FAST-GROWING online CBD and alternative healthcare marketplace Alphagreen.io believes its brand is now strong enough to compete with the likes of Amazon.
The UK-based company recently secured £500,000 in its first equity funding round from a mix of tech and cannabis investors.
Alexej Pikovsky, co-founder and CEO of Alphagreen Group, told BusinessCann: “Amazon is a great company but there are also many other great companies competing with Amazon in niche sectors such as vitamins and wellness and we believe we can do likewise with alternative healthcare products and CBD.”
Alphagreen was founded in 2019 by a network of tech-savvy friends from Germany who chose London as the base to build an e-commerce, CBD and alternative health business.
Miles Ahead Of Competition
Mr Pikovsky said: “We have created a data-driven marketplace, with multiple brands. Our unique tech infrastructure allows us to directly drive orders via API (application program interface) keys to all the top brands we carry on our platform.
“Most e-commerce stores are built on Shopify or WooCommerce, but we are really indifferent as we can integrate with all types of technology set ups.
“While there may be at least 40 competitors in the UK, we are miles ahead in terms of technology and execution. Most of them have inventory and are multi-brand online shops rather than technology platforms such as Alphagreen.io”
At the time of writing, Alphagreen.io features 35 brands, with it aiming to almost double that to 70 within months; this will see the number of products rise from 300 products to over 600.
150,000 Visitors A Month
It is attracting some of Europe’s premium CBD and alternative health brands and aims to enhance the customer experience by delivering bundles and collections targeting specific needs, such as sleep, immune system and anxiety.
It has recently seen its page impressions rise exponentially – from 25,000 a month to 150,000 impressions a month – with the lockdown response to Covid-19 prompting a shift to digital devices.
Alphagreen believes the diverse skill set of its management team featuring tech entrepreneurs, pharmacists and finance professionals sets its apart.
This view seems to be shared by its investors who include ‘several tech angel investors’ alongside the cannabis-focused investment company Swedish firm ENEXIS AB – it has previously invested in cannabis businesses including NOBL, Dragonfly Biosciences and EMMAC Life Sciences.
Amaury de Poret and David Bonnier, co-founders ENEXIS AB said: “Alphagreen is one the fastest growing technology startups we have seen in this industry and are happy to support them in their growth.”
Key to Alphagreen’s offering is its emphasis on in-depth analysis of the science supporting the growth of CBD and alternative health products, as well as a diligent audit and curation process of every brand and product which it lists.
Nitty-Gritty Of Cannabinoid Science
Alphagreen avoids the hyperbole of many touting CBD as a cure-all, with its team of 15 content writers keen to dissect the nitty-gritty of cannabinoid science.
“Our aim is to enlighten consumers on the confusion surrounding CBD and cannabis, our writers, include healthcare professionals, with the knowledge to elaborate on the positives and negatives; in that regard we remain neutral,” said Mr Pikovsky.
For the foreseeable Alphagreen is happy to focus on the UK, but its ambitions are Europe-wide and include diversifying into medicinal cannabis.
Its subsidiary Alphagreen Med aims to become a key player supporting the growth of the German medicinal cannabis market. Initially by receiving the wholesale license for controlled substances, but later by also leveraging the digital infrastructure it has built in the UK to streamline processes for pharmacies when ordering medical cannabis.
While Amazon sells vitamins and supplements, including hemp oil, it has not yet entered the CBD space, as, like many major brands, it has yet to feel comfortable in what some see as a regulatory minefield.
However, the robust new regulatory regime mapped out by the European Novel Food regulations – if fully implemented – may ease the fears of multinationals, and their perception of risk, in the CBD market.
Alphagreen recently strengthened it management team with the appointment Dr Patricio Stocker as Chairman and Niel Marotta and Markus Hoffmann as board advisors.
Dr Patricio Stocker was previously Chairman, President and CEO of PharmaCielo, one of the world’s largest licensed cannabis producer and prior to that Dr Stocker was President and CEO for DaimlerChrysler Colombia and held several other senior executive positions.
CBD Facts From The Centre For Medicinal Cannabis
- Some six million people in the UK have tried CBD (11% of the population).
- CBD product sales in the UK are set to grow from £300m in 2019 to £1bn by 2025.
- In the UK, CBD is already three times bigger than the Vitamin C market – £300m to £110m, respectively.