Akerna announces eCommerce platform, Akerna Connect, enabling cannabis dispensaries to offer online ordering, loyalty programs, and text messaging
Akerna Connect will allow dispensaries to develop strategic digital marketing campaigns that increase awareness, traffic, and sales

DENVER, Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN), an enterprise software, leading compliance technology provider, and developer of the cannabis industry's first seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) software technology (MJ Platform®), announced a new offering, Akerna Connect. Akerna Connect is an eCommerce software which provides a suite of digital marketing tools to retailers and dispensaries so locations can reach their consumers and enhance the shopping experience through online ordering, loyalty programs, and text messaging.

"Akerna Connect allows dispensaries to convert more sales, increase customer engagement and remain competitive."

Through Akerna Connect, dispensaries can reach consumers digitally when they are not in store. The platform allows the dispensary to design custom campaigns with interactive content and personalized messaging to attract customers back in the store, drive traffic to their online menu, and further engage their target audiences.

If a consumer is shopping at a dispensary that runs Akerna Connect, they can now order their cannabis products online via the retailer's website, which will display the dispensaries branding while running Akerna Connect on the backend. In addition, consumers can opt-in for loyalty programs and text message alerts.

While Akerna's MJ Retail POS system helps budtenders and managers run a smooth in-store experience, Akerna Connect helps them reach their consumers when they are not in-store and allows the cannabis consumer to have a seamless eCommerce ordering experience, keep up to date with store promotions, and communicate with staff.

"Akerna Connect allows dispensaries to convert more sales, increase customer engagement and remain competitive," says Jessica Billingsley, Chief Executive Officer of Akerna. "This new product continues to bolster our portfolio of technologies built for the cannabis industry, and we are proud to offer the most comprehensive ERP system in the industry. Through our ecosystem, cannabis businesses can manage, strategize, report on, and plan every facet of their business and supply chain."

Over a dozen cannabis businesses are successfully running the software, which was built to serve the industry's unique regulatory and compliance needs.

"The tools that Akerna Connect provides our dispensary are game changing. Akerna Connect is a central component of our marketing strategy that drives our foot traffic daily. We trust that our text messages and promos reach our customers' phones when and how we expect them to, and the ecommerce tools help us provide a continuous brand experience after the customer leaves our building," said Natalia Rivera, President of Emerald Cannabis Wellness Center.

Cannabis businesses interested in learning more about Akerna Connect and the Akerna ecosystem can set up a demo here.

About Akerna

Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is an enterprise software company focused on compliantly serving the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries. Based in Denver, Colorado, the Company's mission is to create the world's most transparent and accountable supply chain by building a cannabis technology ecosystem connecting data points across the global cannabis supply chain from seed to sale to self. First launched in 2010, Akerna has tracked more than $20 billion in cannabis sales to date and was the first cannabis software company listed on Nasdaq.

Using connected data and information to propel the cannabis industry forward, Akerna empowers businesses, governments, patients, and consumers to make smart decisions. The Company's cornerstone technology, MJ Platform, the world's leading infrastructure as a service platform, powers retailers, manufacturers, brands, distributors, and cultivators. Akerna also offers a complete suite of professional consulting services and data analytics for businesses as well as solo sciences, MJ Freeway, Leaf Data Systems, Trellis, Ample Organics and Viridian Sciences.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made in this release and any accompanying statements by management are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words "estimates," "projected," "expects," "anticipates," "forecasts," "plans," "intends," "believes," "seeks," "may," "will," "should," "future," "propose" and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements regarding Akerna Connect potential ability to permit dispensaries to convert more sales, increase customer engagement and remain competitive, Akerna's future business plans, Akerna's potential business strengths in the market and any other statements expressing the views of Akerna's management on future business results or strategy. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside Akerna's control, that could cause actual results or outcomes (including, without limitation, the results of Akerna's contracts, strategic initiatives, and business plans as described herein) to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others that may affect actual results or outcomes, include (i) Akerna's ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of being a public company, (ii) competition, (iii) Akerna's ability to grow and manage growth profitably, (iv) Akerna's ability to maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees, (v) costs related to being a public company, (vi) changes in applicable laws or regulations, (vii) Akerna's ability to identify, complete and integrate acquisitions, including Viridian, and achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in connection with acquired businesses, (viii) and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in Akerna's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including those under "Risk Factors" therein. Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially, and potentially adversely, from any projections and forward-looking statements and the assumptions on which those vary from forward-looking statements are based. There can be no assurance that the data contained herein is reflective of future performance to any degree. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a predictor of future performance as projected financial and other information, are based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to various significant risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Akerna's control. All information herein speaks only as of the date hereof, in the case of information about Akerna, or the date of such information, in the case of information from persons other than Akerna. Akerna undertakes no duty to update or revise the information contained herein. Forecasts and estimates regarding Akerna's industry and end markets are based on sources believed to be reliable; however, there can be no assurance these forecasts and estimates will prove accurate in whole or in part.

