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Baker, a 3-year-old startup specializing in marketing software development for marijuana dispensaries, announced yesterday that it has acquired Grassworks Digital, a Seattle-based startup also specializing in CRM tools for cannabis retailers.
Grassworks was founded in 2016 and helps 150 dispensaries track and manage their inventory. They also offer order-ahead software online for pot shops. The company’s employees will be joining forces with Baker in its Seattle office
“Our core product is Simple Marijuana Menu, which integrates with clients’ point of sale systems, automates inventory updates, and allows consumers to order online,” CEO of Grassworks Ryan Porter explained earlier this year.
Self described as “The Salesforce of Pot”, Baker works with over 700 dispensaries across 16 states and Canada; employing more than 50 people.
This deal is a milestone as one of the first technology acquisitions in the legal marijuana space. There are many startups building marijuana related software and services for retailers, growers and more.
While the industry is still in its infancy it’s a promising deal that signifies great change on the horizon.
While accounting software and other platforms have evolved dramatically in complexity and sophistication, the fundamental design principles have remained that each respective transacting party maintains its own relative ecosystem and exchanges information with other stakeholders.
It is this core premise which blockchain, with its distributed ledger structure has vast potential to disrupt.
Blockchain works on a distributed ledger model which records every transaction and maintains the chronology & authenticity of the information on a secure global network which is designed to be tamper proof. The technology allows the transacting parties to interact seamlessly, eliminating record keeping activities across order-to-cash, record-to-report processes and procure-to-pay.
With this promise, blockchain has started to catch the imagination of finance and accounting executives with possibilities of transforming F&A operations similar in ways the internet revolutionized knowledge sharing collaboration.
Fintech has attracted massive attention, due in part to the enormous sums sucked in via investors – over $100bn in the past three years, according to numbers from KPMG and CB insights. In spite of all the excitement and cash, and predictions of fintech companies routing the traditional banks, fintechs have failed to date in taking significant business from the incumbents: accoring to the Economist Intelligence Unit, fintech companies have grabbed just a 2% market share. It’s absolutely harder to disrupt financial services than people envisioned.
Banks retain many competitive advantages, as well as the capacity for innovation. However writing off fintech would be premature.
The fintech revolution?
Banking is an enormous industry, with massive profits, over $1 trillion annually according to McKinsey(see below).
Fintech is also an industry where customer experience scores are low – fewer than 40% of retail customers recommend their bank, according to Capgemini.
Therefore, fintech is an industry that should attract lots of new entrants keen on offering better customer service at lower price points.
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