Seattle-area financial tech company POSaBIT is raising a fresh round of funding to make it easier for cannabis companies and other cash-based businesses to process debit card payments.
POSaBit builds blockchain-based point-of-sale (POS) terminals and other payment solutions to help businesses where traditional credit and debit card transactions are limited or prohibited, and it raised $2.1 million as part of an ongoing funding round that has not closed. The company will use the funds to expand into more states and build out its sales and marketing operations, according to a spokesperson.
The company also recently unveiled a new mobile payments device, expanding on POSaBIT’s inventory of point-of-sale gadgets. Marijuana delivery is a growing trend within the cannabis industry and the new device is meant to be used by drivers, giving them the ability to quickly scan IDs, process purchases and print receipts.
“Delivery is one of the fastest growing segments of the cannabis industry and an area that many dispensaries are moving toward,” POSaBIT CEO and co-founder Ryan Hamlin said in a statement. “Our fully compliant solution allows businesses to feature a state-of-the-art retail customer experience for both in-store and delivery, while also providing in-depth business analytics and increased revenues for businesses.”
Despite the growing wave of marijuana legalization across the U.S., both for medical and recreational use, the federal government still considers it an illegal, Schedule I drug. Many marijuana startups — though compliant with state law — still aren’t able to use traditional banking services.
That’s where POSaBIT wants to make a difference. The 30-person company offers a “proprietary crypto-based debit solution” that allows customers at all-cash businesses like marijuana stores and dispensaries to quickly acquire cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Litecoin via traditional debit card transactions and either use it to purchase products on-site or take it elsewhere.
Hamlin spent 16 years at Microsoft, and he also founded event planning startup PlaceFull. Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder John Baugher worked with Hamlin at PlaceFull. Also on the board is Jeff Dossett, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Impinj, and Paul Fiore, founder of DoubleBeam Inc., a California company specializing in payment processing for hospitals that POSaBit acquired in 2018.
POSaBIT spun out of PlaceFull. Though its head office is in Kirkland, Wash., POSaBIT debuted on the Canadian Stock Exchange in April via a reverse takeover, an alternative way of going public without an IPO, of publicly traded Foreshore Exploration Partners Corp.