Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Description of Business

Description of Business
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2023
Description of Business  
Description of Business

Note 1 – Description of Business


Akerna Corp., herein referred to as we, us, our, the Company or Akerna was formed upon completion of the mergers between MTech Acquisition Corp. (“MTech”) and MJ Freeway, LLC (“MJF”) on June 17, 2019 as contemplated by the Merger Agreement dated October 10, 2018, as amended (the “Mergers”). Akerna provides software as a service (“SaaS”) solutions within the cannabis industry that enable regulatory compliance and inventory management through our wholly-owned subsidiaries MJF, Trellis Solutions, Inc., or Trellis, Ample Organics, Inc., or Ample, solo sciences, inc., or Solo and Viridian Sciences, Inc., or Viridian. Our proprietary suite of solutions are adaptable for industries in which interfacing with government regulatory agencies for compliance purposes is required, or where the tracking of organic materials from seed or plant to end products is desired. We also develop products intended to assist states in monitoring licensed businesses’ compliance with state regulations and to help state-licensed businesses operate in compliance with such law. We provide our commercial software platforms, MJ Platform®, Trellis®, Ample and Viridian to state-licensed businesses, and our regulatory software platform, Leaf Data Systems®, to state government regulatory agencies. Our solutions are considered non-enterprise offerings (“Non-Enterprise”) that meet the needs of our small and medium business (“SMB”) and government regulatory agency customers and our Viridian  solutions are considered enterprise offerings (“Enterprise”). 


We consult with clients on a wide range of areas to help them successfully maintain compliance with state laws and regulations. We provide project-focused consulting services to clients who are initiating or expanding their cannabis business operations or are interested in data consulting engagements with respect to the legal cannabis industry. Our advisory engagements include service offerings focused on compliance requirement assessments, readiness and best practices, compliance monitoring systems, application processes, inspection readiness, and business plan and compliance reviews. We typically provide our consulting services to clients in emerging markets that are seeking consultation on newly introduced licensing regimes and assistance with the regulatory compliant build-out of operations. 

Strategic Shift in Business Strategy

During the fourth quarter of 2022, we committed to a number of significant actions described below that collectively represent a strategic shift in our business strategy for 2023 and beyond.

Exiting the Enterprise Software Business

The development of our Enterprise software business, which began with the acquisitions of Viridian and The NAV People Inc. d.b.a. 365 Cannabis (“365 Cannabis”) in 2021, did not achieve a sustainable scale in a timely manner consistent with our original plans. Accordingly, we committed to an effort to market this business unit and on January 11, 2023, we completed the sale of 365 Cannabis to 365 Holdco - LLC (the “Buyers”) pursuant to a stock purchase agreement (the “365 SPA”) for (i) cash in the amount of $0.5 million and the (ii) the termination and release of our obligation to the Buyers for contingent consideration in connection with our original acquisition of 365 Cannabis from the Buyers in 2021 (the “Earn-out Obligation”). In accordance with the 365 SPA, we and the Buyers agreed that the value of the Earn-out Obligation was $2.3 million for purposes of the sale of 365 Cannabis and was reflected as Contingent consideration payable on our condensed consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2022.

While we explored similar sale options for Viridian, we were unable to commit to any definitive transaction. Accordingly, we informed Viridians customers that we do not plan to continue software and support services beyond the date of existing contracts, all of which expire during the first half of 2023. With the sale of 365 Cannabis and our commitment to wind down the operations of Viridian, we have effectively exited the Enterprise software business. Accordingly, we have suspended efforts to seek any new revenue generating opportunities and will only service the existing customers of Viridian in connection with our contractual commitments. 

Disposal of Non-Core SMB Software Products and Brands

In addition to the our exit from the Enterprise software business, we initiated efforts to explore a sales process for the non-core components and brands of our SMB/Non-Enterprise business unit, including Trellis, a cultivation and compliance software platform, Solo, a seed-to-sale tagging and tracking software platform and Last Call Analytics (“LCA”), a retail analytics platform. On January 31, 2023, we completed the sale of LCA for cash in the amount of $0.1 million. While we pursued sale opportunities for Trellis and Solo, we were ultimately unable to commit to any definitive transactions. Accordingly, we have communicated with the remaining customers of those businesses that we will discontinue software service and support upon the expiration of existing contracts during the first half of 2023. Similar to Viridian, as discussed above, we have suspended efforts to seek any new revenue generating opportunities and will only service the existing customers of Solo and Trellis in connection with our contractual commitments. 

Exit Strategy

With the completion of the sales of 365 Cannabis and LCA and the commitment to effectively discontinue and wind down the operations and service associated with Viridian, Solo and Trellis, our remaining core SMB and governmental business unit is comprised of MJF and Ample. Concurrent with the actions described above, we entered into letters of intent with two unrelated parties in the fourth quarter of 2022 to (i) explore the sale of our remaining core SMB and governmental business unit and (ii) realize the potential value of our publicly-held holding company through a merger or similar transaction. Collectively, pursuit of these transactions reflects our intention to fully exit the SaaS industry.

On January 27, 2023, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (“MJF-Ample SPA”) with POSaBIT Systems Corp (“POSaBIT”) to sell MJF and Ample for $4.0 million in cash. Subsequently, we received a superior offer from Alleaves Inc. (“Alleaves”), as described below, which was presented to POSaBIT for an opportunity to match or exceed Alleaves offer in accordance with the MJF-Ample SPA. POSaBIT ultimately declined to present a counter-offer and on April 5, 2023, we terminated the MJF-Ample SPA. As a result of the termination, Akerna owes POSaBIT a termination fee of $140,000 and payment of up to $60,000 in reasonable fees and expenses. 

