Last week, news that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had entered the cannabis industry through a partnership with KIND Financial lit up media. The L.A. Times published an interview with David Dinenberg, the CEO of KIND Financial, explaining the evolution of the deal and how the relationship will work. Dinenberg, who founded the company in 2014 with a goal of providing capital and other services to fill the void in banking services available to cannabis cultivators and retailers, pivoted towards compliance after the company acquired Agrisoft in 2015 to provide real-time inventory information.
A member of the Board of Directors, Wayne Kimmel, introduced the company to Microsoft. The Azure Government platform, a cloud-based solution, will host the service, but Microsoft will support the effort with its sales staff. KIND Financial keeps all the revenue, but Microsoft earns fees for providing cloud storage. Dinenberg expects his company to benefit from winning state government contracts by capturing market share from cannabis businesses in those states. To this point, KIND Financial has been backed by private investors, like Lindy Snider, but the company expects to seek institutional investment in the near future.
Read James Koren’s “How a Hollywood startup became Microsoft’s partner in the marijuana industry.”: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-david-dinenberg-otr-20160621-snap-story.html