The Global Lockdown of 2020 Has Changed the Way Consumers are Buying Pot – and Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) is Seeing Exponential Growth
While the global lockdown of 2020 has caused unprecedented disruption to countless businesses — the most heavily impacted being those that operate in a brick-and-mortar model — e-commerce businesses and companies that have pivoted to become online-only are set up to not only survive through the lockdown, but to thrive in the years to come.
While we have seen long-established brick and mortar businesses such as Neiman Marcus, Hertz, JCPenney, and Brooks Brothers declare bankruptcy in the face of the lockdown, online-only businesses that are making goods and services easily available to customers who are stuck at home have recorded record-breaking revenues during the lockdown. All you have to do is look at the stock price of companies like Amazon (up 84% YTD), Zoom (up 340% YTD), Netflix (up 62% YTD), and PayPal (up 89% YTD)1 to see that online-only is the way forward.
The Numbers Don’t Lie: Consumers are Buying More Pot
The health crisis may have put airlines and restaurants in jeopardy, but it has seriously helped the weed industry. As you can see from the chart above,2 pot sales have seen some significant spikes over the last few months, which is likely due to provincial governments in Canada designating pot dispensaries as an “essential business” and allowing them to remain open during lockdowns.
Overall, pot sales rose sharply early in the lockdown, reaching all-time highs nationwide, as consumers were eager to stockpile weed in the same way they were hoarding toilet paper and canned goods. In fact, the province of Ontario reported that online pot sales increased by as much as 600% at the beginning of March.3
But interestingly, as the lockdown persisted, pot sales continued to rise. What changed? Put simply: consumer spending habits. Overall, data has shown people have not only been buying more weed during quarantine, they’ve also been spending less per unit price — in other words, they’ve been buying in bulk. This could be a reflection of consumers’ concerns about long-term job security in the wake of the current health crisis.
The Demand for Pot Has Gone Digital
In other lockdown trends, more people have started buying their weed online. Not surprisingly, despite pot shops remaining open, customers are now more likely to shop for and purchase their weed online, saving them the hassle of long lines and potential exposure to the virus. In this market — where people are buying more weed more often and shopping online is the preferred method of purchase — it’s e-commerce platforms rather than pot brands themselves that will fare the strongest.
Why? It all comes down to margins. Many weed companies are focused on the production and cultivation of weed and weed products. This is a race to the bottom as prices erode due to increasing competition and margins are squeezed due to heavy overhead costs associated with running and maintaining cultivation facilities. Companies keeping their overheads low while increasing sales volume are seeing huge growth – not just in revenue, but also in margins.
The Undervalued E-Commerce Pot Platform That’s Seeing Explosive Growth
One undervalued company disrupting the market with an end-to-end online pot marketplace is Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF), which has billed itself as your everything weed store. The Canadian company is the online marketplace for all things pot, operating as a “one-stop-shop” for both medical and recreational customers’ weed needs through their highly sophisticated e-commerce platform, CannMart.
Namaste Technologies has a suite of proprietary products that help its customers go from a remote medical consultation via their subsidiary NamasteMD, to being able to purchase products and accessories through their leading online platform, CannMart. CannMart.com provides customers with a diverse selection of hand-picked products from a wide variety of federally-licensed producers, all on one convenient site. Impressively, orders are delivered within 2-3 business days in most provinces, and within 24 hours in the Greater Toronto Area. In short, Namaste Technologies allows customers to determine which strains and products are right for them, compare prices, products, and brands, and purchase their orders for delivery – all in one platform, and all without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Successful companies tend to possess common traits, and one of those traits is a strong management team. Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) certainly has that ground covered. Branden Spikes is the Chairman of Namaste Technologies, bringing his wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience from previously working as the CIO for Elon Musk at Zip2, PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX.
Under his stewardship, Namaste Technologies has refined their vision and renewed their management team, which is led by CEO Meni Morim. Mr. Morim personally owns over 3 million shares and has surrounded himself with a strong and diverse team that has previously worked with some of the most globally recognizable brands such as Under Armour, Cisco, and Amazon.
With years of research and development costs, Namaste Technologies’ investment into their software stack has laid the foundation for generational growth. As evidenced by their recent financial results, Namaste Technologies announced a record quarter with over $6.9 million dollars in net revenue or about an 73% increase from the same period in the prior year. CannMart’s revenue increased by approximately 1500% in Q2 to over $2.3 million compared to Q2 last year.4
Namaste Technologies is in its infancy and is showing early signs of what could potentially be the next big stock many investors can only dream about.
