Exclusive Interview with Pistil Data Co-Founder and CEO Jeffrey Graham
Eight months ago, Jeffrey Graham told New Cannabis Ventures how Pistil Data was serving cannabis brands and sales teams as a secret weapon. Then, the company was offering its sales tool in two markets: California and Colorado. Now, Pistil Data has three products and a footprint that spans 25 states. Graham, the company’s CEO and co-founder, followed up to talk about Pistil Data’s growing market reach and its plans to continue operating as a unique data tool in the cannabis space.
Listen to the entire interview or read the summary below:
An Evolving Platform
Pistil Data launched in 2020 with an initial focus on cannabis sales teams. The company saw the need to offer hyper-localized data at the store level to give those teams insight into prospects and competition. Today, the company has expanded its reach to more than 150 clients across the U.S.
The company is currently in beta testing for two new products: one to help cannabis brands navigate local markets and one to help retailers optimize pricing and product assortment. Offering these types of cannabis players more sophisticated analytics helps to power their decision making. Brands can use Pistil Data to tune their sales pitch and understand which retailers to target. Retailers can use the company’s retail-specific solution to see how their pricing compares to the competition and what products to stock to remain competitive.
Pistil Data is currently in beta testing with 12 customers, and they are using that process to strengthen their products. The company has amassed a data set of more than three million products, and it works closely with its customers to understand how that data can be most valuable to them, according to Graham.
As the company has expanded its solutions and market reach, its team has grown as well. Pistil Data has created a data platform that ingests data across the U.S. and pushes out clean data in real-time for its customers. It has hired more talent for its technical team, particularly on the data engineering side, to support this kind of product development.
Pistil Data has grown its business 4x year-over-year, according to Graham. Moving into new states is a significant part of that growth. He highlighted exciting markets like Missouri, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are some smaller, more immature U.S. markets Pistil Data has plans to eventually cover. Pistil Data also plans to expand into Canada this year. For now, the company is focused on organic growth rather than M&A.
A Unique Data Company
When Pistil Data launched in 2020, it was focused on gummies in the California market. As the company evolved, its data collection grew beyond that market and product segment to include information from thousands of retailers across the U.S. Rather than simply collecting that data and pushing it out to customers, Pistil Data cleans it and develops applications that deliver value to its users.
Funding and Growth Outlook
As a technology company, Pistil Data does not have the same capital demands, such as inventory and regulatory compliance, as a plant-touching business in the cannabis sector. Right now, the company is in a comfortable capital position, according to Graham. But he expects that the team will be having conversations with strategic investors in the future. He wants to the company to be well-positioned to when a truly national market for cannabis emerges.
Much of Pistil Data’s revenue growth has come from the West Coast, but expansion into new states, such as Michigan and Massachusetts, is also accelerating its progress. Additionally, the entrance into the retail space will be a significant growth driver.
As the company has gone from just a handful of states and one product to wide coverage in the U.S. and three products, its usage has increased dramatically. The Pistil Data team closely watches this metric, and it has developed interventions to help customers get the most out of the platform.
Pistil Data is tackling the challenge of remaining close to its customers and using their experience and feedback to improve their products. The company wants to be a tool that helps cannabis companies improve their decision making and navigate the challenges of today’s landscape.
To learn more, visit the Pistil Data website. Listen to the entire interview: