Saucey and Emjay Merge to Form Leading ‘Vice Delivery’ Platform
Chris Vaughn has a vision to build the preeminent vice delivery platform in the U.S.
Vaughn co-founded Los Angeles-based alcohol delivery service Saucey in 2014 with partner Daniel Leeb. Earlier this year, he took over as the CEO of Emjay, a vertically-integrated cannabis retail and delivery company, after helping the company get off the ground in 2019.
In an effort to streamline operations for both ventures and make it easier for customers to toggle between the two platforms when ordering alcohol or marijuana, Vaughn today announced that Emjay and Saucey would be folded together under a single umbrella entity known as Pacific Consolidated Holdings (PCH).
Vaughn will serve as CEO of the new group, which was formed in partnership with The Inception Companies, an early investor in Emjay. Leeb has been named COO.
The company is now poised to become the largest vice delivery platform in the country, with existing access to 22 U.S. markets for alcohol deliveries and a robust on-demand cannabis delivery service throughout Southern California.
Although the two platforms themselves will not be combined into a single mobile application, there will be prompts within the Saucey app to purchase cannabis, and users will have the ability to use both services with a single login.
Speaking to THCnet, Vaughn said the move uniquely positions PCH to capture unprecedented insights on cross-category purchasing behavior.
“If you’re in alcohol and you’re not talking about cannabis, then you are not thinking about the future,” he said. “And if you are in cannabis, and you aren’t thinking about the alcohol consumer or big alcohol, then you aren’t thinking about the future either.”
Through the Saucey app, Vaughn has been able to amass six years of insights on alcohol consumer shopping behavior. Now he's hoping to bring those learnings to the cannabis sector, which is still maturing.
According to Vaughn, trends can differ drastically by market because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and states that have legalized the plant for adult-use have varying rules and regulations.
Nevertheless, he contends that access to data will be the critical to the long-term success of companies in the cannabis space, and he’s positioned PCH to deliver key consumer insights.
“At the end of the day, you need to understand the data and know where this industry is going,” he said. “To be successful, you are going to need to have a better understanding of the consumer than anyone else.”
In addition to cost savings and synergies achieved through the merger, Vaughn has opened the door to a possible data play down the road.
“There are a lot of people desperately trying to figure out what’s selling across industries,” he said. “We will evaluate it as a possible revenue stream, or possibly put out quarterly reports that could be really interesting to people.”
PCH will also actively look to acquire additional cannabis assets, Vaughn added.
“I am looking for geographic expansion in markets that make sense for us related to retail and delivery licenses,” he said. “I am also laser focused on gaining more ownership in cultivation and having greater control of the supply chain.”
The two companies are already profitable, Vaughn said, but under PCH they will benefit from “having investors and shareholders who a part of one bigger pie.”
“It creates a much more powerful sum of the parts,” he said.
In addition to The Inception Companies, the One Gun Fund — also an early investor in Emjay — is backing PCH. Saucey investors Blumberg Capital and Bullpen Capital will also hold "a large equity stake" in PCH, according to TechCrunch.
Additional information is available in the company’s news release below.
Newly Launched Pacific Consolidated Holdings Acquires Saucey and Emjay
The Inception Companies and Saucey Co-founders Form Pacific Consolidated Holdings to Acquire, Operate, and Scale the Next Generation of Vice Products to Your Doorstep
LOS ANGELES (October 28, 2020) — Pacific Consolidated Holdings Group Inc. (PCH), a newly formed operating and holding company focused on cannabis and analogous vice industries, today announced a merger of Saucey, a leading alcohol delivery and logistics platform, and Emjay, a prominent California focused vertically-integrated cannabis delivery and retail platform. The merger of Saucey and Emjay marks the first of several transactions on the horizon for PCH, whose objective is to scale best-in-class vertically integrated vice platforms, with a focus on e-commerce, delivery logistics and cross industry behavioral insights.
PCH was formed in partnership with The Inception Companies and Saucey co-founders Chris Vaughn (CEO), and Daniel Leeb (COO) who now serve as PCH’s management team. By being the first company to combine years of consumer insights spanning behavioral and purchase data across alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, CBD and consumer product categories, PCH is uniquely positioned to address rapidly evolving consumer behaviors, and truly understand a customer’s journey between vice categories. PCH’s other holdings include ownership in cannabis cultivation, as well as additional licenses up-and-down the cannabis supply chain.
“We’ve spent the past decade in bev-alc at the forefront of providing solutions to changing consumer shopping behaviors. What we’ve seen is a more exploratory customer than the industry recognizes, ready to try new form factors, products and categories. The one consistent theme is they want to be able to discover and shop these products conveniently, and to be able to trust their platform of choice. The strength of PCH is that we’re able to provide unparalleled and personalized cross-industry shopping experiences to consumers, while also having the data to understand customer behaviors between cannabis, alcohol, tobacco and CPG. When you combine this with the diversified infrastructure of PCH and the incredible team we have working on these opportunities, it gives us the flexibility and the foundation for best serving the future of these industries.” says Chris Vaughn, CEO of PCH.
Launched in 2014, Saucey now operates across 22 U.S. markets, including Greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Orlando, Tampa and Miami. Saucey continues to rapidly expand its footprint to meet growing consumer demand, with sales growth surpassing 200% year-over-year, all while maintaining profitability as a company. With over 1 million registered users, the majority of which are in California, Saucey has run multiple surveys of its user base asking if they’d use a cannabis delivery offering. Over 70% of Saucey respondents within the California market reported that they’d strongly like the opportunity to purchase cannabis products, highlighting a consumer desire for ordering across vice-related commodities. The company has also launched several CBD and CBD beverage products across its network in recent years, seeing those additions command some of the highest CRM open rates in the company’s history.