This is a technology company, with a pristine balance sheet that has no debt, and approximately $15.5 million dollars in cash as of July 31, 2020. With roughly $80M market cap, a strong working capital position and newly accelerating revenues, the stock is a perfect setup. The stock is forming a triple bottom, and as new investors start to learn about their growing fundamentals, we think it creates one of the best risk to reward scenarios on the entire market.
A Superior Technology Stock That’s Driving Additional Growth
With the viral outbreak experiencing a resurgence around the globe, demand for pot has spiked amidst the lockdown partly due to people looking for alternative anxiety and stress relief. Even though pot stores have been deemed an essential service, customers who don’t want to wait in line-ups are turning to online marketplaces to buy their products.
“Customers are spending an average of $135 dollars per order on the CannMart platform, versus in-store averages of $50 dollars per order.”5
Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) has perfectly positioned its business model to thrive in this environment, as their suite of technologies gives them a first-mover advantage over the competition. Namaste Technologies is achieving a network effect as they capture customer data to deliver accurate and relevant products to customers in real-time, creating a stronger customer experience that, in return, has more brands and Licensed Producers wanting to sell their products on CannMart.
The reason is simple: customers are spending an average of $135 dollars per order on the CannMart platform, versus the average $50 dollars in store.6 That’s a remarkable difference that is driving huge revenue growth for the company while also attracting attention from premium brands and licensed producers who want to sell on the CannMart platform.
But it gets better. Because many cultivators aren’t licensed to sell their products directly to consumers beyond any farmgate store or to provincial bodies without a costly amendment to their license, they are turning to e-commerce/omni-distribution platforms such as CannMart in order to sell their products to more customers. Meanwhile, government regulator Health Canada has granted CannMart, Namaste’s subsidiary, the ability to package, process, and sell cultivators’ products, creating additional revenue streams for Namaste.
These factors are accelerating Namaste Technologies’ growth, as more premium brands are selling their products on the CannMart online marketplace, including Phyto Extractions, Beleave, GTEC, and Fleurish. CannMart is increasing its roster of available products, offering its customers a better user experience. Meanwhile, this cross-selling only maximizes CannMart’s sales and increases its revenues.
The numbers for Namaste Technologies are staggering: as the company’s retail distribution network has grown, pot revenues have skyrocketed 1500% in Q2 2020 over the same period last year.
Timing couldn’t be better, as Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) is experiencing hyper-growth for its e-commerce business segment, yet it is generally misunderstood by the market as a weed company. In reality, it’s a burgeoning technology company with practically unlimited scalability. Namaste may, in fact, be one of the most undervalued technology companies out there. You can see in the table below, its Market Capitalization over quarterly revenue ratio is significantly less than its peers that are trading at billion dollar valuations.
With no debt and an extremely scalable business model, Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) is perfectly positioned for exponential growth. Backed by a seasoned management and board with global brand experience, Namaste could become a multi-billion dollar company. If sales continue to grow at the same rate, or even accelerate, it would deserve a higher sales multiple — and the numbers showcase how undervalued Namaste Technologies is.
- Namaste Debuts “VendorLink” Cannabis Accessory Marketplace Platform
- Namaste Announces Agreement with Lifted Innovations
- Namaste Announces Mailing and Posting of 2020 Annual General Meeting Materials
- Namaste Announces the Addition of Indiva Products to CannMart
- Namaste Files Preliminary Base Shelf Prospectus
A Growing Telemedicine Business – For Free
Despite its surging e-commerce business segment, which would be reason enough to invest in Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF), it should also be highlighted that the company has a growing telemedicine platform.
As they say, timing is everything and Namaste’s telemedicine platform couldn’t be more appropriately suited to benefit from the global health crisis.
NamasteMD is a platform that aids patients throughout their medical pot journey. It allows for patients to have a remote medical consultation with a licensed healthcare practitioner. At the end of the consultation, if the patient is approved, they are provided with a medical pot authorization document and information on pot.
The platform is easily accessible for global patients where both registration and consultation are completed through the NamasteMD app. By accessing NamasteMD through iOS or Android, as well as the web, Namaste Technologies has already provided 47,000 Canadians with weed authorization through this platform.
