Odava, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that provides software tools for the cannabis industry, has raised $170,000, according to a recent SEC filing. Odava is seeking an additional $130,000 as part of this seed round.
Odava’s enterprise platform includes a point-of-sale system and other tools to help marijuana dispensaries track their business and comply with local laws. The company was approved as a certified Cannabis Tracking System by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on Monday. The state requires recreational cannabis retailers to record their activity and software, like Odava’s, enables them to do so.
The certification and funding will help Odava expand its presence in Oregon and grow its team.
“We’re focused here now but we definitely have national and international designs on what we want to do with the business,” said Odava co-founder Scott Kveton in an interview with GeekWire today.
Before Odava, Kveton served as CEO of Portland push notifications company Urban Airship. He landed in hot water in 2014 when a former girlfriend accused him of sexual assault. Their complicated relationship made headlines and ignited a debate about gender equality and harassment tech. Charges were not filed against Kveton and he reached a civil settlement with the woman in question.
Odava’s co-founder, Steven Osborn, also founded Urban Airship with Kveton. They say they saw an opportunity to get into the fledgling cannabis industry in its early days.
“The marijuana market is the fastest-growing market in the U.S. right now so my co-founder and I decided to raise a little money to try to accelerate what we’re doing,” said Kveton. “We’ve been funding this ourselves for the last eight, nine months. This felt like the time to step on the gas a little bit.”
Private angel investors throughout the U.S. participated in the seed round, according to Kveton. He says Odava plans to remain competitive in the crowded point-of-sale space by providing a complete set of tools specific to the cannabis industry.
“You have 90 percent of the consumers that are coming to the space in the next two to five years having consumed illicitly for god knows how long,” he said. “So they’re coming to this market with little or no knowledge. This isn’t like prohibition being lifted where people knew what beer or gin or vodka was. This is a much different beast and so what we’re trying to do is build a set of solutions that help connect consumers with the next Sierra Nevada, the next Deschutes Brewery, the next 10 Barrel of marijuana because those brands are going to happen.”