Add nearly 40 Silicon Valley investors, including The ArcView Group, to the list of those participating in the significant infusion of capital into the marijuana business. In a much-watched Fresh VC-led Angel List syndication, Eaze has closed $1.5 million in seed capital. Eaze intends to use the capital to develop its technology platform built to manage medical marijuana deliveries to patients in San Francisco.
“Eaze’s proprietary system automates the service from order to driver dispatch to delivery. It’s the only way we can scale operations to meet the magnitude of patient demand in a professional and timely manner,” said Keith McCarty, founder and CEO of Eaze. Since July 2014, Eaze has grown to help thousands of verified patients receive deliveries in San Francisco alone.
Shri Ganeshram, founding partner, Fresh VC, said, “Eaze’s mature, experienced and successful founding team, along with its impressive early metrics and outstanding customer service, have assured us that they will be the breakout company in the emerging medical marijuana industry”.
Eaze recently partnered with SPARC, a respected San Francisco cannabis collective. SPARC CEO Robert said that his members always wanted a delivery service, the SFist reports. “Within hours of launching, SPARC fulfilled hundreds of orders, criss-crossing San Francisco with sacks of sativa-indica hybrids, tinctures, and cannabis gummies.”
Dubbed the “Uber” for medical marijuana, Eaze has also shared a product roadmap that includes “some-day” delivery by drone. “If I were to paint a grand vision of how to deliver medicine, it was definitely part of the plan,” McCarty said. “Some of our patients are developing drones and they’ve hit us up.”
According to SFGate.com, McCarty, who was employee number four at Microsoft-acquired Yammer, said funding the startup was both easier and harder than past startups. The challenge of the marijuana business lies in the balance between a demand that is “undeniable” to investors, and the uncertainty of federal regulations and state limitations.
Eaze is a simple service. Sign up with an email, mobile phone number, and upload a photo of your medical marijuana ID or doctor recommendation letter. Then, pick your strain, and 20 minutes later your doorbell rings with your Eaze delivery.
Eaze isn’t alone. Upstart.bizjournals reports that Canary is a cannabis delivery startup from two university students in Washington. It is an on-demand mobile service that features products from multiple dispensaries. “We’re getting a lot of interest from investors and are planning on formally announcing a seed round soon.” They have also investigated expansion to Colorado and California.
Canary reportedly monetizes its business by charging “10 percent to 25 percent” to consumers, but ultimately sees this as a B2B business between delivery and dispensary.
As for Eaze, current plans forecast expansion to multiple cities within a year. Hopes are that the pace of legalization will continue into 2015 to clear the path into new markets.