Eyechronic, a leading ad-based television network broadcasting real-time content on large television screens in legal cannabis dispensaries throughout the United States raised $3 million in Series A funding by Tuatara Capital, L.P. This round put Eyechronic at a total of $5.25 million in funding.
The Investment Manager
Founded in 2014 in New York, Tuatura Capital is a specialized alternative investment manager focused on supporting high-growth companies in the legal cannabis industry. In 2016, they raised a $93 million fund to invest exclusively in the legal marijuana industry. To date, Tuatura has already invested in Teewinot Life Sciences, Willie’s Reserve, Greendot and now adds Eyechronic to their portfolio.
Interview with Eyechronic Founders
We had the opportunity to speak with co-founders of Eyechronic (“ETV”), Colby McKenzie and CEO, Jeremy Jacobs to learn more about this round and the future of Eyechronic.
Adelia: First off, congratulations on closing your series A round, can you give us more insight into what the funds will be allocated towards?
Eyechronic: The capital is earmarked for capex (building ETV’s media network infrastructure in new dispensary/retail locations across the nation) and growth capital. This round will help to accelerate Eyechronic’s growth and position the company to penetrate new markets including California.
Adelia: In less than one year, Eyechronic has expanded into over 16 states and nearly 300 retail stores, what are your ideal growth goals for 2018?
Eyechronic: With the rapid success of the network to date, we are just trying to maintain our growth in our current strongholds (Colorado, Oregon, and east coast markets) and rapidly expand our imprint in States such as California, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona.
Adelia: With California being a strategic focus for 2018, and when looking at the competitive landscape in California what would you say are Eyechronic’s competitive advantages?
Eyechronic: Our competitive advantage really boils down to two things-
1) Given our 10+ years of experience building similar networks in other industries, the value proposition that we can offer to dispensaries is, in my opinion, unrivaled. Our content loop is backed by science and years of refinement to truly drive dispensary sales to lift. Our technology can not only ensure that our screens are live and operational at all times, but also quantify the number of impressions our media has on customers.
2) In the cannabis space, it’s not good enough to provide one incredible aspect of the storefront environment. ETV has partnerships with other technology companies in the space so that we can provide dispensaries with help driving traffic to their location, live media to entertain, educate and influence purchase decisions of the customer upon arrival. Along with a POS-integrated menu to help them make their selection, streamline electronic payment processing and loyalty programs to keep them coming back, its hard to say no to taking our FREE media system.
Adelia: When working with retail stores, what may appeal to customers at one location may not work at another location, how does the team behind Eyechronic streamline through this process so they can help each retail store effectively?
Eyechronic: The beauty of our system is that our software allows for real-time updates and the network is tailored not only to a geographic region, but each store individually. This way we can allow for specialized promotions, advertisements that are relevant to that store and a general content theme fitting of the location environment. Through our enterprise package, dispensaries have even more control over the content and can even create a centralized theme across multiple locations.
Adelia: Eyechronic helps brands reach a targeted demographic through video advertisement, walk me through the process of how a brand can work with Eyechronic and what is needed for the brand to work with you?
Eyechronic: Eyechronic is the premiere digital out of home media network dedicated solely to consumers of the cannabis industry. This network places digital signage in high traffic areas of cannabis dispensaries and retail shops displaying interactive and entertaining promotions to engage viewers. Product companies that are severely limited in where they can advertise due to strict advertising restrictions on cannabis and cannabis-related products have a new medium to show the cannabis world what their product is all about through video advertisement.
However, the platform is not limited to just product companies, consumers within this niche demographic are highly sought after due to their strong and culturally defined consumer persona. The high dwell times in dispensaries (typically 20 minutes or more) offer brands a unique and valuable opportunity to influence decisions at the point of purchase directly. We make the process extremely simple starting with an initial advertising inquiry, the outlining of our available advertising real estate and assistance from our in-house design team to craft the perfect promotion.
Adelia: Let’s go back to the beginning, what led you to launch Eyechronic?
Eyechronic: Many may not be aware that Eyechronic is a spin out of Eyeconic.tv. Eyeconic.tv has successfully built digital signage networks across the world in a number of verticals, including a very successful pilot in the cannabis space beginning several years ago. Once we started to see the cannabis industry show signs of maturity and legislative clarity (at least with respect to a number of States) we knew the timing was right to take Eyechronic, properly capitalize the company and scale a perfect media solution for dispensaries across the nation. Our timing could not have been better, as we now have a strong national footprint in an industry showing no signs of slowing.
Adelia: What advice can you share with the entrepreneurs who are about to begin their journey in fundraising?
Eyechronic: There are a lot of useful concepts and creative ideas out there, but it’s important to remember that investors are focused on two things – how do I get my money back and does this company have a chance at being a huge success. You have to show investors your value in the industry, how you will scale and how their money gets you from point A to point B.
Adelia: When raising capital from an investor or VC, it goes beyond the funding, what critical attributes aligned Eyechronic with Tuatara Capital?
Eyechronic: There is capital, and then there is strategic capital. The companies that have the best chance to succeed are those that not only get capital to grow but get that capital from investors or funds that offer more than just money. Eyechronic has done an incredible job of getting strategic investment, and Tuatara is a perfect example of this. The fund has incredible influence in the industry, and we are excited to be partnered with them.
Adelia: Thank you again for sharing some insight into the future of Eyechronic and knowledge into raising capital with our audience. Anything else you would like to share that our readers may not be aware of?
Eyechronic: With our rapid growth, we are constantly hiring to keep up with the workload. If any of the DCN readers are interested in being part of this fun and dynamic team, we encourage them to reach out.
To learn more about Eyechronic and how you can work with them, click here.
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