Cannabis Startup Jane Technologies Raises $100M
Don’t call Jane Technologies the Amazon of weed. Instead, think of Jane Technologies as the Shopify of weed, and it’s an important distinction.
While other startups attempt to build a destination marketplace like Amazon, Jane Technologies is trying something more powerful.
The company is building the backends for dispensaries that are quickly taking their cannabis offerings online, and the company accounts for 20% of all legal cannabis sales in the United States. To Jane Technologies, the future of cannabis isn’t a single destination like Amazon; the future of cannabis is the neighborhood dispensary that sells weed online, and Jane wants to power their online store.
Today, the company is announcing a $100 million Series C financing round, bringing the total amount raised since its founding in 2015 to $130 million. Honor Ventures lead the round, and founding Managing Partner Jeffrey Housenbold joined Jane Technologies’ board of directors.
Jane Technologies expects to use the additional capital to grow its digital footprint and its teams across multiple areas of operations. The company intends to build new features and expand its product offering for large and small cannabis operations.
Online cannabis retail sales are quickly becoming the norm as consumers’ expectations change, and Jane offers a turn-key solution to build a robust online presence quickly.
Socrates Rosenfeld, Jane Technologies co-founder and CEO, is quick to point out Jane’s current positioning is a long time in the making. In an interview with TechCrunch, he says that this was a bet the company made in 2015 that the future of e-commerce is not a marketplace, but the complete digitization of all commerces.
“I think we are really seeing the next chapter of what the future of e-commerce will look like,” Rosenfeld said, “not just in the cannabis industry, perhaps across the world with various retail verticals like alcohol, convenience goods, restaurants and groceries. Local establishments [now have] some digital connective tissue to their local community, and I don’t think there’s a more challenging environment than the cannabis industry. I’m very proud of the team that we’ve come this far and still have a long way to go, but I think that’s the direct result of us being able to raise this [$100 million].
It’s often cited that cannabis was one of the winners of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales lit up as the world shut down. Jane Technologies’ internal numbers lend more supporting evidence. According to their data, only 17% of legal cannabis sales were done online before the pandemic. However, during the height of the pandemic, online sales reached a high of 52%, and now, halfway through 2021, Jane Technologies says online sales account for 38% of all legal cannabis sales.
According to Rosenfeld, in 2019, Jane saw $100 million in total transactional volume, with one million people on the platform, and worked with 1,000 dispensaries. In 2021, the company forecasts it will reach $3.5 billion in total transactional volume and is now working with 2,100 dispensaries, including in Canada. Even more impressive, the company has nearly doubled the number of products listed on its product database, with 700,000 items, up from 350,000, showing a dramatic increase in cannabis products available to the consumer.
“We feel extremely fortunate to be born from the cannabis industry where there was no direct consumer ecosystem,” Rosenfeld said. “And we had to go and figure out a way to connect and tie the consumer to the brand and the retailer. We couldn’t do that by shipping products directly to the consumer, and we couldn’t do that by competing against the retailer; we had to work in partnership with our retail partners to provide them with powerful e-commerce enablement tools.”
Last month Jane Technologies partnered with its first Canadian retailer, High Tide. Then, two months ago, the company launched Jane Roots, a powerful all-in-one e-commerce platform that allows dispensaries to focus mainly on the front-end design while Jane takes care of the retail integrations.
“Over the last 25 years I’ve spent working with e-commerce companies, few have become enduring global platforms,” said Housenbold, in a released statement. “Jane has all the right ingredients to become the next eBay or Shopify. They are creating a win-win for all constituents in the ecosystem – brands, retailers and consumers all benefit from their platform and trust Jane to be the go-to service provider to build the future of cannabis commerce on a global basis. I’m excited to watch Socrates and his team build an amazing company, a great place to work and a trusted brand.”