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Lift & Co. Celebrates a Year of Historic Highs

January 08, 2019

/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES/

TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2019 /CNW/ - At the start of the new year, Lift & Co. Corp. (TSXV: LIFT) ("Lift & Co." or the "Company") is pleased to summarize its growth and milestones in 2018 as it prepares for continued growth in 2019. By all measures, 2018 marked the Company's most successful year since incorporation, as Lift & Co.:

  • Posted $3.7 million in revenues on a trailing-twelve-months ("TTM") basis as at September 30, 2018, representing a 232% increase over the prior year;
  • Successfully listed on the TSXV on September 17th, 2018 and raised over $10 million in the seven preceding months;
  • Launched a retail training certification through an exclusive partnership with MADD Canada that has been adopted in six Canadian jurisdictions, including multi-year agreements with three Crown corporations;
  • Built several strategic products to support a first-mover advantage in the recreational marketplace; and
  • Amassed a 194% increase in total branded cannabis product reviews through the Company's website, lift.co, as at September 30.

Lift & Co. Corp. (CNW Group/Lift & Co. Corp.)

Operational Highlights

The legalization of recreational-use cannabis in Canada on October 17, 2018 created a new multi-billion-dollar consumer packaged goods ("CPG") industry. However, while CPG leaders in other industries benefit from brand differentiation, effective advertising, and advanced consumer and product analytics, the cannabis industry lacks these basic infrastructures due to tobacco-like marketing restrictions, which severely limit licensed retailers' and producers' ability to advertise, understand their consumer, and differentiate their brands.

Lift & Co. deployed capital throughout 2018 to build a scalable platform business model that leverages events, content and data insights to solve the information gap along the value chain, from end consumer and licensed retailer up to licensed producer:

  • Accelerated increase in data collection. As at September 30, 2018, the Company had collected 72,720 cumulative product reviews – a 194% increase over the prior year – to further enable the platform to serve as a lucrative marketing engine and data insight source for the recreational market.

  • Launched a suite of retail revenue streams. In June 2018, the Company launched the Lift & Co. Cannabis Training Retail Certification (the "Certification") with an exclusive, multi-year deal with MADD Canada, and signed the Company's first Certification client – a multi-year deal with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation shortly thereafter on July 11, 2018. By the end of the year, Lift & Co. signed multi-year deals with two additional government and four private retailers, bringing Certification training to five provinces and one territory in under 6 months since launch.

  • Investment into new data products. The Company leveraged its track record as a leading consumer review and education platform for medical cannabis to launch several strategic products upon legalization on October 17, These included: a consumer-facing, data-driven product recommendation tool; and Lift & Co. Rewards, the world's first rewards program for federally regulated recreational cannabis which incentivizes lift.co users to leave comprehensive reviews in exchange for gift cards at major retailers. The Company also updated its reviews with receipt scanning technology, combining reviews with purchase receipts and correlating consumer behavioral data with transactional insights.

  • Built industry event leadership. The Company uses industry events to grow its platform business through lead generation for its services and data products. Both the Vancouver and Toronto Lift & Co. Cannabis Expos had record attendance and revenues, with over 30,000 guests and $3.2 million in revenues between the two 2018 events. Finally, the Company launched the inaugural Lift & Co. Retail Tradeshow in Calgary, Alberta through a multi-year partnership with the Cannabis Council of Canada, which represents over 85 per cent of current legal cultivation in Canada, and leveraged the event to distribute the Certification and its data products to licensed producers together with licensed retailers.

  • Developed valuable IP that is being licensed by the industry. The sold-out fifth annual Canadian Cannabis Awards (the "CCAs"), hosted on November 29, are the gold-standard for excellence in cannabis. With over 48 million impressions from media and resultant LP press releases – a 168% increase over the prior year - the CCAs are a valuable channel to differentiate and market cannabis brands. The brand value was further realized with a licensing deal with cannabis curators AHLOT, which will see CCA-winning cannabis products marketed to Canadian recreational cannabis consumers.

