Exclusive Interview with WM Technology CEO Chris Beals
Cannabis technology and software company WM Technology (NASDAQ: MAPS) aims to service the full demand lifecycle for cannabis retailers and brands trying to reach consumers. It currently has market penetration of more than 50 percent with retailers, according to CEO Chris Beals. He last spoke with New Cannabis Ventures in November 2021. Since then, the company has executed a number of acquisitions that further flesh out its offerings. Beals checked in to talk about stitching together different parts of the company’s ecosystem and how the profitable company plans to continue growing in the cannabis space.
Listen to the entire interview or read the summary below:
WM Technology’s Business Segments
WM Technology has two business segments: online cannabis marketplace Weedmaps and its SaaS solutions. Retailers and brands can integrate their point-of-sale systems and showcase their products on the Weedmaps marketplace. WM Technology’ SaaS solutions, its WM Business product suite, offers a wide range of solutions for retailers and brands, including ecommerce, delivery logistics software and CRM.
Since Beals last spoke with New Cannabis Ventures, WM Technology acquired CRM and marketing platform Sprout and digital ad company Enlighten. The company is integrating Sprout into its platform to offer its users customer acquisition and messaging. Enlighten brings the power of in-store displays for menus and kiosks, as well as digital ad tool AdSuite. WM Technology is stitching together these solutions to offer its users SaaS tools that pair with its marketplace.
The total addressable cannabis market continues to grow with more states coming online and more consumers entering the market. More markets and more consumers represent organic growth opportunities for cannabis retailers and the companies, like WM Technology, that serve them. Beals pointed to markets like New Mexico and New York as exciting opportunities. As these states open up, WM Technology will be able to offer retailers and brands the technology tools, from menu and inventory management to order fulfillment and customer messaging, to cost effectively reach consumers.
WM Technology has been acquisitive, and the company continues to receive a lot of inbound inquiries. The company doesn’t necessarily need to pursue more M&A, but the team is open to the possibility of accretive deals, according to Beals.
Tech Talent at WM Technology
The company has been successful in attracting talent in engineering, product design, marketing and data analytics. WM Technology has filled critical management roles with people who have experience in cannabis and other industries, according to Beals.
Over the past year and a half, WM Technology has been investing in building out its information security and data engineering teams. Approximately 45 percent of the company’s team is made up of engineering, product and design talent. WM Technology leverages in-house recruiting to build its team. And as that team grows, Beals aims to preserve the company’s culture. WM Technology not only dives into solving challenges for cannabis CPG, it also aims to be a mission-driven company that supports record expungement and prisoner release. The company focuses on attracting people who have tech talent and believe in that mission.
A Profitable Company
WM Technology invests heavily in partnerships and integrations. Rather than concentrating on competition, the company looks for ways to work with other technology providers. When considering the competitive landscape, Beals sees WM Technology’s profitability as a critical differentiator. While many other operators are feeling pressure to demonstrate growth and profitability, WM Technology has been profitable for its entire history. The company continues to be profitable, and it is debt-free. It has the ability to seamlessly move internal resources and flexibly deploy capital, according to Beals. In this position, WM Technology has no current need to raise capital.
WM Technology has the ability to bring its platform to new markets opening up and onboard more retailers across its footprint. The company’s 2022 revenue guidance of $255 to $265 million is extrapolated from its organic growth, according to Beals.
The company is driving 5x to 8x return on ad spend (ROAS), a key metric that demonstrates the value it brings to its customers. Internally, the WM Technology also carefully follows metrics around cross product adoption. How many of its solutions are customers using? The team works to drive adoption of multiple solutions across its customer base.
While WM Technology is striving to remain fiscally prudent and to maintain its culture, it is also rapidly releasing new products to serve its customers. The company has brought the capabilities of Enlighten and Sprout to its customers, and it has just launched a beta of a brands insights platform as part of a monthly brand subscription package. Beals is thrilled with the rate of new launches and the positive client reception.
To learn more, visit the WM Technology website. Listen to the entire interview: