Exclusive Interview with Dutchie Co-founder and CEO Ross Lipson
Dutchie, an online ordering platform for cannabis, recently closed a $3 million seed round led by Casa Verde with participation from Durant Company, Kevin Durant’s investment arm. Co-founder and CEO Ross Lipson started online food ordering service Grub Canada back in 2008 and sold the company in 2012. He found himself in Bend, Oregon in 2015, when recreational use became legal. It quickly became apparent that the model he had found so much success within the food industry was ripe for the cannabis space.
The company’s online platform serves both consumers and retailers. On the consumer side, people are able to type in their address on Dutchie’s website and see all of the dispensaries available for online ordering in their area. Consumers can place their order for pickup or delivery, depending on state regulations, and have it in hand within an hour. The platform displays product images, descriptions, and effects. In addition to the intuitive user interface, consumers have access to content and customer support. On the retail side, the company has integrated with most point-of-sale providers, and dispensaries are able to manage their menus directly on their websites, as well as on the Dutchie website. The company is working on adding new features to the platform, but it will remain dedicated to the core mission of online ordering.
Dutchie has a sales team based in Oregon, which reaches out to dispensaries to sign them up on the company platform. The onboarding process can be completed within an hour, and dispensaries can begin taking online orders. Joining the platform is a value proposition that brings new orders and customers, and most dispensaries the company reaches out to are eager to access the incremental revenue it provides, according to Lipson.
The platform is currently being used by dispensaries in Oregon, Washington, California, and Michigan, but Lipson is eager to expand the platform to all states where medical and/or adult-use is legal. In addition to markets in the U.S., Dutchie is also working with investment and operating platform Canopy Rivers to expand into Canada.
The company’s $3 million seed round with high profile investors Casa Verde and Durant Company will go toward building its product and team. Dutchie is focused on making its product more robust and faster. The company’s growing scale will be supported by new team members. Since last month, the company’s number of employees has doubled to 14 and more people will be on-boarded. No stranger to leading a technology company like this one, Lipson knows the value of having capital and expects the company will pursue more when it becomes necessary.
Dutchie will face many of the same challenges – related to both regulations and scaling quickly – as other companies in the cannabis space. While managing those challenges, Lipson aims to keep his company on track to enrich the consumer buying experience and help dispensaries with their bottom line.
To learn more, visit the Dutchie website. Listen to the entire interview: