Cannabis marketplace Wikileaf is preparing to go public subsequent week.
The Seattle-primarily based startup will develop into one particular of just a handful of cannabis stocks when it is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE). Wikileaf, which presents consumers price tag comparisons on neighborhood medicinal and recreational marijuana, will not go via a conventional IPO. Rather, the firm will go public via a reverse takeover, or RTO, through a merger with investment firm Kona Capital.
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“This public listing marks a substantial milestone for each Wikileaf and the market as a complete,” founder and CEO Dan Nelson told Observer. He went on to note that tech businesses “are a vastly underrepresented asset inside the publicly-traded cannabis sector,” which tends to make Wikileaf’s public debut a trailblazer for comparable startups. “Wikileaf will be in a position to deliver investors with worth outdoors of conventional licensed producers.”
The move will deliver the firm with $six.eight million CAD ($five.1 million USD) “to additional develop out the platform and make crucial strategic hires.” The figure will comply with the $six.eight million CAD funding round Wikileaf closed in May perhaps.
As the legal cannabis market grows thanks to legalization efforts, the international market is anticipated to hit $66.three billion by the finish of 2025, with up-and-coming businesses all hoping for their personal piece of that pie.
Wikileaf at the moment hosts additional than three,800 listings, consisting of legal recreational dispensaries, healthcare dispensaries and cannabis brands from across the U.S. and Canada. Earlier this year, the firm launched updated versions of its internet and app platforms.
Following the public debut, Nelson mentioned Wikileaf will expand operations in the U.S, which includes the opening of satellite offices in “areas with higher dispensary densities” like Southern California, as effectively as emerging markets like Oklahoma. Nelson went on to say that the firm will also be adding new solution pages in the coming months, enabling buyers to discover their preferred cannabis merchandise in nearby dispensaries.
Final month, the firm joined Weemaps in banning unlicensed firms from its platform, shortly ahead of announcing its RTO. Following complaints from state-regulated firms, Wikileaf agreed to take down the black marketplace players that had been straight competing for consumers on its web-site.
Nelson mentioned that, at the time, it was the preparation for Wikileaf’s CSE debut, along with cannabis partners’ issues, which prompted the firm “to pull the trigger” and de-list illegitimate dispensaries.