I am delighted to announce that on, July 7, 2020, SMRT1 Technologies launched its Seed Round B investment series open to the public. You can find our campaign by clicking here. We have partnered with FrontFundr to execute this campaign. In my most recent LinkedIn post, I talk about why we chose crowdfunding and FrontFundr.
As part of our investor package, we’ve created a video. I’m so proud of the team’s work on this as the video is self-produced and truly showcases the great programming and animation/graphic talent we have on the SMRT1 bench. At the end of the video, I mention that we believe “the timing is now.” This is what I mean by that statement:
A lot of life’s greatest opportunities come down to timing. We’ve all heard the famous quote “timing is everything” but actually, the full quote by poet Anthony Liccione says “They say, timing is everything. But then they say, there is never a perfect time for anything.”
With all due respect to Mr. Liccione, I beg to differ and here’s why.
There are certain times in history where businesses strive to solve a customer problem with an effective solution…only to watch with fascination as the adoption of their product or service takes off at warp speed. This often happens because a corresponding change in forces impacting the business shifted in their favor. These forces can be economic, societal, environmental, technological, or political in nature and anyone of them can make or break a business innovation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis that has triggered economic, societal, political changes at a rapid pace. As Stephen Colbert said in one of his first episodes from his porch “We will get through this together…. while staying as far away from each other as possible.” A world stuck at home was ripe for using a tool like Zoom to connect to work and play or to order meal kits in place of restaurant meals. For companies like Zoom, it was a case of the right solution at the perfect time. We feel that smart vending is also a solution whose time has truly come.
Smart vending has been a growth sector for many years. As consumers became more comfortable with technology and making cashless retail purchases anytime, anywhere; they also grew to be more receptive to smart vending. Smart vending gives consumers back their time by giving them information about the features, recommendations, and pricing. This speeds up the shopping process. Payment can be just a tap away. The operator benefits from more revenue and profitability which in turn stokes demand for smart vending solutions.
SMRT1 Technologies launched its smart vending solution in response to these trends and the coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated things.
Tobias Lutke, the CEO of Shopify has confirmed that his company has pulled forward its 2030 business plan to 2020. Their 2030 plan had initiatives that they felt consumers simply weren’t ready to embrace. E-commerce was developing as a slow evolution but COVID-19 turned that into a revolution.
SMRT1 has seen a similar sense of urgency around intelligent vending solutions. In my last post, I talked about the machines we currently have in the wild, supporting tourism, harm reduction, and in the near future, food service. These sectors have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic shut down and we are honored to be able to give them a way to continue to do business when their traditional operations channels are limited.
We will use the money raised with this seed round to hire marketing and sales talent to develop and serve new markets and to invest in technology and resources to support the exciting opportunities we are working on now. We are in discussions with retailers about using SMRT1 machines to safely merchandise and dispense products prone to theft; driving those lost sales back to the bottom line. We have opportunities across a number of industries and applications. Smart vending is truly a chameleon, able to shape-shift to suit the business need.
You can find our FrontFundr campaign here and for as little as $500 you can invest. If you are in BC, a minimum $1000 investment makes you eligible for a tax credit of 30%, as SMRT1 now qualifies as an EBC (Eligible Business Corporation) more info can be found here.
The time is definitely now because smart vending is a tried and true solution to today’s most pressing business challenges.
Full details of the offering can be found in the Offering Document at FrontFundr.com. This communication is for informational purposes only.