Exclusive Interview with Flourish Software CEO Colton Griffin
Flourish Software is aiming to be the cannabis industry’s leader in integrations, tying data across all license types together for its customers, according to CEO Colton Griffin. Griffin spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about how the company approaches integrations, its market presence and its 2022 outlook. The audio of the entire conversation is available at the end of this written summary.
Supply chain expertise
Griffin has supply chain expertise both on the software consulting and corporate sides. He began his career with the supply chain solutions company Manhattan Associates, and he helped to build out the infrastructure for Fortune 500 Company Genuine Parts Company, the parent company of NAPA Auto Parts. In 2017, he found himself looking at the cannabis industry and seeing a significant gap and demand for inventory and order management, leading to the launch of Flourish.
Griffin is joined on the leadership team by people like CTO Bennett Adams, Director of Engineering David Drake and Director of Client Success Kelly Beaver. The Flourish team has a mix of people who bring experience from the cannabis industry and outside of it.
The Flourish Platform
Flourish licenses its software to cannabis and hemp clients, most often on a monthly basis, although some customers pay quarterly or annually. The company also charges for implementation. The software can go to work for all license types: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail. Flourish’s main focus is on wholesale cultivation, manufacturing and distribution, and it has select enterprise customers using its retail point of sale solution.
The company has an API on top of its platform, facilitating the multitude of integrations its customers need to run their businesses. Flourish is able to co-deploy with customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Salesforce and HubSpot. It also integrates with ecommerce solutions like LeafLink and Magento and accounting software like QuickBooks. Integrations are essential to how Flourish is positioning itself in the cannabis industry. The company wants its software to be the core operating system that cannabis and hemp operators use when leveraging the technology solutions they need.
Flourish releases new code on a regular basis, maintaining rapid and agile software deployment. The company plans to add more depth to the services for each of the license types, and it is working on a couple of new integrations. Flourish is in the process of building integration with seed-to-sale software BioTrack, which has a number of state contracts. And, the company is working on integration with business management software NetSuite.
The company currently works with cannabis clients in 13 states, with its footprint spanning 17 states including hemp clients. Flourish has had success in markets like Michigan, Missouri, Arizona and California, according to Griffin. The BioTrack integration will likely open the door to more markets, such as Illinois and Arkansas and, potentially, Puerto Rico.
Flourish has clients like Pharmer’s Market in Oregon and MSO Parallel. The company aims to manage thousands of SKUs for its clients with the ultimate goal of helping those customers to grow.
While there is more competition than when the company started back in 2017, Flourish’s main competitor remains Google Sheets and other simple spreadsheet options. The industry is still in the process of moving away from pen and paper solutions and into packaged software, according to Griffin.
Flourish has raised capital early on in its history and completed a formal round in 2019, according to Griffin. Most of the company’s capital thus far has been used to fund R&D. The company currently has a strong balance sheet, and it plans to kick off a Series A round in Q1, according to Griffin. The company has strategic investors, high-net-worth individuals and a couple of VCs in its investor pool.
With the Flourish platform built for integration, M&A is a likely path for the company. The team will consider complementary solutions, keeping its options open. The team may take an exit, or it may lead Flourish all the way through an IPO with an eye to consolidating the market. The company has communicated to shareholders that it is waiting for what makes the most sense for the business, the founders, the customers and all stakeholders, according to Griffin.
The company is anticipating just over $2 million in top-line revenue this year with plans to double revenue next year. Thus far, Flourish has operated with a minimal sales team, but it is adding new talent. It is also looking to focus more on marketing. A growing team and working with its partners in the cannabis space will help to drive growth in 2022.
The Flourish team prioritizes metrics like revenue run rate, customer retention and volume running through the platform. The company also closely watches its customer support times and overall customer satisfaction. Flourish aims to support its clients throughout the entire customer lifecycle, helping them to expand.
The company faces challenges common in the cannabis industry right now, such as cash constraints and regulatory changes. But, Flourish has been operating in the cannabis business since 2017, and it has the ability to adapt. It will be looking forward to growing its business and developing an ESG framework.
To learn more, visit the Flourish Software website. Listen to the entire interview: