IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PRESS RELEASE–WM Holding Company, LLC and Silver Spike Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, have announced a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in WMH becoming a public company. The combined company will be led by Chris Beals, chief executive officer of WMH, and is expected to remain listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Founded in 2008, WMH operates Weedmaps, an online listings marketplace for cannabis consumers and businesses, and WM Business, an SaaS subscription offering sold to cannabis retailers and brands. The company solely provides software and other technology solutions and is non-plant touching. WMH has grown revenue at a CAGR of 40% over the last five years and is on track to deliver $160 million in revenue and $35 million in EBITDA for 2020.
The cannabis market in the U.S. is expected to double over the next five years as the majority of U.S. adults support having legal access to cannabis. Despite these expectations of growth, cannabis users in the U.S. are still a small sub-segment of the population today, and retail density is still low across the majority of states with regulated legal cannabis markets. The regulations related to these markets are often complex and disparate across states as well as cities and counties within regulated states. Cannabis itself is a highly complex and non-shelf stable consumer product. These dynamics present a challenging and sometimes uncertain environment for consumers seeking legal cannabis products and for businesses selling to cannabis users while operating in a compliant fashion.
WMH addresses these challenges with its Weedmaps marketplace and WM Business SaaS subscription offering. Over the past 12 years, Weedmaps has grown to become the premier destination for cannabis consumers, with over 10 million monthly active users and over 18,000 business listings across every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with a legal cannabis market. Clients of the company maintain listings in nine international countries outside of the U.S. Through the Weedmaps’ website and mobile apps, WMH provides consumers with information regarding cannabis retailers and brands, as well as the availability of cannabis products, facilitating product discovery and online order-ahead for pickup or delivery by participating retailers.
The company’s cloud-based WM Business SaaS subscription offering provides cannabis retailers with an end-to-end operating system to access valuable users, grow sales and scale their businesses at a compelling return-on-spend. This “business-in-a-box” functionality ranges from integrations supporting product menus that have online order-ahead, delivery order fulfillment software, data & analytics, a point-of-sale solution and a wholesale marketplace. WMH has been investing in and optimizing its WM Business software solution to also facilitate compliance for businesses amidst the complex, disparate and constantly evolving regulations governing the cannabis industry. Underlying this compliance functionality is a proprietary and sophisticated rules engine that is a core underpinning of the WM Business SaaS platform.
Beals will continue to lead the company along with the existing management team. Silver Spike’s CEO and Chairman, Scott Gordon, will join the merged company’s Board of Directors upon completion of the transaction.
“We are thrilled to partner with Silver Spike to transition WMH to our next phase of growth as a public company,” said Beals. “We passionately believe in the power of cannabis and the importance of enabling safe, legal access to cannabis for consumers worldwide. With this merger, we will be able to continue scaling the Weedmaps marketplace in the U.S. and internationally in service of our users while expanding the functionality of our WM Business SaaS offerings in service of our clients. Our partnership with Silver Spike will provide us a stronger platform to advance our mission to advocate for legalization, social equity and licensing in many jurisdictions while providing cannabis businesses with the tools needed to succeed in a highly complex world of regulations. I am grateful for the continued support from my teammates and investors and most thankful for the thousands – and what I expect over time to be hundreds of thousands – of business clients on our platform. We are energized by the opportunities to continue helping our business clients thrive as regulated cannabis markets expand and grow.”
Gordon commented, “We believe WMH is the most compelling investment opportunity in cannabis today. We established Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. to identify and partner with a best-in-class company and proven management team that are well positioned to benefit from the macro drivers surrounding cannabis. We wanted to not only assist them with the transition to the public markets but also create a unique opportunity worthy of institutional investors. WMH is the perfect expression of our vision for Silver Spike Acquisition Corp.
Their business is transforming the eCommerce experience for cannabis by combining the largest audience of frequent cannabis users with the broadest set of brands and retailers and supporting those businesses with the complete tech stack for cannabis. They have created a 12-year advantage and solved very thorny issues, such as normalizing product data to drive user conversion or embedding compliance functionality throughout their software, while building the only comprehensive “business-in-a-box” software solution for cannabis retailers. We are beyond excited to work with Chris and the incredibly-talented WMH team to support their vision of helping licensed cannabis businesses thrive while driving growth and returns for our shareholders.”
The estimated post transaction equity value of the combined company is approximately $1.5 billion, assuming the $10.00 per share PIPE price and no redemptions by Silver Spike shareholders. The transaction will provide up to $575 million of gross proceeds (assuming no redemptions), including $325 million through a fully-committed common stock PIPE at $10.00 per share. The PIPE includes commitments from existing investors including Silver Spike Capital, and new institutional investors including funds managed by AFV Partners, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds and Senvest Management LLC.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of WMH and Silver Spike, is subject to approval by Silver Spike’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. Additional information about the proposed transaction, including a copy of the merger agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Silver Spike with the Securities and Exchange Commission and will be available at www.sec.gov. Additional information can be found on the WMH Investor Relations page at www.weedmaps.com/investors.
Rothschild & Co. is serving as exclusive financial and capital markets adviser and Cooley LLP is serving as legal advisor to WM Holding, LLC. Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and Piper Sandler & Co. are serving as joint placement agents and financial advisors and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal advisor to Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is serving as legal advisor to the founders of WM Holding.
Published at Thu, 10 Dec 2020 19:12:00 +0000