Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots, displays his app at his office in Denver, CO on January 22, 2015.

Cannabis tech firms MassRoots, New Frontier team up on consumer data

The next move for Denver’s MassRoots Inc. is a data play.

MassRoots, the marijuana social media and tech company recently in tumult, entered into a technology-sharing arrangement with New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research and analytics firm based in Washington, D.C, with operations in Denver, the companies announced early Wednesday.

The full terms and financial details of the deal were not immediately disclosed nor publicly available.

In an interview midday Wednesday, New Frontier founder and CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer and MassRoots interim CEO Scott Kveton declined to disclose additional details about the arrangement, saying only that it’s a “partnership.”

The agreement allows both companies to leverage their respective areas of expertise, Aguirre De Carcer said.

“It’s a partnership that is intended to grow and evolve as the marketplace desires,” she said.

MassRoots (OTC: MSRT) plans to plug New Frontier’s “Big Data” engine into the Denver company’s 3-million-person user base to “aggregate, analyze and monetize” the large swaths of consumer data collected via its mobile app and website, according to the companies’ joint announcement. MassRoots then would apply that information toward digital advertising and other efforts to engage with consumers, officials said in the announcement.

Alternatively, New Frontier would apply the MassRoots information to its growing cache of social consumer behavior data that are then utilized for cannabis industry market reports sold to businesses and investors. Earlier this year, MassRoots provided data for New Frontier’s first report on consumer sentiment in the cannabis industry.

The latest partnership between the two firms comes at a time when MassRoots’ state of affairs is far different.

In April, MassRoots was led by founder Isaac Dietrich and just months off of the acquisition of Whaxy, a provider of online ordering software for cannabis businesses, and a couple of months away from acquiring cannabis compliance and point-of-sale company Odava.

Now, MassRoots is led by Odava founder Scott Kveton, who has served as interim chief executive officer since the ouster of Dietrich in mid-October. In recent weeks, MassRoots and its former founder have traded jabs: The company sued Dietrich, claiming charges of defamation and misuse of funds; Dietrich filed preliminary proxy paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to overhaul MassRoots’ directors and leadership.

All the while, the financial clock is ticking for MassRoots, which reported “weak” third-quarter earnings and disclosed in SEC filings that the company needed to raise at least $2.5 million by the end of the year to stay in business.

Kveton said Wednesday he was unable to speak about how the New Frontier partnership could address MassRoots’ revenue needs, citing limitations for the public company around forward-looking statements.

“This is just one more element of several things that are coming” during the next several months, he said.

Kveton previously has told investors that deals could be in the works with several potential business partners and investors — including an agreement with a venture capital-backed marijuana delivery company in California — but has yet to disclose specific details.