WEEDAR, a distribution ecosystem that mixes augmented reality (AR) – powered shopping and loyalty programs for cannabis brands, raised $1.5 million in a seed round.
This funding was led by an anonymous private investor, bringing the company’s total fundraising to $2.3 million. The company plans to use these funds to expand and improve the existing feature set, and scale marketing.
“Cannabis users may be interested in Augmented Reality (AR) because it offers a unique and immersive experience that enhances the overall enjoyment of cannabis use,” Jonathan Bohun, founder, and CEO of WEEDAR told Benzinga. “AR technology allows users to interact with virtual objects and environments in a way that feels real and can provide an enhanced sense of presence. This can make the experience of using cannabis more enjoyable and engaging, and can also provide a new way to explore the effects of cannabis on perception”
Bohun further added that AR can be utilized in a way that promotes and enhances the educational and informative aspects of marijuana use, like offering details on various strains, their effects, new findings, and suggestions on how to use cannabis safely and responsibly.
Rewards: NFTs & Points
With WEEDAR customers can buy their favorite brands in 3D augmented reality, as opposed to generic product catalogs, get access to exclusive product drops created in collaboration with trendy artists, and receive NFTs for their purchases. In this way, buyers can later on trade or resell the NFTs, which makes WEEDAR probably the only platform where consumers can make money buying weed.
“In addition to traditional cannabis products, the platform offers limited-edition collaborations between leading cannabis brands and artists who want to make their mark in the cannabis field,” Bohun said. “With each purchase, users receive a free non-fungible token (NFT) as a certificate of authenticity that can be used as part of a unique loyalty program designed by WEEDAR and industry leaders. As the value of NFTs increases through the platform's buyback program and customers using the perks, new perks will be introduced every quarter that will require the rarest NFTs, which can be acquired from other users on the secondary market.”
Platform users also have the option to engage in gamified in-app experiences and collect points for each win. These points are stored in a virtual Stash Box and can be exchanged for discounts and merchandise, such as exclusive customized bongs or grinders.
What about marijuana brands?
Loyalty Programs & Sales Analytics
In addition to the new way of marketing their products with WEEDAR market brands can create customizable loyalty programs for their consumers, generating more sales, driving customer loyalty, and boosting retention rates. There is also an option for a white-label solution with a fully customizes app, and brands can get access to advanced sales analytics.
According to Bohun, even though cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., the marketing aspect seems to be stuck in the 90s. Most of the brands are relying on the old-school points program, which is outdated, boring, and ties clients to one point of sale. WEEDAR is offering a way to change this - “to create a unified loyalty platform, enabling consumers to get the most out of shopping with their favorite brands anywhere and any time.”
At the moment, the company is only operating in California, in partnership with 12 delivery hubs, serving more than 700 items. It has plans to expand to Washington, New York, Florida, and Michigan in 2023. It has signed a deal with The Cure Company and Kushstock Festival.
“The first artist to join the platform is Junkyard, whose art reflects the American dream viewed from a different perspective,” Bohun told Benzinga. “Currently based in California, the artist was born in South Africa and spent a significant portion of his life in Chicago, where he was deeply entrenched in the city's underground culture.”
Photos: Courtesy of WEEDAR
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
BENZINGA CANNABIS CONFERENCE
Meet the biggest cannabis industry players and make deals that will push the industry forward.
Featuring live company presentations, insider panels, and unmatched access to networking, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is where cannabis executives and entrepreneurs meet.
Join us April 11-12, 2023 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach in sunny Florida.