California’s cannabis market is booming — and as demand accelerates, so does the threat of shortages, bottlenecks, and traffic jams.
This week, marijuana logistics and compliance platform Wayv took a major step toward being the platform to solve those problems.
There’s a lot of ethos behind what we’re doing. We’re very passionate about why legalization is important.”
The Venice-based company raised $5 million in seed funding on Monday, led by entrepreneur and former PayPal exec David Sacks.
Wayv CEO Keith McCarty’s relationship with Sacks goes back to 2008, when the two worked together at Yammer, an enterprise social networking service that was purchased by Microsoft. That sale (which reaped a reported $1.2 billion) provided McCarty with the finances he needed to co-found his first venture into the cannabis space, Eaze.
“When Yammer was acquired in 2012, I started looking at the next wave in technology and became very bullish on on-demand in particular,” McCarty shared. “That was also the first year the majority of Americans favored legalization, and I really thought there was going to be a pendulum shift coming.”
Fast forward six years, the shift has come. Wayv, which was founded earlier this year, has already locked down delivery for the majority of licensed cannabis retailers in California. It’s quickly becoming to cannabis retailers what Eaze is to individual consumers — a safe and dependable on-demand (in Wayv’s case, next-day) source for marijuana.
For us to move into other states that have legalized cannabis use is simply a matter or flipping switches.”
The state’s cannabis market is one of the largest globally, and according to estimates from the company, the market opportunity in California alone is worth an estimated $6 billion. But geographic expansion is on the horizon, and the $5 million in new funding is bolstering Wayv’s growth opportunities.
“One of the things with our business model and technology in general is that it can scale horizontally really quickly. For us to move into other states that have legalized cannabis use is simply a matter or flipping switches,” shared McCarty.
In the meantime, a lot of that $5 million will be invested back into the platform and in building out Wayv’s team. With the sheer scale of the LA market and the infusion of tech talent from Silicon Beach, McCarty said he feels the company is in exactly the right place to do this kind of work.
And this work, the CEO is quick to insist, matters.
“There’s a lot of ethos behind what we’re doing,” McCarty said. “We’re very passionate about why legalization is important. Part of it is that [in California] it’s your right. The other is that we want to disrupt the illegal activity that’s happening in this space and channel those tax dollars into things like schools, books, education — things that we all see a need for.”
“It’s about making change, positive change,” he added.