MassRoots files to go public after posting loss

BOULDER – MassRoots, a medical marijuana social networking site, is registering securities in order to go public, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in April 2013 by CEO Isaac Dietrich, 22, the Boulder-based company connects medical marijuana users to highlight their experiences with the drug through the site Dietrich, a tech entrepreneur who lives in Aurora, also founded RoboCent Inc., a company that arranges automated phone calls for political campaigns, schools and businesses.

MassRoots says it had 134,000 users as of June 7 that have interacted with each other 30.7 million times. The company defines an interaction as users liking, commenting and tagging one another in posts.

A marijuana social network is needed so that users can post freely about their use of cannabis, Dietrich said. Marijuana users tend to avoid posting comments and photos about the drug on mainstream sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where their families or employers might see.

“We wanted to create a semi-anonymous platform where users would actually feel comfortable discussing what they’re smoking, what they like to do when they’re high, things of that nature,” he said.

The company raised $150,000 in seed funding in October 2013 and another $475,000 in a series A funding round in March this year. It devoted its seed funding to developing mobile web versions of MassRoots. The series A money funded further improvements to the platform and to spending related to its public offering.

MassRoots aims to be traded publicly on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board. From its inception through Dec. 31, the company has posted a net loss of nearly $920,000. MassRoots plans to monetize its network after reaching one million users, so the company says it must raise additional capital to continue operations.

People can use the service only in states where medical marijuana is legal, though Dietrich said he sees significant growth potential as, he hopes, additional states push to legalize.

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