The vertically integrated cannabidiol (CBD) company has struck around 13 deals since the start of 2020, expanding its presence throughout North and South America and into Europe. In the background, the company has been undergoing a transformation of its own, rebranding from Mota Ventures and welcoming new CEO Ryan Dean Hoggan, an eCommerce veteran who founded Wyoming’s First Class CBD, now under TBI’s umbrella.
In an exclusive interview with Proactive, Hoggan shares the intention behind the company’s rebrand and how it is able to stay nimble in the face of the changing dynamics of the cannabis and natural health sectors.
Can you explain the thinking behind the rebrand from Mota Ventures to Thoughtful Brands?
We wanted our new name and refresh to better reflect the company’s growth trajectory for the second half of 2020 and beyond. This includes an expanded portfolio of direct-to-consumer hemp-CBD brands, additional pain management and wellness products, and most recently, the acquisition of the Kentucky-based hemp American CBD Extraction, paving the way for us to become vertically integrated and oversee the top quality of our products every step of the way. The name change also embodies the success of our established hemp-CBD brands, Nature’s Exclusive and Sativida.
The company’s assets span from cannabis to CBD to psychedelics. How would you describe your business to a potential investor?
We operate as an eCommerce technology company that researches, develops, markets, and distributes natural health products through various brands in North America and Europe.
Through continuous strategic acquisitions, the company has a strong footprint in the CBD market. In addition, as previously mentioned, our recent deal to acquire American CBD Extraction Corp sets the stage for Thoughtful Brands to become fully vertically integrated, controlling each aspect of the supply chain including production, logistics and value chain.
We recently announced that wholly-owned subsidiary, Verrian, has ceased operations. This decision for Verrian was made after meticulous consideration. With the future of the global economy uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we decided to focus on our core business: direct to consumer eCommerce brands, eCommerce technology and the vertical integration of its supply chain.
Interestingly, Thoughtful Brands describes itself as “an eCommerce technology company” rather than a cannabis or natural products firm. Is that an important distinction? If so, why?
We are a marketing and sales company first and foremost, but we also have assets such as American CBD Extraction Corp. We focus primarily on being able to sell products, which is why in June we acquired a proprietary technology platform along with a CRM designed specifically for emerging, small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses worldwide. We’ve also built technology internally to make sure we have our own sales channels for any products we manufacture in the future. When we can sell directly to the user, the company can generate additional profit throughout the entire value chain.
You have been active on the acquisitions front in 2020. What gaps are you looking to fill? Will acquisitions continue to be a key part of your strategy going into 2021?
Yes, this will definitely be a key part of our strategy going into next year. We’ll pursue additional acquisitions to help us enhance our existing supply chain. We will also look to acquire eCommerce CBD and natural health brands with existing customers and revenue. Any brand that is over US$500,000 is appealing. Now, we are looking for traditional direct-to-consumer brands and also brands with retail distribution (usually regionally). Another appealing factor is if a brand has a unique product or delivery mechanism that with our resources, we can help grow. We are also interested in continuing to acquire assets outside of the United States, such as in Europe.
What catalysts are ahead for shareholders over the near term?
Acquisitions of course; we are working on increasing profitability with every customer transaction and launching new products. We are integrating components of the supply chain that we have started to acquire and will seek to acquire more companies to complete the vertical integration of our supply chain in order to generate more profit. We also look forward to expanding our footprint in Europe and selling the biomass from the American Extraction Corp deal to clients.
--Updated to reflect focus--
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