Supply chain analytics software is in an unprecedented growth period as companies look toward technology to streamline efficiencies and improve operations. Colton Griffin knew this firsthand — the now-entrepreneur has built and optimized supply chain platforms his whole career, first for enterprises and then for his own supply chain data analytics company.
It was on a client trip to California for that company that Griffin realized there was a booming industry that had yet to be tapped on the compliance and operations optimization side: the cannabis market. As both the medical and legal recreational opportunities expand, more cultivators and distributors are springing up — North American cannabis sales grew by 30 percent in 2016 to $6.7 billion. All distributors have to deal with regulatory compliance and supply chain inefficiencies unique to an agricultural product regulated differently across states.
After talking to cultivators in half a dozen states, Griffin realized this was a major opportunity for someone with his background and experience. He founded Flourish Software to provide an end-to-end software platform for cannabis cultivators and distributors. The platform enables automation throughout the supply chain, tracking inventory, providing data analytics, and improving bottom line.
“Ultimately, Flourish offers software to support this booming industry and help clients remain competitive and compliant in a very hot market,” says Griffin.
He shares more about the opportunity the cannabis market presents, Flourish’s unique value proposition that goes beyond “seed-to-sale,” and why Atlanta is a great place to build his startup. Interested in learning more? With a team of four, this startup is looking to expand!
Funding or bootstrapped?
Bootstrapped to date. Currently working on a friends and family round and planning to raise a seed round this fall.
What’s your elevator pitch?
Flourish is a robust software platform for cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors to maintain compliance with state laws and manage daily operations. For cultivators, Flourish connects with environmental control software and RFID systems to serve as a central control system for all operations. It also leverages this rich data set to provide advanced analytics allowing operations to optimize processes, increase yields, and drive down costs.
For manufacturers, Flourish manages formulations and manufacturing processes to support quality control and direct daily operations. Vertically-integrated businesses can leverage this unified platform for end-to-end visibility across their supply chain.
What problem are you solving? What is the market impact?
We are focused on compliance, operational costs, and optimizing growing methods. The software currently on the market has been described as “clunky at best,” and we believe that the industry deserves powerful and modern software to support rapid growth.
Currently many see the “seed-to-sale” platforms on the market as administrative burdens to comply with state regulations. We are changing that. We believe that the analytics and embedded operational intelligence within our software will help transform how people run cultivation and manufacturing operations. Furthermore, we believe that customers who adopt Flourish will remain competitive despite falling wholesale prices and increased competition. Operations are hungry for software that improves their bottom line and that they like to use.
What is your revenue model?
We have a SaaS revenue model supplemented by professional services and hardware sales.
How did you come up with this idea?
We were in California working on a deal for WMSight, our platform for distribution center operations, and we ended up connecting with some operators in the industry. They were impressed with our software and backgrounds and encouraged us to enter the market. Once we surveyed the landscape and interviewed others in markets across the country, we realized that the industry sorely needed better management software for cultivation and manufacturing. Thus, we founded Flourish.
Who are your competitors and why are you different?
Our major competitors were early to the market and landed state contracts to manage “seed to sale” tracking. We believe we are changing the conversation that MJ Freeway, BioTrack, and METRC have set by moving from the concept of a “tracking” software to a “management” software that inherently keeps companies compliant. We are focused on differentiating ourselves with our user interface, feature set, and system integration.
Where do you see the Cannabis tech market going in the next few years?
The medical and recreational markets are rapidly opening across the country. There is also significant growth outside the U.S. This is great for patients and consumers. However, as more companies and greater investment enters the market, this is driving down the price per pound of wholesale cannabis. It also creates pressure on processors and manufacturers making infused products. We believe that, like in all other industries, software and technology provide a competitive advantage for these companies. Thus, we see the tech market growing rapidly to serve all these new businesses.
Have you found any other cannabis tech companies here in Georgia?
None that I know of. Atlanta is the epicenter of supply chain software. We are working to be the leader in supply chain software for the cannabis industry.