Sell Cannabis? He’s Raised $3m To Be Your Payroll Management System

Keegan Peterson

In Episode #735, Nathan shares the mic with Keegan Peterson. Keegan is a technology entrepreneur blazing a trail in the legal cannabis industry. He has worked for many software and services companies. He founded Wurk which helps cannabis businesses pay their employees while adhering to the Federal and State Regulations. Keegan is also a former division one athlete from Florida Atlantic University.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Stealing Fire
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Asana
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5 to 6 hours
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish I would have started something earlier in my lifetime”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:19 – Nathan introduces Keegan to the show
  • 01:53 – Cannabis is a fascinating industry that is a great place for technology to play a big part in it
  • 02:31 – For a year, Keegan financed Wurk but they’ve now raised $3M from venture capital (VC)
  • 03:09 – Cannabis businesses include growing, selling, and extracting the plant
  • 03:29 – “Marijuana” and “Weed” have a negative stigma, unlike “Cannabis”
  • 03:46 – Wurk makes profit by selling a service to their clients
  • 03:56 – Wurk ensures cannabis businesses’ taxes are paid correctly and calculated correctly
  • 04:33 – Payroll companies being backed by national banks cannot touch cash made from cannabis
  • 04:54 – Wurk is a SaaS company and is in 17 legal cannabis states
  • 05:17 – They sell their services directly to business owners
  • 05:30 – They have hundreds of users on their platform
  • 05:39 – Keegan launched Wurk 2 years ago, in August 2015
  • 06:10 – They currently have 18 employees in 3 offices
  • 06:28 – It’s NOT a requirement to smoke cannabis to work for Wurk
  • 06:40 – They do look for people who believe in cannabis as a progressing industry
  • 07:13 – Wurk provides a whole difference face to the industry
  • 07:30 – “We are not the traditional cannabis business”
  • 07:45 – A large portion of Wurk’s clients are in cannabis, but there are some clients that are not
  • 08:12 – Most business owners in the business pay their employees in cash
  • 08:27 – “We’re trying to help solve that issue”
  • 08:42 – The average client payment per month ranges from $10 to $30
  • 09:03 – Number of employees and number of states the business is in are factors in a client’s metrics that determine how much they pay to Wurk
  • 09:55 – Wurk doesn’t charge per customer; they charge per employee
  • 11:00 – They don’t have a lot of competition
  • 11:16 – They have a low churn of 2 customers in 2 years
  • 11:41 – Currently, they don’t have an average Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) because they mostly get referrals
  • 12:01 – They have 5 full-time sales reps with 1 chief revenue officer and other employees are on implementation
  • 12:18 – Their sales reps earn through salaries and incentives
  • 13:40 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. There are still industries that are not saturated.
  2. If there’s hole in an industry, there’s a market for a business that can fill that hole.
  3. Referrals or word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get a customer.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives