WURK Archives - Green Market Report

StaffApril 14, 2020
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Würk is the leading human capital management company for the cannabis industry. Keegan Peterson founded Wurk in 2015 after recognizing that cannabis businesses didn’t have access to the same scalable HR technology solutions as mainstream companies.  Under his leadership, Wurk now serves hundreds of clients across 33 states, including some of the largest publicly traded cannabis corporations in the nation. Würk now pays one in ten employees in the cannabis industry.

Prior to founding Wurk, Peterson spent over a decade working for high-growth HR technology companies, developing a deep understanding of how to build and scale software solutions that automate critical HR functions of business operations.

Peterson is active in lifting up other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. He is a mentor at Canopy Boulder and Canopy San Diego, a mentorship-driven, early-stage investment program for startups in the cannabis industry, with a focus on ancillary products and services. He is an outspoken public advocate and thought leader for the cannabis industry and is an associate producer on the 2018 documentary Weed The People, which aims to educate mainstream audiences about medical cannabis as a human rights issue.

Full name: Keegan Peterson

Title: CEO and founder

Company: Würk

Years at current company: 5 years

Education profile: Keegan holds a BBA in Finance from Florida Atlantic University, graduating Cum Laude.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to founding Wurk, Keegan spent over a decade working for high-growth HR technology companies, developing a deep understanding of how to build and scale software solutions that automate critical HR functions of business operations.  

Company Mission: Wurk was founded after Keegan recognized that cannabis businesses didn’t have access to the same scalable Payroll and HR technology solutions as mainstream companies. Despite numerous advancements in the legalization movement, cannabis companies still repeatedly experience cumbersome and preventable growth challenges, including being dropped by traditional workforce management vendors. Wurk exists in order to provide an HR and payroll platform specifically to serve the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Company’s most successful achievement: Würk currently handles payroll for 1 in 10 employees in the cannabis industry nationwide, and powers some of the biggest names in cannabis including: Acreage Holdings, Aster Farms, Canndescent, Harvest, Flow Kana, Vangst, Curaleaf, GTI, and iAnthus.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): yes

if so, how much?: $18M

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Wurk is not actively pursuing additional financing at this time but open to investments that accelerate the growth of the company.  

Most important company 5-year goal: Empower all the people of cannabis with 100% access to proper workforce management and payroll technology so they can continue to grow their companies. 

 


Debra BorchardtFebruary 13, 2019
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Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: EMHTF) announced that its 50%-owned joint venture for large-scale, low-cost, high-quality cannabis production, Pure Sunfarms Corp. has entered into a credit agreement with Bank of Montreal as agent and lead lender and Farm Credit Canada as a lender for C$20 million secured non-revolving term loan. The credit is secured by the greenhouse facility.

Pure Sunfarms intends to use the funds available under the Credit Facility to finance the final costs of converting its 1.1 million square foot greenhouse for cannabis production, the vast majority of which was completed in January of this year.

“Pure Sunfarms is proud to enter into this Credit Facility with these two highly respected institutional lenders,” said Mandesh Dosanjh, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Pure Sunfarms. “As Pure Sunfarms approaches operational positive cash flow, completion of non-dilutive financing with these financial institutions is an excellent accomplishment,” said Dr. Avtar Dhillon, President and Executive Chairman of Emerald. “We look forward to Pure Sunfarms’ rapid quarterly growth through this year as it comes fully onstream.”

Wurk

Cannabis HR firm Wurk announced the raise of $11 million in a funding round led by returning investors Poseidon Asset Management and Arcadian Fund. Existing investors Altitude, Salveo Capital, Phyto Partners, and The Arcview Group also participated in the round.

Wurk plans to use the money to enhance the client experience while expanding its cannabis HCM platform, including the launch of managed services. This will provide its growing customer base with dedicated human resource, payroll, and tax experts. The company will also implement a robust analytics engine to provide highly sought-after data for the cannabis industry, allowing employers to increase operating efficiencies by benchmarking themselves against industry best practices.

“After participating in Wurk’s previous two funding rounds, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in the company yet again,” said Emily Paxhia, Managing Partner at Poseidon Asset Management. “As investors focused on the cannabis space, we regularly see the HR, accounting, and tax challenges that startups in the industry face on a frequent basis. Wurk’s solution helps ease that massive compliance burden and creates a huge investment opportunity in doing so.”


Debra BorchardtApril 11, 2018
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Cannabis workforce software company Wurk announced that it has raised $3.2 million in a bridge funding round. The funding round included participation from both new and returning investors, including Poseidon Asset Management, which led the round, as well as Phyto Partners, Altitude Investment Partners, Arcview Investor Network and Arcadian Fund.

“The cannabis industry has made huge strides since Wurk was founded in 2015, making the jump from a fringe economy into a legitimate industry,” said Keegan Peterson, Founder, and CEO of Wurk. “As the industry continues to grow, companies in the space need legitimate HR infrastructures to protect what they’ve built and set themselves up for growth and enable future expansion. ”

Peterson said that the current workforce solutions in the market didn’t address the specific needs of the cannabis companies. Since each state has its own set of rules and regulations for the industry, WURK specifically addresses those conditions in its software for its clients. Other mainstream products are standardized and don’t write custom code for each state.

Another problem for cannabis companies that WURK addresses is the payroll issue and banking. “Being able to move money is an issue with cannabis,” said Peterson. “A big issue with the other companies is the banking issue that they don’t resolve. We’ve partnered with institutions that can move money legally for payroll.”

WURK’s investors seem happy with their initial investment into the company as many came back. The company is growing so quickly it has needed the additional capital to make new hires to keep up with the demand.

“After participating in Wurk’s previous two funding rounds, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in the company yet again,” said Emily Paxhia, Managing Partner at Poseidon Asset Management. “As investors focused on the cannabis space, we regularly see the HR, accounting, and tax challenges that cannabis startups face on a frequent basis. Wurk’s solution helps ease that massive burden on the industry and creates a huge investment opportunity in doing so.”

Peterson said they’ve already begun putting the money to work with the hiring of a new Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer. In addition to that, they plan on hiring more sales reps and service reps.


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