MassRoots – a social app for cannabis users – gains $475K in follow-up funding

by Meghan Mahar
April 3, 2014

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Whether you enjoy pot or not, there’s no denying the marijuana industry is proving to be lucrative. After Colorado legalized recreational cannabis, the state brought in more than $3.5 million in tax revenue from pot sales in the first month. For private companies in the same industry, this means great things, especially for the Denver-based software company MassRoots, Inc. They launched an app for cannabis users in July 2013 and closed a deal with Dutchess Opportunity Fund II for $475,000 in funding this past week. This comes less than three months after their initial $150,000 in seed funding from ArcView Group. 

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MassRoots is a social networking app available in both the iOS App Store and Android Marketplace. It was an idea dreamt up and founded by Isaac Dietrich and Tyler Knight, two twenty-somethings with great business sense and a knack for what’s in. Users of the app can post pictures and comment on all things marijuana while staying outside the realm of Facebook and Twitter. To enter the app, users only need a username and password. Users use it as a way to connect with other cannabis users – a community that’s booming.

Since January, their user base has grown by 320% in three months (25,000 active users to 80,000). The app is also averaging 50,000 daily opens and has had 14 million interactions between users since launching last July. The exponential growth is astounding. 

According to co-founder Isaac Dietrich, it has grown organically. "Our main distribution channels are Instagram and Twitter -- people who are already posting about cannabis online but are looking for an App and community entirely dedicated to marijuana. Its grown almost entirely organically, friends telling their smoking buddies to join," said Dietrich.
 
The secret to this app’s success is how the founders have leveraged the hottest trends. "By creating the largest and fastest growing online community of cannabis consumers, MassRoots is establishing a valuable marketing and distribution channel for legalized cannabis and its ancillary products. As a result, MassRoots can fully integrate two of the fastest growing industries in the world; legalized cannabis and mobile technology,” MassRoots co-founder Dietrich said in an article on BusinessWire.
 
Douglas Leighton, the Managing Partner of Dutchess Capital, agreed. “With the rising popularity of private social networks coupled with the momentum in the legalization of cannabis, we believe MassRoots is firmly positioned to establish itself as the `go-to' mobile community for legalized cannabis users,” Leighton said in the same article. And if the trends continue, that $475,000 will be a great investment.

So what do they plan to do with all this new funding? 

"We've noticed one of the main uses of MassRoots is finding smoking buddies or dates based around cannabis, so the main features we're building out now is sort-of a "tinder for cannabis" where users can find fellow cannabis consumers based on similar interests. We're also working on integrating video."

It’ll be interesting to see how this app matures alongside this young marijuana industry, along with the founders who are all in their early twenties.

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