Cannabis marketing platform Surfside raises £2.9 million

Someone weighing cannabis.
Cannabis marketing platform Surfside raises £2.9 million
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Surfside, an end-to-end marketing platform that turns first party customer data into personalised marketing for the cannabis industry, has raised $4 million (£2.9m) in Seed funding. 

Casa Verde led the round and Karan Wadhera, the firm’s managing partner, will join Surfside’s board of directors.

Surfside launched at the beginning of 2019 to help cannabis brands and dispensaries reach customers by delivering advertisements across connected devices. The technology is the only purpose-built engine to enable privacy-safe data onboarding and management of customer first-party data, allowing advertisers to build audiences based on their existing customers, tap into Surfside’s customer graph of cannabis consumers, and tie all marketing back to in-store sales, online sales and other conversion metrics like store visitation.

Personalised and effective

Providing an upgrade to existing technologies, the marketing suite combines the intelligence and insight capabilities of a customer data platform with the actionable layer of a demand side platform. In turn, Surfisde says this brings new efficiencies to how customer data can be activated and measured to drive personalised and effective marketing.

According to company, its unique understanding of the cannabis consumer (purchase behavior, lifestyle, etc.), enables companies to target and influence in-market cannabis consumers based on their buying habits and near-market consumers based on their likely product and store preferences.

Wadhera said: “We’ve spent quite a bit of time assessing marketing and data opportunities in cannabis, given it’s such a pain point for businesses in our industry.

“We chose Surfside based on their robust technology offering, experienced team, and the stellar performance they provide to customers. Casa Verde is excited to participate in the strategic evolution of the Surfside platform.” 

The past 12 months have brought on explosive growth for the company, with almost 1,000 dispensaries and more than 100 brands using Surfside’s technology. The offering has also expanded to support the majority of point-of-sale, CRM, e-commerce, delivery and other customer-focused integrations for the purpose of data onboarding and sales attribution. The recent release of the Clean Room data source makes it possible for clients to securely handle data onboarding without compromising user privacy, through an intuitive interface and client side-encryption that ensures data is onboarded without ever sharing raw attributes, something unprecedented in the cannabis space.

Michael Blanche, co-founder of Surfside, said: “We are focused on building the leading privacy-safe solution to unify customer data across marketing and customer-centric touchpoints, allowing clients to solve the challenges of customer acquisition and user retention across tightly regulated industries such as cannabis.

“With this investment from Casa Verde, we’ll be able to significantly grow headcount, offer new services and accelerate product development.”

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