LeafLink and Canopy Rivers Collaborate to Deploy Market-Leading B2B Software Platform Globally
New venture will launch LeafLink’s proprietary technology in international cannabis marketplaces
TORONTO, March 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Canopy Rivers Inc. (“Canopy Rivers”) (TSXV: RIV) and LeafLink, Inc. (“LeafLink”) are pleased to announce the establishment of LeafLink Services International ULC (“LeafLink International”), a new venture that exclusively licenses and leverages LeafLink’s dominant business-to-business (B2B) marketplace and supply chain technology platform for deployment throughout regulated international cannabis markets.
LeafLink is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketplace that simplifies the supply chain through its e-commerce platform. The company has a growing network of more than 950 cannabis brands, and penetration throughout ~2,800 cannabis retailers across 16 territories in the United States. LeafLink has established the single largest B2B marketplace for cannabis brands and facilitates more than US$900 million in gross merchandise value annually. Retailers use LeafLink for managing their wholesale inventory, enabling them to shop multiple vendors in one cart, view up-to-date product and brand menus, review historical and open orders, discover new products, and request samples. LeafLink further serves vendors by offering supplementary tools such as order management, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, inventory tracking tools, and customized reporting systems, among other services.
“We have been very impressed with LeafLink’s deep market penetration and their understanding of cannabis companies’ needs and behaviors,” said Narbé Alexandrian, President of Canopy Rivers. “The number of brands and products within our new cannabis economy has been explosive, making it difficult for retailers to deal with multiple parties in an increasingly fragmented market. As regulated cannabis consumption and distribution proliferates around the world, LeafLink International will introduce the industry’s leading SaaS-enabled marketplace to the global stage to create a new standard for expediting the cannabis supply chain in regulated markets.”
By creating this new joint venture, Canopy Rivers continues to expand its exposure across the cannabis value chain through a capital-light, market-leading B2B platform that is immediately scalable across legal jurisdictions. Canopy Rivers intends to integrate its network of complementary cannabis companies and global reach to drive growth for LeafLink International and assist in developing and deploying this technology as it continues to increase its global footprint.
“We are excited to join forces with Canopy Rivers – combining our industry-leading, B2B marketplace technology with their expertise and strategic network in the global cannabis market,” said Ryan G. Smith, CEO and Co-founder of LeafLink. “Together, we are creating the first seamless e-commerce experience across the global cannabis supply chain to further empower members of the LeafLink community.”
Under the terms of the agreement, LeafLink has made an initial capital commitment of US$1 million along with an exclusive, royalty-free license for all non-US marketplaces for their proprietary B2B software platforms and service solutions. Canopy Rivers has committed an initial equity investment of US$2 million and has the option to invest an incremental US$6 million on preferred terms. LeafLink and Canopy Rivers hold approximately 82%, and 18%, respectively, of LeafLink International after the initial transaction. Both parties will work collaboratively on the continued development and deployment of the LeafLink technology platform throughout international marketplaces, having already launched in select Canadian markets.
LeafLink is the cannabis industry’s leading wholesale marketplace, serving more than 950 brands and ~2,800 retailers across 16 territories with streamlined business tools such as an order management system, CRM, inventory tracking, and reporting systems, among others. Retailers who previously called, emailed, or texted dozens of sales representatives to place orders now save one day per week shopping all their cannabis brands in one LeafLink cart. Backed by venture capital firms and strategic investors such as Lerer Hippeau, Nosara and Casa Verde Capital, LeafLink has raised more than US$14 million to date, with its headquarters in New York City and Los Angeles.
About Canopy Rivers:
Canopy Rivers is a unique investment and operating platform structured to pursue investment opportunities in the emerging global cannabis sector. Canopy Rivers works collaboratively with Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) to identify strategic counterparties seeking financial and/or operating support. Canopy Rivers has developed an investment ecosystem of complementary cannabis operating companies that represent various segments of the value chain across the emerging cannabis sector. As the portfolio continues to develop, constituents will be provided with opportunities to work with Canopy Growth and collaborate among themselves, which Canopy Rivers believes will maximize value for its shareholders and foster an environment of innovation, synergy and value creation for the entire ecosystem.
This news release contains statements which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of Canopy Rivers with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking information is often identified by the words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “will”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or similar expressions and includes information regarding: the ability of LeafLink International to launch its SaaS marketplace platform globally and create a new standard for expediting the cannabis supply chain in regulated markets; the scalability of LeafLink’s B2B platform; Canopy Rivers’ ability to integrate its network of complementary cannabis companies and global reach to drive growth for LeafLink International and assist in developing and deploying this technology as it continues to increase its global footprint; both parties will work collaboratively on the continued development and deployment of the LeafLink technology platform throughout international marketplaces; and other expectations for other economic, business, and/or competitive factors.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflects management’s expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although Canopy Rivers believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, such information involves risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of Canopy Rivers. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information are the following: regulatory and licensing risks; the number of brands and retailers adopting LeafLink’s e-commerce platform; competition in the B2B supply chain space; the ability of LeafLink and Canopy Rivers to collaborate; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; the global regulatory landscape and enforcement related to cannabis, including political risks and risks relating to regulatory change; risks relating to anti-money laundering laws; compliance with extensive government regulation; public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry; and the risk factors set out in Canopy Rivers’ final short form prospectus dated February 21, 2019, filed with Canadian securities regulators and available on Canopy Rivers’ profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although Canopy Rivers has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Canopy Rivers does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward-looking information except as otherwise required by applicable law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information, please contact:
Canopy Rivers Inc.
Sr. Director, Investor Relations & Communications