 

SOURCE Akerna

For further information: Georgia Jablon, 904-305-6454, georgia.jablon@akerna.com

Jessica Billingsley

Akerna

Jessica Billingsley serves as Akerna’s Chief Executive Officer. In June 2019 she became the first CEO of a cannabis ancillary company to be listed on Nasdaq. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as the CEO until MJ Freeway was acquired by MTech to form Akerna. In 2015, she was named as one of Fortune’s Most Promising Female Entrepreneurs, in 2018, she was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders, and in 2019, she was named to Entrepreneur’s inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women.

Prior to MJ Freeway, Jessica earned her degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and later became CEO and founder of Zoco, a technology services firm with clients across the United States. With 20 years of technology and systems experience in rapidly scaling businesses, Jessica is a highly regarded executive in both the tech and cannabis space.

Ray Thompson

Chief Operating Officer

Ray Thompson is the Chief Operations Officer at MJ Freeway. He has 15+ years of corporate management experience including operations, sales, and talent management. From 2008 to 2016, Ray served as the Senior Vice President of VisionLink, a multiagency humanitarian software platform. From 2016-2018, Ray was Head of Customer and Sales Operations at Gloo, a people development platform. With 20+ experience in software systems, Ray specializes in the meeting the unique needs of high growth technology companies and helping them scale.

Ruth Ann Kraemer

Chief Financial Officer

Ruth Ann leads MJF’s financial operations. From 2012 to 2018, she served as CFO of Tempo Financial Holdings, Tempo Financial US Corp, and Unidos Financial Services, subsidiaries of Catalina Acquisitions. From 2010 to 2012, she worked for Linc Energy Operations as Divisional CFO. Prior to that, Ruth Ann was CFO for Allegro Multimedia, and has held various financial roles throughout her career. She was certified as a CPA in 1985.

Mark D. Iwanowski

Global Visions-SV, Inc.

Mark D. Iwanowski is the Founder, CEO and President of Global Visions-SV, Inc. He was previously a Managing Director with Trident Capital, Cleantech and served as Senior Vice Presential Global IT and CIO for Oracle Corporation. Mark also held executive positions with Raytheon and was principal at three successful startups—Applied Remote Technology, Quantum Magnetics, and Neohapsis. He earned his MBA from National University and California Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Emery Huang

Batu Capital

Emery Huang is senior partner at Batu Capital, which is a multi-family office managed by Emery and Evan Huang. Batu looks for opportunities in cryptocurrency, cannabis, and big data that constitute either game-changing technologies or are late-stage/pre-IPO enterprises that have built wide economic moats. Prior to Batu, Emery was senior partner at Titan Capital.

Matt Kane

Green Shades Software

Matt Kane is the Co-Founder, Board Member, and former Co-CEO from 2005-2019 of Greenshades Software. He is also a Co-Founder and Board Member of Welltality, where he served as CEO from 2014-2018. Matt’s background is in building, growing and scaling software companies. He has been a member of the MJ Freeway Board of Directors since 2015 and earned his MBA from Warrington College of Business at University of Florida and B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Jacksonville University.

Roger McNamee

Elevation Partners

Roger McNamee co-founded Elevation, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology. In 1999, he co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. He notably was a key early investor in Facebook, and he released his insights on the social media site in a new book called “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” published by Penguin Random House.

Tahira Rehmatullah

MTech

Tahira Rehmatullah is President of T3 Ventures, Partner of Big Tent Ventures, and member of the board of directors for Akerna Corp. Tahira has previously held positions at Hypur Ventures, MTech Acquisition Corp., Marley Natural, Privateer Holdings, City First Enterprises, Perry Capital, and Ernst & Young. She is an investor and advisor to numerous cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs, including the advisory board of The Initiative and the Last Prisoner Project, and is dedicated to developing female and minority leadership in the industry. Tahira earned her MBA from the Yale School of Management and BS. in Finance from The Ohio State University. She resides in New York City.

Alex Shah

solo*sciences

Ashesh “Alex” Shah is the founder and CEO of solo*sciences, a leading anti-counterfeiting and supply chain validation company. Mr. Shah founded The London Fund in 2002 and continues to serve on its investment committee. In June 2018, Mr. Shah was appointed Special Advisor to the CEO of Eaze Technologies, Inc., a position which he continues to serve. Mr. Shah is also currently on the board of directors of RevolutionWear, Inc. and EdCast. Mr. Shah’s has 28 years of experience building, integrating, and leading technology-focused companies from concept to an initial public offering and has led successful exits across a range of sectors including: loyalty; category management; data analytics; high-performance computing; payment processing; human resources technology; consumer packaged goods; artificial intelligence and fashion. Mr. Shah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Williams College.

Scott Sozio

Akerna

Scott Sozio serves as Head of Corporate Development for Akerna. He was the CEO of MTech Acquisition Corp., a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company that merged with MJ Freeway to create Akerna. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, a cannabis-focused venture fund and a Partner at Van Dyke Holdings, a family office investment firm. Scott is Director of Hypur Inc., a banking compliance technology business, and Director of Simplifya Holdings, LLC, a cannabis compliance technology business. He received his B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University.