Miami is often in the spotlight, but one of South Florida’s fastest-growing tech startups is about 50 miles north in Boca Raton.
SpringBig was founded in 2012, but the loyalty and marketing platform really took off once it began to focus on cannabis clients a few years later.
The company has more than 1,000 clients across 2,300 locations in North America. It reaches an estimated 38 million legal marijuana users through its software-as-a-service platform, which enables cannabis businesses to market their goods and loyalty programs to customers via text message.
Now, founder and CEO Jeffrey Harris says the company is preparing for its next phase. In November, SpringBig entered into an agreement to go public through a merger with Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company. The deal, which values SpringBig at $500 million, will enable the venture to scale quickly to meet demand in the medical and recreational cannabis sectors.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I worked for my father’s company in Chicago, SHS Direct. Through my father, I grew up seeing what it was like to be an entrepreneur, and it’s what I felt comfortable with.
Why did you start springbig?
I was reading a hotel magazine and saw an article about a company that created a tablet-based digital punch card for businesses. I thought it was cool, and I thought I could do it better. I asked an old colleague to come down and build the tech to make it work. Our original focus wasn’t cannabis, it was mom-and-pop businesses.