Cannabis logistics platform Wayv officially launched its Dynamic Distribution network on Thursday, in an attempt to use tech to ease the many "friction points" in the complicated world of business-to-business cannabis logistics.
"[In cannabis] there is no Coca-Cola and there is no Starbucks. These are all very fragmented companies that are trying to work to solve the problems as new regulatory models, as new requirements come about," said Keith McCarty, CEO and founder of Wayv. "We saw the opportunity and the opportunity is to deliver a product faster, just in time, and to really leverage and centralize that process."
Wayv's Dynamic Delivery platform seeks to streamline cannabis logistics by uniting businesses, brands, and logistics providers within the same platform and helping them navigate the many complicated regulations that govern cannabis on the local, state, and federal levels. The data Wayv collects throughout its distribution network is key to the whole operation. McCarty said the data will help Wayv, which he called the "Switzerland ... that connects retailers to brands," continue to identify pain points in the industry, as well as providing its partners with information they can use to make strategic decisions.
"We've essentially provided a logistics solution to the entire industry, whether you're a provider, or utilizing first- and third-party distribution. So there's a smart, algorithmic method to deliver the best experience both for brands and retailers," McCarty said.
Wayv has been up and running for about a year since landing $5 million in seed funding, led by David Sacks' Craft Ventures, which boasts a portfolio that includes companies like SpaceX and Bird. Sacks and McCarty were colleagues at enterprise communication platform Yammer, which Sacks founded and Microsoft eventually acquired.
Although Wayv was Craft Ventures' first cannabis investment, it wasn't McCarty's first dabble into cannabis tech. He co-founded cannabis delivery platform Eaze to assist with business-to-consumer delivery, and said he's still one of the largest private shareholders in the company. McCarty left Eaze in 2016 and founded Wayv to address business-to-business delivery. A Silicon Valley veteran, McCarty said he thinks players from tech are uniquely suited for the cannabis industry, in part because they have faced similarly challenging circumstances ー and survived.
"It takes a certain type of person to endure all the different aspects of what this is going to become, but what you get left with are the smartest people, the hardest working people, the people with the strongest ethos," he said. "I would bet on the people that have tried and true, delivered, and endured a lot of those [ups and downs]."