Cannabis CRM Platform Baker Secures $8 Million In Series A Funding

COLORADO:  Baker, a leading software platform for marijuana dispensaries and brands, announced that it has secured $8 million in Series A funding, bringing its total amount of capital raised to $11.75 million.

The round was led by Poseidon Asset Management, a VC firm that specializes in cannabis.  The raise will fuel the company’s rapid growth. Baker recently acquired Seattle-based Grassworks, the industry’s second largest CRM platform, and is increasing its Washington presence with a new office. The company plans to open additional offices in Los Angeles in 2018 to support its expected growth in California.

“We’ve built the industry’s leading CRM product, and now we’re truly focused on providing a platform to allow Baker and our partners to offer best-of-breed solutions to our massive retail network. Our products help dispensaries make more money, which is why we’ve experienced such tremendous growth this year,” said Joel Milton, CEO of Baker. “This funding will allow us to continue to execute on our platform strategy, and help all of our clients grow their businesses — including those in California gearing up for adult use.”

The Denver-based software company has a data-driven approach designed so dispensaries can keep their customers happy and loyal, while increasring revenue. With its recent acquisition, Baker’s software is being used by more than 700 dispensaries in 16 states. This year alone, the company grew its staff from 18 to more than 50 full time employees, making Baker one of the largest tech companies in the industry.

Pitching Marijuana Startups Brings New Meaning To High Tech

CALIFORNIA: Investing in a social network closely tied to a booming industry sounds great, until Apple kicks the thing you invested in out of the App Store because the platform is all about marijuana.

It’s one of the many things that can happen when two of the fastest growing industries in America come together, as is taking place this week in San Francisco, where several dozen entrepreneurs are pitching 200 or so investors, Shark Tank style.

Organizers of the investor-pitch forum cite as legitimacy the recent multimillion dollar investment by Silicon Valley titan Peter Thiel‘s Founders Fund in a holding company of several marijuana-related firms. The entrepreneurs at the Fairmont Hotel are pitching startups selling marijuana-growing equipment, apps that help with medicinal marijuana delivery, and even a spray that an entrepreneur says was developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that coats marijuana with grower information, acting as a kind of DNA bar code.

“It’s more suited to what cannabis would be in the future,” says DNA Trek founder Anthony Zografos.

Since Colorado and Washington first voted to legalize recreational marijuana use in late 2012, the legal cannabis market has grown from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion last year, according to industry estimates. That kind of velocity gets the attention of investors, many of whom focus on tech.