  • Added tenured Board members. The Company added valuable Board experience with the additions of Stu Miller as Board Chair and Deborah Rosati as Vice Chair. Mr. Miller brings extensive legal, strategic and public company corporate governance experience from his previous roles as partner at McCarthy Tetrault LLP and as a senior executive with Macquarie Group and Fairmont Hotels. Ms. Rosati brings both cannabis and technology experience serving on Boards on MedReleaf Corp. and NexJ Systems Inc., respectively, as well as previous Board experience with Sears Canada Inc. Daniel Finkelstein, the Principal and Chief Product Officer at Gotham Green Partners, has remained a valuable Director on the Board.

Financial Highlights

After posting $2,308,993 in revenues in the latest fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the Company reported September 2018 TTM revenues of $3,740,484 – a 232% growth against the previous year – and a net loss from operations of $5,743,862 as the Company invested in its future growth.

While events drove $3,318,497 of the September TTM revenue balance, the past 12 months have featured accelerated growth in market data and web & content revenues, which contributed $179,707 (+681% to prior year) and $239,928 (+497% to prior year), respectively. Retail training alone contributed $148,160 in its first quarter of earnings. 

Supported by this momentum, Lift & Co. successfully listed under the symbol "LIFT" on the TSX Venture Exchange on September 17, 2018. The debut on the Exchange was preceded by $10,850,805 in cumulative funds raised in 2018, including $8,850,805 closed on August 17, 2018, concurrent to the listing. 

2019 Strategic Initiatives

Over the course of the past 12 months, the Company has worked with more than 80% of the licensed producers and has established itself with both government and private retailers. Management believes that none of the Company's competitors have penetrated the market to this degree and that these connections, forged through Lift & Co.'s unique platform strategy and proven track record, position the Company for accelerated growth in 2019 with the addition of recreational cannabis to its existing medical cannabis base.

In 2019, Lift & Co. is focusing on the following growth opportunities to expand its leadership position:

  • Retail growth. Retail sales will be an immediate focus for Lift & Co., seeking to build upon the early wins in this nascent industry. With an early leadership position in retail training, and strong relationships with both government and private retailers, Lift & Co. is poised to be benefit from the increased needs of retail staff education as more provinces begin licensed retail sales and retail locations continue to open.

  • International expansion. As at the end of 2018, there were over 30 countries that had begun to legalize medical cannabis federally. With a leading platform in Canada designed to address regulatory pain points between consumers, licensed producers and licensed retailers in such a system, the Company is looking to pursue international opportunities to deploy its platform and broaden its reach.

  • Transactional data aggregation. Lift & Co. is actively looking to expand its collection of transactional data – today through user-submitted purchase receipts– to further increase the value of the Company's data analytics offering. Management believes this would result in greater recurring revenues through higher-value subscriptions to a wider audience.

About Lift & Co.
Lift & Co. (TSXV:LIFT) is a cannabis-focused technology and media company that monetizes a platform of advertising solutions, events, and data insights to enable cannabis businesses to better understand, target and ultimately monetize cannabis consumers. Lift & Co. operates a leading product-comparison resource of federally regulated cannabis products; provides customized marketing solutions and data-backed insights into consumer and product trends; and connects businesses and consumers through its digital platform, and at its leading events, the Retail Tradeshows, the Lift & Co. Expos and the Canadian Cannabis Awards. The Lift & Co. Cannabis Retail Training Certification, developed in an exclusive partnership with MADD Canada, is available to both government and private clients. Learn more at lift.co.

Forward-looking statements 
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, there can be other factors that cause results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.

There can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate or that management's expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results will materialize. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as required by applicable law, and the Company does not assume any liability for disclosure relating to any other company mentioned herein.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @liftandco

SOURCE Lift & Co. Corp.

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