What a Difference a Year Can Make: Braingrid, Past, Present, and FutureAs Braingrid prepares to go public, we sat down with Michael Kadonoff to reflect on the year and predict the future.
Just over a year ago, we interviewed Michael Kadonoff, founder and CEO of Braingrid, for an episode of the Cannabis Technologist. Since that interview, Kadonoff and his team have made great strides to expand the Toronto-based IOT company. In a press release on Monday, Braingrid Corporation announced the reverse takeover of Match Capital with plans to change its name to Braingrid Limited. With the completion of the RTO, the company will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the trading symbol “BGRD” on December 28.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed public company, Braingrid Limited, CannabisTech asked Kadonoff, during an interview on Wednesday, to discuss Braingrid technology, the goals of the merger, and his predictions for the company’s future.
This is Your Grow on Braingrid
Describing Braingrid technology, Kadonoff proclaimed, “Braingrid is a fully-integrated, hardware-to-dashboard, system which collects critical metrics inside a cultivation environment.” Able to work with existing data and sensors, regardless of format or source, Braingrid aggregates key data points to help cultivators understand their operations at a granular level. Explaining the relevance at the most basic level, Kadonoff said, “If you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t really fix it.”
On a mission to give growers this deeper insight, the system tracks, and monitors any number of sensors or data points, without limitation such as energy use, environmental controls, and operational data. “Anything that affects the bottom line of a grower,” Kadonoff said, “can be integrated.” In fact, the company often leverages their own buying power and economies of scale to help growers build out the system they need. “We get the cause and effect in front of people so they can make better-educated decisions,” Kadonoff explained. However, he also reminded, “It’s not just about the dashboards and alarms, it’s about predicting issues and avoiding things that will compromise yield, cost too much, or waste time.”
Although many monitoring systems create alarms when issues arise, by utilizing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and even manual data analysis, the datacenter can alert growers before the problem occurs. “If you have an alarm, it’s often too late,” Kadonoff said. So Braingrid works to provide advance notice.
“It’s not just about getting the equipment to play nice in the sandbox,” Kadonoff continued. “It’s about collecting siloed data, making the connections, and pulling it together into a single login to add value to the business.”
The Making of a Merger
In a move that Kadonoff describes as “Good for investors and helps us develop and demonstrate credibility in an industry where there’s a lot of hot air and hearsay,” the merger with Match Capital paved the way for Braingrid to shift from private to public without resorting to a traditional IPO. The takeover creates liquidity for investors and allows Braingrid to entertain a greater ability to raise capital.
When I asked Kadonoff to talk about the process, he joked sarcastically, “Oh it’s no big deal, you can do it in a weekend.”
In reality, the process took over a year to complete, longer than Kadonoff anticipated. Although Kadonoff admits “the devil is in the details,” by purchasing a shell, or an inactive, publicly traded company with a sufficient number of shareholders, companies get a package deal complete with existing investors. Then, through consolidating shares, stockholders gave eight of their shares for one in the new company.
Ultimately, the merger creates a win-win for investors and the company. “Old shareholders are happy to have an active, living, breathing company that is generating revenue,” Kadonoff stated when explaining the unanimous vote to complete the merger.
Predicting Braingrid’s Future
While Braingrid technology may be good at predicting cannabis grow issues and problems, Kadonoff admits, “I can’t predict the future any better than anyone else.” However, his experience and expertise in the industry lead him to believe great things are in store for the company in the coming year.
However, Kadonoff did make a few predictions, “Expect Braingrid to be at least one merger or acquisition deep, I can guarantee that. Additionally, I believe our market capital will be in the range of 120-150 million dollars with growth within our own product line and through additional acquisitions.” With plans in the realm of micro-growing and micro-cultivation, as well as, becoming more connected and engrained in the entire supply chain, Braingrid intends to move beyond merely monitoring cultivation, but throughout logistics, to provide even more profound insights for their customers.
“Scaling up, to be in a global conversation, requires more eyes on the prize,” Kadonoff stated. “The cannabis industry is nascent, with a lot of room for regulation and control. We want to see it succeed and we need to apply scientific rigor around medicines, jobs, and the economics [of cannabis],” Kadonoff explained. Continuing, he said, “Consistent, repeatable, and scientific processes are the key to consistency in any crop and demonstrate to the FDA, or Health Canada, or whoever is the regulatory de facto, that we can produce clean, quality, consistent medicine every time.”
By learning from the past, growing in the present, and planning for the future, expect to see even greater success in 2019 for this forward-thinking, cannabis technology leader.