Leading cannabis industry compliance software, Simplifya closed a $3 million Series B funding round. This round was led with a $1.5 million investment from Merida Capital Partners.
The beginning of Simplifya
Founded in 2016 in Denver, Colorado, Simplifya’s primary objective was to make it easier for businesses, law firms, consultants, financial institutions and regulatory agencies to monitor cannabis licensee operations for compliance with state and local regulations. Marion Mariathasan, CEO of Simplifya worked side by side with partners from Vicente Sederburg developing this software.
The cloud-based software allows for cannabis businesses to use the application via web, mobile, and tablet. The application enables users to monitor and verify licensee operations for both state and local regulations, while also monitoring their business’s compliance health.
The Lead Investors
Investing in Cannabis companies since 2012, Merida Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm. Their investment portfolio is focused on cultivation technologies, products, and services associated with the evolution of cannabis as an agricultural product, a natural plant-based medicine, a constituent in pharmaceutical formulations, and a recreational consumer product.
Fundraising, Scalability and the Future of Simplifya
Marion Mariathasan, CEO of Simplifya and I had the opportunity to discuss more on this round, what advancements this round will do for Simplifya, along with gathering some advice for entrepreneurs and investors in this space.
First off, congratulations on this raise, can you give us any insight what the funds will be allocated towards?
Marion Mariathasan: The Series B funds will be primarily used for growth. We just opened up a California office and have recruited additional talent to the team. We will also accelerate product development and content development and this year plan to expand into all the states that have legalized cannabis. Late this year and early next year we will focus on international expansion.
Merida Capital Partners led this round with a $1.5 million investment, can you provide some insight into how that relationship evolved?
Marion Mariathasan: Merida capital is an amazing group. They were introduced to us by our sister company, New Frontier Data. Merida was looking to invest in a leading operational and regulatory compliance company and once Mitch, and I met, discussions progressed quickly. They are truly a value-add investor, and so we are excited to have them as a part of the family.
What is the best piece of advice you can share with our readers when it comes to raising capital?
Marion Mariathasan: As an investor myself, what I can tell you is this: Be yourself and be honest. Most sophisticated investors are smart and can see through smoke. So be yourself and represent your company, vision, dreams, financials with honesty and integrity. Investors will respect honesty over the smoke. Investors invest in people first and foremost. Of course, the company, vision, market, future, exit, etc. matter, but most of the time, when they write a check, it’s because they believe in the person who is asking for the money.
In 2016, you successfully closed your Series A round as a portfolio company of Hypur Ventures, and now two years later you have successfully closed your Series B round, what has changed about Simplifya during that time that may have surprised you and your team?
Marion Mariathasan: As a company, a lot has changed. When we first launched Simplifya, we were fortunate enough to have had a partner such as Vicente Sederberg behind us helping us understand the industry and the market. That said, as a software company, we had a lot to learn about our customer’s needs, pricing and the future of where we wanted to go. Today, we have an enterprise-level product that our customers love, a seasoned and passionate team who work tirelessly to continuously improve our product and meet the needs of the industry.
And lastly, we have some of the most reputable investors and advisors behind us, and so we are excited to continue to make Simplifya the company that helps the industry stay compliant through a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution.
Along with this raise, Simplifya also announced the launch of new cannabis compliance software services to the California market, why did you feel it was essential to put a focus on the California market?
Marion Mariathasan: California is a massive market, and if we want California to succeed and have all the businesses operate in a compliant manner, we felt we had an obligation to be there to help. If we as an industry truly want legalization to happen across the country and then ultimately on a federal level, I believe that each of us in the industry has to do our part to show the world that we take legalization seriously and are willing to play by the rules.
What are the key points to these services and how they can help the California cannabis market?
Marion Mariathasan: Our compliance tool makes all of the new state and local rules and regulations a little easier to swallow. In addition to saving time and money, Simplifya provides business owners with peace of mind by keeping their operations current with ever-changing regulations and streamlining the overlap between jurisdictions and license types. Our goal is to make complying with state and local regulations as accessible and affordable as possible for everyone, from the smallest cultivation facility to the largest retail chain.
What is in store for Simplifya in 2018?
Marion Mariathasan: 2018 is all about refining and expanding our portfolio of products and services while expanding nationally into new states.
Let’s go back to the beginning, when Simplifya initially evolved, why did the founding team believe this platform was essential to the cannabis industry?
Marion Mariathasan: As you know, the cannabis industry is a highly regulated industry. In any highly regulated industry, operational and regulatory compliance is one of the most important elements in ensuring the industry continues to grow while playing by the rules. There is very little room for error when you’re working in a highly regulated space, and so we believed that a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution would enable businesses to focus on running their business while knowing that their compliance health was in order.
Thank you, Marion, for taking the time to give us some insight into Simplifya. I am excited to continue to see the growth of Simplifya. For those interested in learning more about Simplifya’s platform, visit www.simplifya.com
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