Editor's note: Our Post Seed VC event is coming up on Dec. 1 in San Francisco. We'll have Chamath Palihapitiya (Founder of Social Capital), Aydin Senkut (Felicis), Jeff Lawson (Founder & CEO, Twilio) and more. Check out the full lineup and register for tickets before they jump! Post Seed is brought to you by Vator, Bullpen Capital, and Haystack.
Recently, Vator recently partnered with Ackrell Capital to run an accelerator program for cannabis companies. In conjunction, we've been writing a series of articles about different aspects of the space, including a series of profiles on the biggest names in cannabis, the companies that we think are worth watching.
One that we chose to highlight was Eaze, a medical cannabis technology company, which connects verified patients with compliant dispensaries to get their medical marijuana delivered on demand.
Now, the company has just announced a big new round of funding on Monday, raising $13 million. Fresh VC led the round with participation from DCM Ventures, Tusk Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Rose Capital and others.
This new round brings the total funding raised by Eaze to $25 million, and it says it now" the fastest growing and most funded cannabis technology company in the world," not including cannabis venture funds, but single entity cannabis technology companies.
Founded in 2014, Eaze only allows verified medical marijuana patients to access compliant cannabis dispensaries.
When a patient signs up, the company asks for information to verify that they are eligible to receive medicinal cannabis, such as a photo of their California drivers license, or ID card, and a recommendation letter from their doctor.
Once the company verifies that all documents are real, patients can start ordering products, with a minimum order size of $25. The order is routed to a local dispensary and driver, and users get a text message letting them know when their driver is arriving. The time from ordering to receiving their delivery is, on average, only 15 minutes.
Since Eaze is a tech service company, that means that at no point do any of its employees touch the plant. The drivers who deliver the cannabis aren’t employed or contracted by Eaze. The service is free for patients; instead of charging for deliveries, it makes money off of a SaaS model, where it gets paid for the tech services it provides to dispensaries, including its algorithms and analytics.
Data is a big part of what Eaze provides as well. The more a patient uses Eaze, the more the company is able to learn about their habits, capturing consumption data around ordering, figuring out what a patient likes based on what products are rated the highest.
The company can also share that knowledge with the dispensaries it partners with, enabling manufacturers to create better products through its Brand Insights Program. Additionally, Eaze utilizes its data to educate regulators, which is critical for ensuring continued safe access for patients.
Right now, Eaze has hundreds of thousands of patients that it serves each month.
The company says it will use the funding to accelerate product innovation, grow its team, and expand its technology to additional markets.
The company has about 60 full time employees, and will be "hiring as needed to continue scaling our technology and business as more cities allow for legal on-demand medical marijuana delivery," Keith McCarty, founder and CEO of Eaze, told me.
When it comes to product, the company plans to add new features that will "help educate them and improve the entire experience."
"For example, similar to how Netflix recommends movies based on previous behaviors and global preferences, Eaze will assist individuals in recommending strains that fit their needs or preferences."
The company currently delivers to medical marijuana patients in nearly 100 California cities, and plans to expand its reach in the state, in the short time
"Eaze is currently focused on California as it is the largest marijuana market in the world. We’re actively working with city and state regulators to help bring a responsible technology-enabled framework to as many California cities as possible," McCarty said.
Ultimately, though, he hopes to be able to expand beyond California, as cannabis becomes legal in more parts of the country.
"In five years, we hope to see Eaze in every market where delivery is permitted. We believe that Eaze is setting the standard in accessibility, safety, and professionalism and hope to continue being the number one platform powering marijuana deliveries around the world," he said.
"In the short period of time since Eaze launched, we’ve accomplished massive scale as our business model continues to be proven out. With the elections coming up, Eaze is posed to accelerate it’s growth and scale."