Launched in 2019, Emjay is uniquely positioned as one of the only leading cannabis delivery platforms that owns its underlying licenses. With some of the largest delivery coverage in Los Angeles, and a curated menu of more than 780 products, Emjay offers more than 2.5X the selection of similar scale delivery services. As a vertical operator, including owned retail locations, Emjay is also able to offer products delivered to customers at some of the best prices — lower than most leading dispensaries and other large delivery platforms. The unique value proposition of the broadest selection combined with often the best pricing, delivered quickly to you, is resonating with customers. When Vaughn and Leeb took the helm of Emjay operations in January 2020, the delivery business was processing less than $100k in monthly transaction volume. Today, Emjay is operating well into 7-figure sales on a monthly basis, growing at 25-30% per month, and became profitable earlier this year. The company is now focused on entering new markets and converting the large California Saucey user base.
The Inception Companies has been deploying capital across the supply chain of the cannabis industry since 2015. Through these investments they bring the experience of having had a seat at the table of some of the largest operators in the industry, spanning cultivation, retail, brands and real estate.
“The broader cannabis market has largely struggled due to weak underlying fundamentals and poor management. But much like the dashed expectations that came with the rise and fall in the DotCom era, this industry is now evolving into Cannabis 2.0.”, said Omar Mangalji, co-founder of The Inception Companies.
He continued to say, “We strongly believe the companies focused on providing customers with the best quality and consistency will be the ones who win long-term. Inception has always focused on sustainable profitability, best-in-class corporate governance, and most importantly the end consumer. The amalgamation of PCH represents to us the most powerful combination of assets across the supply chain. Combined they are uniquely able to leverage years of cross-industry behavioral and consumer data to bring customers a high quality, dynamic experience. It’s led by an exceptional and experienced team that has already begun to prove the PCH philosophy and with whom we’ve worked very closely.”
With the merger of Saucey and Emjay complete, PCH is focused on further scale and expansion, driving operational efficiencies between the platforms, and introducing consumer offerings that solve for today’s changing purchasing habits across vice categories. To start, as of today, Saucey users in Los Angeles will be able to seamlessly create an Emjay account using their Saucey login, allowing them to toggle between accounts seamlessly with the tap of a button.
With additional cannabis licenses in progress and plans to expand its geographic footprint, Pacific Consolidated Holdings is positioned to accelerate Emjay and Saucey’s growth trajectory and plans to hire more than 100 team members in the coming months.
- Creates Largest Vice Delivery Platform Company by Market Reach with Best-in-Class Operations: The acquisition expands PCH’s reach throughout Southern California and gives the Company the ability to leverage the national brand equity it has built with its existing high-profile platforms.
- Strengthens Logistics Capabilities: PCH will leverage the proprietary logistics technology of both Saucey and Emjay to provide leading last-mile delivery operations and consumer shopping experiences.
- Enhanced Infrastructure for Growth: The combined platform bolsters PCH’s ability to grow and acquire customers, acquire and operate within new business segments, as well as extend license application efforts in new markets across the country.
Launched in early 2019, Emjay is the leading LA-based cannabis delivery and retail platform dedicated to creating the best cannabis shopping experience for consumers. Emjay offers a broader selection than its competitors, available for immediate and scheduled delivery, at prices that match or beat going to top dispensaries.
Emjay’s primary focus is on building consumer trust. It does this through white glove customer service, carefully curating all products that end up on the menu and being highly selective in its courier onboarding and training — less than 20% of driver applicants make on the platform as a driver. As one of the only vertically integrated retail and delivery platforms, Emjay owns and operates all its infrastructure, allowing it to offer incredible pricing to its customers. “All of the weed. None of the markup.” You can shop at heyemjay.com
Since its launch in 2014, Saucey has transformed the alcohol-delivery industry through its dedication to offering top-notch customer service, the latest in proprietary last-mile logistics technology, and an unparalleled mountain of consumer insights that guide the way major alcohol players can reach new, untapped audiences. Currently available in major cities across the U.S., and rapidly expanding in additional markets throughout the country, Saucey not only provides for its customers, but also supports the independently-owned liquor and convenience stores that act as the sellers on its platform. Shop now at saucey.com
About The Inception Companies
The Inception Companies, a private opportunistic investment firm based in Los Angeles and London, has holdings in a variety of asset classes, including real estate, consumer retail and business services, technology and legal cannabis. Founded in 2015, The Inception Co’s has emerged as a leading investor in the legal cannabis space, with robust market intelligence, a deep network of industry relationships, and a portfolio of direct investments totaling well over $5 billion in aggregated enterprise value. Inception has generally taken a hands-on approach with its investments through board representation, corporate strategy and operational oversight roles. The firm’s broad holdings include cultivation and manufacturing operations, retail and e-commerce platforms, consumer brands, vaporization technology and other ancillary strategic data aggregation investments. Some notable investments include Inception REIT/ Subversive REIT LP, MedMen, JUUL/Pax, WeedMaps, Sunday Goods, Compass Pathways and BDS Analytics.
About Pacific Consolidated Holdings
Launched in October 2020, Pacific Consolidated Holdings Group Inc. (PCH) is an operating and holding company focused on cannabis and analogous vice industries. Founded in partnership between The Inception Companies and industry veterans Chris Vaughn (CEO) and Daniel Leeb (COO), the objective of PCH is to operate and scale best-in-class vertically integrated vice platforms, with a focus on e-commerce, delivery logistics and cross industry behavioral insights. PCH’s other holdings include ownership in cannabis cultivation, as well as licenses up-and-down the cannabis supply chain. By being the first company to combine years of consumer insights spanning behavioral and purchase data across alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, CBD and consumer product categories, PCH is uniquely positioned to address rapidly evolving consumer behaviors, and truly understand a customer’s journey between vice categories.