PotGuide.com acquires Niwot-based KindReviews in all-equity deal

NIWOT — Denver-based PotGuide.com announced on Tuesday that it has acquired KindReviews.com — which offers cannabis photography and strain profiles and reviews — from Niwot-based consulting firm Shift Cannabis Co.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but PotGuide.com co-founder Jeremy Bamford said it involved Shift Cannabis receiving equity in PotGuide.com.

PotGuide.com, founded in 2013, is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Canopy Boulder accelerator, which is focused on cannabis-themed startup companies. The site, which draws about 800,000 page views per month, offers a wealth of cannabis business directories and legal information for consumers in the various states where the drug is legal.

Bamford said the addition of KindReviews was a natural fit, given its extensive library of strain profiles. KindReviews remains a separate website, but he said its content will be integrated into PotGuide.com over the next several weeks.

“They prided themselves on being experts on cannabis and providing reviews that were very educational and very detailed,” Bamford said. “We really wanted to present (the KindReviews content) to a larger audience.”

Shift, which had owned KindReviews since 2010, assists people with the full life cycle of launching a cannabis business, from clearing regulatory compliance to setting up grow operations to working out retail aspects. Shift co-founder Travis Howard said in an emailed statement that his company had been seeking a buyer for KindReviews for nearly a year.

“KindReviews had become tangential, and we simply didn’t feel we were giving the project the attention in deserved,” Howard said. “The spirit of KindReviews was always information to the people and we felt the team at PotGuide most closely resembled that ethos and passion.”

As for PotGuide, further expansion is on the horizon. Aside from a $20,000 investment from Canopy Boulder, PotGuide co-founders Bamford and Samantha Chin have bootstrapped the six-person company to this point. But Bamford said the firm is in the process of raising a $600,000 seed round to speed expansion to other states.

Bamford started the company as ColoradoPotGuide.com as a sort of marijuana tourism guide in advance of Colorado legalizing recreational cannabis but quickly pivoted to the new web address as other states began getting into the legalization mix as well. The site’s aim is to provide a comprehensive list of cannabis-related businesses. It makes money by charging businesses for enhanced profile listings, running display ads and working out affiliate partnerships with companies like TripAdvisor.

“We want to replicate the success we’ve achieved in Colorado in other states,” Bamford said.