Telemedicine might be one of the hottest topics around the planet as the global health crisis has forced patients to seek alternative options with brick and mortar choices slammed shut. Frost & Sullivan forecasts a sevenfold growth in telehealth by 2025 – a five-year compound annual growth rate of 38.2%.7
Namaste Technologies has already validated their platform and has a massive jumpstart on the competition. While current investors are focused on the growth of CannMart, NamasteMD could be another driving force for future revenues, as it easily converts individuals from prospective patients to customers, all as part of the online customer experience.
As the telemedicine segment continues to grow, even more rapidly now due to CV19, based on the current valuation of Namaste Technologies, investors are getting this call option absolutely free. It’s created a scenario where investors have massive upside, and less downside as they essentially own multiple businesses.
Management/Board of Directors
Meni Morim – Chief Executive Officer and Director Mr. Morim previously served as Namaste’s Chief Product Officer and Director of Artificial Intelligence starting in May 2018, when Namaste Technologies (TSXV:N) (OTC:NXTTF) acquired Findify AB, a company he co-founded and led as CEO, until his appointment as interim CEO, followed by his appointment as CEO of the Company. Mr. Morim has over 17 years of software development experience working in telecommunications, payments, and e-commerce.
Faraaz Jamal – Chief Operating Officer Mr. Jamal has over 13 years of experience in formulating data-driven strategies spanning e-commerce, marketing, and supply chain management. At Bulletproof 360, Mr. Jamal shifted the marketing and sales departments to a custom multi-touch attribution model. Prior to Namaste, Mr. Jamal had experience with major brands such as Under Armour and Intiveo, leading teams of data-driven marketers across North America and Europe, driving business results through data, MarTech, and innovation.
Baran Dilavar – Mr. Dilaver is an entrepreneur, creator, and accomplished executive. Mr. Dilaver’s previous venture, Firefly Vapor, where he served as the COO and CMO, was sold to a larger company and the ensuing company went public in early 2019. Mr. Dilaver helped facilitate one of the largest Series A capital raises in weed, US$35M for Mile High Labs, and co-founded FutureScape LLC, a technology focused product design and branding firm. Mr. Dilaver is a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as Tech Open Air Berlin, Brand Week, European Communications Summit, and CannaTech.
Laurens Feenstra – Mr. Feenstra is currently the CTO at Wavepaths Ltd and the Founder of Lighthouse Labs. Previously, he was a Product Manager for Google’s Waymo self-driving car project. At Waymo, Mr. Feenstra championed out of the box thinking with his colleagues who include some of the most forward-thinking AI experts in the world. His goal was to make self-driving cars available to the masses and reduce traffic accidents by remarkable margins. Prior to Waymo, Mr. Feenstra worked on some of Google’s most well-known products such as Chromebook and Android. Mr. Feenstra was a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and is the co-founder and organizer of a Burning Man camp called Never Sleep Again.
Branden Spikes – Mr. Spikes spent twenty years designing and building high performance, highly secure IT systems. Most of that time was as CIO for Elon Musk at Zip2, PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX where he helped pioneer, architect, and build some extraordinary technology. He then founded and exited a cybersecurity product startup in the Silicon Valley creating some of the most secure technology for accessing the web. Today, he is a 50 technology evangelist, investor, board member, and is the head of IT for Astra, a new rocket startup company in Silicon Valley.
Andrew Wilczynski – Mr. Wilczynski is a highly seasoned senior business leader with extensive experience with a wide range of organizations, including start-ups and multinational corporations. He has advised on and led significant national, cross-border, and international financial and operational restructurings and reorganizations across a broad spectrum of industry sectors. This includes development and implementation of growth strategies, including capital raising, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and refinancing initiatives. Mr. Wilczynski was a partner in PwC’s deals practice for 20 years. Since retiring in 2011, Mr. Wilczynski has continued advising corporate clients and their boards of directors, as well as serving on various boards of directors.
Growing revenues – 1,500% growth in pot products revenue year over year
With millions of dollars invested in technology development, Namaste has been misunderstood as a weed company, but is really a technology company
In line with current digital trends: 50% of consumers use marketplace to conduct their online transactions8
Unique Value Proposition: the company has and continues to develop its end-to-end solution for consumers and suppliers to purchase and sell weed products
Since the viral outbreak, the public has transitioned to buying online, and with the growth of telemedicine platforms, NamasteMD is well placed
Board is led by top minds in AI customer interaction, and top tech innovation contributors with records, including Google Android and SpaceX
Unique artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are used to accelerate sales