Last week before I left the office I realized I needed to go pick up my meds from my local dispensary. I grabbed my phone, opened one of the online directory apps and searched for the closest dispensary. I saw that they had my new favorite products by Papa & Barkley available, and headed out to that location. I checked in and was quickly disappointed, they didn’t have either of the items I needed and didn’t know when they would be getting them in store.
Unfortunately, my story is very common and Jane is here to help resolve this issue while also filling a void in the marketplace by bringing the focus back to the local business owner and patient.
Jane is the cannabis industry’s only end-to-end online marketplace that allows customers to confidently discover and order the best-rated products available in real-time at local dispensaries.
As I spoke to the team behind iheartjane, you could hear the passion behind the team and quickly realized their focus was providing a solution that improves the experience for both dispensaries and patients.
How did the idea evolve?
The existing online marketplace has not kept pace with the explosive growth seen in the cannabis industry, and currently, it does not meet the expectations of today’s consumers; nor does it empower dispensaries–the very lifeblood of the entire industry. Jane has disrupted the existing model to benefit both consumers and dispensaries and allows markets to compete on the quality of their products and service.
As a veteran, Socrates (Jane’s CEO) personally experienced the medicinal benefits that cannabis can provide. It allowed him to maintain a presence in stressful moments and view himself with self-empathy and non-judgment. He recognized that the stigma associated with cannabis created challenges for many of his fellow vets to obtain cannabis for their ailments. This motivated him to create a marketplace where civilians and veterans alike could educate themselves on the product, and shop with confidence.
As a result, he has created an entire shopping experience that is simple and instills confidence for consumers, while partnering with dispensaries who are the backbone of the industry to help them be successful today and for years to come.
What would you say are the key differentiators that make iheartjane stand out to both dispensaries and customers?
Jane turns any POS system into a turnkey, digital storefront that connects products sitting on their shelves to customers in their community looking for those products in real-time.
In addition, Jane helps dispensaries learn about their customers in depth, so that they can better anticipate their needs and use these lessons to attract more customers to their storefront. Jane is a win-win for dispensaries at a fraction of the cost of existing options and will allow local stores to improve the entire shopping experience, and of course their bottom line.
For customers Jane’s search functionality is extremely convenient, allowing a smart search of products, terms, ingredients, activities, and hundreds of other options, and displaying real-time availability, exclusively from local stores who compete on product selection, price, quality, and services.
The retail consumer has become accustomed to shopping online in a very particular way – predominantly based on product-centric searches. Jane now provides cannabis customers with the same type of online shopping experience. Customers using Jane’s search algorithm can be as broad or specific as they like, using terms like ‘gluten-free’ or ‘sleep-aid’, or they can search for specific strains or categories like wax.
As a result of shopping with Jane customers can now easily find the exact product that they are looking for, and then ensure it is available and ready for them when they arrive at their local store. Jane also allows customers to discover new products that they may not have known about before.
By now, many of us have heard the frustration from dispensary owners who have had to keep increasing their marketing budgets to stay at the top of consumer search results, only to find out that someone else paid, even more, pushing them back down on the search results. The team behind Jane didn’t think that made sense so they decided that incorporate Jane’s unique review system which allows dispensaries, yes even small independently owned dispensaries to compete on the quality of their service and their product – not the size of their advertising budgets.
Who is behind the team?
The team at Jane Technologies, Inc. is made up of graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is led by former Army captain and West Point graduate Socrates Rosenfeld.
Fundraising: Is Jane self-funded or did you raise any pre-seed or seed capital?
We met our initial funding target in late 2016 and we will be embarking on our next round of fundraising towards the end of the year. As a private company, we don’t disclose finances but have a comfortable runway through our next round of funding.
We love the idea of using a web app. Do you have any insight you can share why you decided to go that route?
When developing iheartjane.com the team focused on building a platform that was visually appealing, intuitive, reliable and flexible. By building Jane as a web app the platform is able to adapt quickly and easily into a dispensary existing operation regardless of what hardware or software they are using. As a result, Jane works seamlessly with Android, iOS, desktops and tablets alike. You can even save Jane as a tile on your phone’s home screen, and it looks, feels and acts just like an app.
By now many of you are probably wondering where their platform is currently available. Jane is currently partnering with dispensaries in the Sonoma, Santa Clara, Monterey, Denver, Boulder, Plymouth, Norfolk, Clark, and Santa Fe County markets, and is rapidly expanding into additional California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Mexico markets.
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