Planting seeds of change in a growing industry
Good Tree Capital is a dynamic company that provides fair access to capital to diverse borrowers in the cannabis industry. Slalom Build collaborated with their team on a digital wallet platform to help companies move from using outdated and costly cash-based transactions. Good Tree Capital is now the first-to-market in this space, changing the way legitimate, licensed businesses handle their financial transactions.
Software Engineering, Solution Ownership, Site Reliability Engineering, Data Engineering, Product Operating Model, Change Management, Team Effectiveness
Google Cloud Platform, Moov, Nuxt.js, Vue.js, Node.js, SonarQube, Auth0, Docker, MongoDB, ConfigCat, Cypress
Ensuring equitable access in an emerging industry
Access to loans for those who wish to enter the cannabis industry has been extremely limited, with an estimated 70% of businesses unable to obtain a commercial bank account. Many of those left out of this growing opportunity are Black and Latino entrepreneurs who already have difficulties accessing capital to start their companies.
Since 2018, Good Tree Capital has been disrupting the “cannabiz” space, building its loan portfolio across six states to shrink the opportunity gap for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses. The company is trusted by the State of Illinois to deploy a $30 million dollar social equity fund to dispensaries, cultivators, distributors, and others seeking capital.
“We are positioning Good Tree Capital to be the solution that doesn’t currently exist in a way that is compelling to operators in the industry.”
SEKE BALLARD, FOUNDER AND CEO, GOOD TREE CAPITAL
Paper is so passé
Good Tree Capital’s CEO, Seke Ballard, set his sights on resolving business owners’ pains in managing and moving these funds. He wanted to help them to simplify their finances and move from using cash, which is manual, costly, slow, and unsafe. The solution? Digital wallets.
Good Tree Capital realized they lacked the team and technical resources needed to create their dream digital wallet platform in time. So they turned to Slalom Build for assistance.
But the clock was already ticking because the deadline for launch coincided with the State of Illinois’ funding timelines. In addition, the faster the company was able to release this solution, the quicker they would be able to generate revenue via their subscription model. But wait, there’s more! The company also wanted to migrate their existing form capture loan application system to a new platform.
With no time or money to waste, we assembled a small but dynamic group of builders and got to work.
Enabling seamless financial transactions
It was established that Slalom Build would focus our efforts on building the digital wallet platform on Google Cloud Platform.
First, our team built the core foundation of the digital wallet platform and third-party integration with Moov. Taking care of this step early allowed Good Tree Capital’s clients to immediately start performing critical financial transactions such as tracking loan repayments, paying employees and vendors for services, and obtaining support with products and inventory.
The next phase of our work was to add fees and subscription features to the digital wallet platform. Doing so enabled Good Tree Capital to tap into a valuable source of revenue to ensure financial success.
Good Tree Capital’s new digital wallet platform supports their clients with:
- Storing money. Money is secure on its Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) encrypted platform. Bank-level security is offered through Good Tree Capital’s credit union sponsor.
- Sending & receiving funds. Free and instant wallet-to-wallet transfers can be made to other Good Tree Capital wallets. Sending and receiving money from external bank accounts is done within 48 hours.
- Accessing a verified user network. All wallet holders are Know Your Customer (KYC)/Know Your Business (KYB) verified to mitigate risks. Customers can safely grow their network by inviting others to join.
- Payment tracking. Customers can receive their loans, spend the proceeds, and make monthly loan payments from the wallet’s dashboard.
Our collaboration has left the company in a highly sustainable position with the necessary tools and skillsets in place for future expansion.
“We genuinely became an integral part of their team. There was no friction, no siloization. They were fully and completely engaged from the get-go.”
TOM WILHELM, SENIOR ARCHITECT, SOLUTION OWNERSHIP, SLALOM BUILD
Launching a first-to-market, fintech disruptor
Good Tree Capital, Google, and Slalom Build succeeded in moving at an accelerated pace while keeping tight control of the project’s scope. The emerging fintech company is now fully equipped with the tools to change how digital transactions are handled in the cannabis industry.
They are set to provide access to capital for underserved communities that are typically underfunded or charged considerable fees from traditional banks. The company is the first-to-market in this space and is on their way to becoming the go-to place for the cannabis industry to perform secure financial transactions easily. Multiple lenders have been successfully onboarded, received funding for their loan applications, and have had money deployed to their digital wallets.
To date, forty-five companies in Illinois have either created a wallet or are in the process of doing so, representing twenty percent of the total number of licensees. Seems the old adage is true. From tiny seeds grow mighty trees, and they eventually turn into a forest.
"It goes without saying that we are genuinely sorry to see this project end, but we are so grateful for the amazing work that the Slalom Build team has done. You have truly been terrific partners, working side by side with our team to help us make our vision a reality."
ALINA COWDEN, CMO, GOOD TREE CAPITAL