In conversation with Marion Mariathasan
Marion Mariathasan is a seasoned entrepreneur who has recently made waves with his venture Simplifya, where he serves as Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Simplifya is the leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform serving the cannabis industry.
The Morning Brunch reached out to Mariathasan to learn more about the journey that led him to Simplfiya and what plans he has for the future.
Based in the US, Mariathasan’s background is in tech, focusing on medical software, financial software, travel software, and e-commerce. Over the years he has founded, invested, or advised over a dozen start-ups across a range of industries including publishing, automotive software, philanthropic software, real estate software, ticketing software, and alcohol brands.
What drew Mariathasan to the tech industry was his fascination with how entrepreneurs were able to solve real problems through the use of technology.
The Simplifya journey
The Simplifya journey began as a concept developed by Vicente Sederberg, one of the leading policy and regulatory law firms in the cannabis industry. The idea was to build software that could help cannabis businesses to stay compliant with state and local regulations and avoid fines and penalties. Because of the nature of the cannabis trade, it was highly regulated and complicated. A platform that simplified compliance and helped businesses stay ahead of complicated and constantly evolving regulations was one that made a lot of sense.
On hearing the concept, Mariathasan knew it would be a game-changer, but he also understood that for such a platform to work, the business that would be built would need to not only solve the problem but also be easily adaptable and scalable as the cannabis market continued to grow not only within America but globally. And thus, Simplifya came to be.
Mariathasan commented: “Of all the companies I’ve been involved in, Simplifya has been the most serendipitous of all, because of how I got involved in an industry that I never really intended to be in, but now love and respect very much.”
One of Simplifya’s biggest challenges lies in continuing to be innovative and solving problems while keeping the platform simple and easy to use, particularly in the context of compliance, which is by no means an easy subject.
Looking to the future
In the future, Simplifya will be launching new technology for other parts of the cannabis industry including banking, insurance, and other ancillary companies that support the industry. Additionally, Simplifya has plans to enter emerging international cannabis markets while potentially looking to acquire companies that can add value to their mission and growth strategy.
Mariathasan hopes to grow Simplifya over the next two to three years and ultimately take the company to an exit. With investments in 16 other companies, both cannabis and non-cannabis related, Mariathasan plans to continue investing in people who are creating great companies and solving problems in the cannabis and other industries.
On a personal level, Mariathasan intends to put more energy into Ceylon Solutions, a company he founded over 15 years ago and in which he currently serves as Chairman, and make a bigger, more positive impact in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Solutions aims to create more jobs, pave the way for opportunities for new start-ups, support causes that need help, and finally, help shape a new way of thinking when it comes to employer and employee relationships.