Earlier this month, the software firm Fyllo announced that it had raised US $16 million in startup financing to expand its marketing platform serving the cannabis industry. The seed round was led by Toronto-based K2 & Associates and the American early-stage investor JW Asset Management. The funding comes just ahead of a dramatic expansion in Canada's legal cannabis products, as edibles become legal for sale on October 17 — an event heralded as the “second wave” of cannabis legalization.
The addition of licensed non-smokable products is anticipated to add three million consumers to the domestic cannabis market. But as companies scramble to access this new market, they continue to grapple with the complexities and nuances of creating and distributing legally-compliant advertising for their products. For example, Health Canada has implemented detailed restrictions on the creative content of cannabis marketing, in order to prevent advertising that appeals to youth. With so many more products entering the market, cannabis firms — be they dispensaries, brands, e-commerce retailers, or publishers — will have have to work hard to ensure their messaging is legal in every case and wherever it appears.
"Our premise for our clients is: 'You're concerned about compliance. We will take on that responsibility'," explains Erik Shani, co-founder and chief product officer at Fyllo, in conversation with RE$EARCH MONEY.
Using its proprietary data and analytics engine CannaBrain, Fyllo helps cannabis companies design and implement marketing campaigns across multiple markets without falling afoul of widely varying compliance regimes in different regions. Fyllo has offices in Canada, Israel, and across the U.S., where regulations diverge significantly from state to state. Fyllo uses computer vision, Natural language processing and big data infrastructure to help cannabis companies reach targeted segments of consumers.