundreds of dollar fines or lose their license.” 

Company’s most successful achievement: Through working with its partners and cannabis license holders, Simplifya has learned and understood the pain points of the license holder and create technology around it. To make this possible, Simplifya has created relationships all around the industry that puts compliance at the forefront and have the industry value it. “It takes a village”, says Mariathasan, “The investors coupled with the team has been our best achievement thus far, but as we bring on multi-license operators, mom and pop shops, government stores, is what makes this feel like we know we’re at the right place.” 

Has the company raised any capital? In December of last year, it was announced that Simplifya had raised $3 million in Series C funding from the private equity fund Merida Capital Partners. It was announced then that they would pursue additional funding, and this sure occurred to the tune of $7.3 million raised through a Founder’s round, and the series of funding rounds, including the last Series C round completed by Merida Capital. “The investors are second to none in this industry,” Mariathasan remarks. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future?: Simplifya plans to hold another raise of capital towards the end of this year to help with the company’s expansion. “We’re in 17 states right now,” explains Mariathasan, “Now we have opportunities to go into more states and international. Our initial focus was marijuana dispensaries, and now we’re bringing what Simplifya has to offer to governments, banks, and insurance companies.”

Most important company 5-year goal: “We exist to make cannabis easier to operate in,” says Mariathasan, “We serve medical marijuana dispensaries, and we’re helping governments, banks, and insurance companies with mitigating the risks that come with legal cannabis while streamlining projects.” 

Thus, Simplifya will continue to make relationships with companies within and external to the cannabis industry. “Government didn’t have the expertise to enforce the regulations they created,” says Mariathasan, “Now it’s easier to stay on top of the cumbersome regulations, as we can now help manage cannabis compliance from a government perspective.” 

What does Mariathasan attribute to the success of Simplifya? “A lot comes down to the team and their experience with cannabis. If they can put a strategic plan together, and execute it, while building a personal connection then we are successful together.”

 


Debra BorchardtDecember 20, 2018
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Regulatory compliance software company Simplifya has secured $3 million in Series C funding from private equity fund Merida Capital Partners. In addition to the $3 million, the company said that there was the possibility to raise an additional $2 million.

Merida Capital Partners is a private equity fund that targets fundamental growth drivers within the cannabis industry. The Merida team has been working with state legal cannabis companies since 2009 and investing in cannabis-related companies since 2012. It has invested in companies like KushCo Holdings (OTC: KSHB), GrowGeneration (OTC: GRWG) and Canndescent.

Simplifya said the new round of funding will be used for continued growth and expansion, both nationally and internationally. The new investment follows a $3 million Series B funding round that was closed in February 2018, which was used to add human capital and capture market opportunities. Since the beginning of the year, the company has nearly tripled its staff and quadrupled its client base.

Simplifya introduced its web-based compliance tool in Colorado in late 2016, and it expanded its services this year to include CaliforniaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganNevadaOregon, and Ohio. It is currently being utilized by cannabis retailers, cultivators, and product manufacturers in dozens of localities across the eight states.

“Across the U.S. and around the world, cannabis prohibition laws are crumbling and giving way to tightly regulated systems of cultivation, product manufacturing, and sales,” said Simplifya CEO Marion Mariathasan. “Regulatory compliance is critical to the success of every business that enters these new markets. It can be difficult in such a nascent industry, where rules are quickly evolving and the whole system is constantly under the microscope. Simplifya makes it as simple as possible for cannabis companies to maintain compliance, so they can focus more attention on growing their businesses and gaining their footing in this new industry.”

Simplifya’s web-based self-auditing system distills complex state and local regulations into a simple series of yes-or-no questions to facilitate self-audits, identify areas of noncompliance, hold employees accountable for remediation, and generate management and audit reports. Simplifya’s SOP feature automates the assigning, tracking, and versioning of standard operating procedures, while its Smart Cabinet feature houses all of a business’s most important compliance documents under the same roof.


Jack SmithJanuary 12, 2018
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Simplifya, which builds regulatory compliance software for the cannabis industry, said on Thursday that it had raised $1 million as part of a larger Series B funding round.
The funding round, which the company said could reach $3 million when it’s completed, has a number of investors, including Merida Capital Partners, who provided the initial $1 million commitment.
“Simplifya’s compliance tool has helped companies across Colorado navigate a constantly evolving regulatory landscape and set an example for the rest of the nation,” said Simplifya CEO and co-founder Marion Mariathasan in a statement, announcing the capital raise.
Mariathasan added the company’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for the legal cannabis industry to comply with state and local regulations. “This round of funding will allow us to expand into additional markets and develop more features to help cannabis businesses not just survive, but thrive,” Mariathasan said.
The investment comes at a time when the regulatory field is at a crossroads, after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded memos from the Obama administration, specifically the Cole memo that allows for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.
“The recent DOJ marijuana policy shake-up might have raised concerns for some cannabis industry investors, but it strengthens the case for investing in Simplifya,” said Brian Vicente, a co-founder of Simplifya and founding partner of Vicente Sederberg LLC, one of the nation’s leading cannabis law firms. “The cannabis industry is a compliance industry. Now more than ever, businesses are going to want to be in clear compliance with state and local laws, and they are going to need assistance.”
Despite Sessions’ attempt to curb the use of legalized marijuana, many experts believe his actions may, in fact, do the opposite, helping it to become legal.
In an op-ed for CNN, Michael Chernis a Los Angeles-based attorney and expert specializing in the cannabis industry wrote it would help the industry. “If Sessions intended to quell the enthusiasm of California’s cannabis business enthusiasts and government officials, he once again fell short,” Chernis wrote.
The investment comes at a crucial time for Simplifya, which has boosted its compliance offerings as California’s adult-use system comes online. The company said that the investment by Merida will help it grow its tools, which already include allowing them to delegate, review and manage compliance tasks. They also have tools for audit management, scheduling and keeping track of certain issues.
Merida Capital Partners managing partner Mitchell Baruchowitz said the investment in Simplifya highlights the company’s promise, citing other investors who have previously invested in the company.
 “The fact that Simplifya is backed by cannabis industry leaders like Vicente Sederberg and Hypur Ventures, and partnered with companies like New Frontier Data, just furthers our belief that they are going to play a key, long-term role in this nascent industry,” Baruchowitz said in the release. “Product trends will come and go, but regulatory compliance will always be of paramount importance to every successful cannabis company.”

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