Homegrown Business: Elad Barak Co-Founder and CEO of Voyager

Voyager is a Toronto start-up that is launching a pocket-sized electronic dispenser that guarantees simple, safe and precise cannabis dosing at the touch of a button. We spoke with Elad Barak
Co-Founder and CEO, to find out more about them.

Voyager
Voyager Team

What is your business called and what does it do?

My business is Voyager, a Toronto start-up launching a pocket-sized electronic dispenser for liquid concentrates dubbed “the Keurig of cannabis” that guarantees simple, safe and precise cannabis dosing at the touch of a button.

The patent-pending Voyager Dispenser – now available for pre-orders – is personalized, affordable and easy to use, making the device the most innovative and health-oriented cannabis product on the market. The accompanying, specially-formulated Voyager Pods with pure Voyager Oil Drops or Voyager Beverage Drops deliver desired states of rest, relaxation, creativity or energy, anytime and anywhere.

What made you want to do this work?

Myself (Elad Barak) and the team of my fellow co-founders (Arjen A. Melis and Giovanni Gerbolini), started Voyager because we wanted to create a product that makes cannabis more accessible and in a format that is less intimidating. Many consumers are interested in cannabis for various health and wellness reasons but often there are barriers or concerns that prevent potential users from using cannabis. These barriers include wanting to avoid smoke inhalation, smelling like cannabis or fear of losing control because of improper dosing. We wanted to create a solution that would allow for personalization and customization so it would be easier for cannabis consumers to get an accurate dose.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

The main problem found in the cannabis industry is that most products are consumed by smoking or vaping. For those who use cannabis for health and wellness reasons, smoking is not the best option. Research shows us that smoking and the smell of cannabis are a barrier to entry as was the fear of losing control related to dosing. We also learned about high levels of frustration with alternate non-flower formats such as cannabis oil concentrates which rely on messy syringes or droppers and expensive beverages. In other words, there was a huge opportunity for which no solution was available. Being entrepreneurs and having a solid tech and consumer background, we choose to solve this by creating our own solution.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Voyager has a lot to offer for various demographics, similar to an iPhone, we are a product for everyone. Daily consumers of cannabis oils love Voyager because of the convenience and accuracy which they consider a huge value-added benefit. We have also received strong interest from new cannabis consumers who are still looking for their favourite format and experimenting with gummies and beverages. Specifically, they are looking for something that fits well with their daily routine at a potency that works for them and is affordable. We have also learned that there is a large group of consumers who reluctantly vape to avoid smoking but who are willing to look at better ways to consume cannabis.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Voyager is a “Razor and Blades” model; consumers need to purchase our dispenser which has a one-time retail cost under $49.99. We are keeping this price low and do not intend to make a profit from the dispenser. Our business makes its money from the sale of compatible Voyager pods, either under the Voyager brand name or branded by other well-known cannabis brands. Since there is a strong interest by daily consumers, this will create a recurring revenue stream from monthly purchases. We expect to take our innovation globally and expand into Health & Wellness as well as Pharma.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are located in and going to make a big splash in Toronto but ultimately, you can expect to find me all over the world. Canada is the frontrunner in legalizing the cannabis market. Other countries are watching us and we expect Voyager’s innovation to be embraced as a safe and responsible consumption format. I have been travelling across North America and Europe to meet with partners who want to roll out their products with Voyager.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Every time we present our product, consumers love it! They want to learn more about it and share how they would use it. The most common question a customer asks us is “how much does it cost?”.

Our dispensers which are a one-time purchase will be sold for under $49.99 and the pods which contain the cannabis (sold separately by our approved partners) will cost in line with the current oil concentrates available. We really surprise our prospects when we tell them they can infuse their own favourite beverage with cannabis for roughly $1.00, compared to $5.00, for a ready-to-drink beverage purchased in-store. You pick the beverage you love (your morning coffee or evening tea before bed) at the potency/dosing which works for you!

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about what we do is making cannabis available in a format that better meets consumer needs and that they feel more comfortable with. During in-store testing, I had a young woman wanting to buy Voyager for her Grandma, which made me feel really happy!

The worst part is needing to be patient; it takes time to make sure everything is perfect and to have investors on board to bring this to market. We have lots of room for more investors to make this Canadian innovation available across the world.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

There is something very ironic or funny if you will when you compare what I do today versus what I did in the past. I have two engineering degrees and used to operate (“pilot”) satellites in space. I am now putting all these skills that I have learned into giving consumers a better and safer way to improve their health and wellness with Cannabis.

Where can we follow you?

Personal LinkedIn | Voyager LinkedIn | Website

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

I love the Spiritleaf store on College Street in Toronto. The team and owner of that store were really nice, letting us talk with their clients, and helping us fine-tune Voyager’s launch plans. The service was terrific and I would encourage anyone to check them out.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 337 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.