On April 28, 2023, we entered into a securities purchase agreement (the “SPA”) with MJ Freeway Acquisition Co (“MJA”), a subsidiary of Alleaves. Upon the terms and subject to the satisfaction of the conditions described in the SPA, including approval of the transaction by Akerna’s stockholders, Akerna will sell MJF and Ample to MJA (the “Sale Transaction”) for a purchase price of $5.0 million, consisting of $4.0 million in cash at closing and a loan by MJA to Akerna in the principal amount of $1.0 million evidenced by a note and security documents (as described in detail below) with such note to be deemed paid in full upon closing. The purchase price is subject to adjustment at closing of the Sale Transaction attributable to variances from target working capital (as set forth in the SPA) and further adjustment post-closing upon delivery of a post-closing statement by MJA within 75 days after the closing subject to a $0.5 million cap on any post-closing working capital adjustments. The closing of the Sale Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions as well as the required approval of the stockholders of Akerna and the concurrent closing of the merger transaction, as described below. The obligation of MJA to close on the Sale Transaction is also subject to satisfaction of certain additional conditions regarding employee retention and contractual matters associated with MJFs and Amples customers, among others. Under the SPA, Akerna and MJA have agreed to provide limited indemnification to each other with respect to certain tax matters, in each case capped at a maximum amount of $0.5 million. We or MJA may terminate the SPA upon mutual consent and either party may terminate the SPA unilaterally under certain conditions as described in the SPA. In the event that MJA or Akerna terminates the SPA pursuant to certain of the sections set forth above, Akerna will be required to pay MJA a termination fee of $290,000 and reimburse MJA for its reasonable fees and expenses up to $60,000.

On January 27, 2023, we entered into an agreement and plan of merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Gryphon Digital Mining, Inc. (“Gryphon”) and Akerna Merger Co. (“Akerna Merger”). Upon the terms and subject to the satisfaction of the conditions provided in the Merger Agreement, including the approval of the transaction by Akerna’s and Gryphon’s stockholders, Akerna Merger will be merged with and into Gryphon (the “Merger”), with Gryphon surviving the Merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Akerna. Following the closing of the Merger, the former Gryphon and Akerna stockholders immediately before the Merger are expected to own approximately 92.5 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, of the outstanding capital stock on a fully diluted basis. Upon completion of the Merger, Akerna will change its name to Gryphon Digital Mining, Inc. The closing of the Merger is subject to customary closing conditions including the required approval of the stockholders of Akerna and Gryphon, the approval of the Nasdaq Capital Market (the “Nasdaq Market”) of the continued listing of Gryphon after the closing of the Merger and the simultaneous closing of the Sale Transaction, among others. We and Gryphon may terminate the Merger upon mutual consent and either party may terminate the Merger unilaterally under certain conditions. In the event either party terminates the Merger pursuant to certain conditions, we will be required to pay Gryphon a termination fee of $275,000 less any reimbursed expenses. The Merger is expected to be treated by Akerna as a reverse merger, or a change of control, whereby the stockholders of Gryphon will have majority ownership and control of Akerna after the transaction is complete.

Concurrent with the signing and in support of the Sale Transaction and the Merger, we and each of the holders of the 2021 Senior Secured Convertible Notes (the “Senior Convertible Notes”) entered into exchange agreements (the “Exchange Agreements”) whereby the holders would ultimately convert the principal amounts of each of their note holdings to a level that would represent 19.9 percent of the outstanding shares of our common stock, $0.0001 par value (“Common Stock”) prior to the closing of the Sale Transaction and the Merger. Immediately prior to the stockholder vote required for the closing of those transaction, the remaining Senior Convertible Notes outstanding would be converted into a special class of exchangeable preferred stock to facilitate the required stockholder vote and then be converted into shares of our Common Stock subject to the Merger. For a limited period, the conversion price of the Senior Convertible Notes was lowered to $1.20 per share from $4.75 per share. We anticipate scheduling a meeting of stockholders during the third quarter of 2023 to approve the Sale Transaction and the Merger and we expect these transactions to close shortly thereafter.


Secured Note and Ancillary Agreements

On May 3, 2023, we received a loan in the amount of $1.0 million from MJA in connection with the Sale Transaction. Accordingly, we and MJA entered into a $1.0 million secured promissory note (the “MJA Note”). The MJA Note bears simple interest at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum from the date of issuance until repayment of the MJA Note which will be due and payable on April 28, 2024, or, upon completion of the Sale Transaction, in which case the MJA Note shall be deemed paid in full. Akerna’s obligations under the MJA Note have been secured pursuant to a Security and Pledge Agreement (the “Security Agreement”). The Security Agreement creates a security interest in all of the personal property of Akerna and certain of its subsidiaries. In addition, certain subsidiaries of Akerna entered into a guaranty agreement with MJA (the “Guaranty Agreement”) under which they will guarantee the obligations of the Company under the Security Agreement and the MJA Note.

In connection to the MJA Note, the Security Agreement, and the Guaranty Agreement (collectively, “New Note Transaction Documents”) and solely to permit Akerna to issue the MJA Note and execute and perform its obligations under the New Note Transaction Documents and a Subordination Agreement (as defined below), each of the holders (each, a “Holder”) of the Senior Convertible Notes issued pursuant to a Securities Purchase Agreement dated October 5, 2021 (“2021 SPA”) agreed to waive the prohibition on issuing indebtedness other than Permitted Indebtedness (as defined in the Senior Convertible Notes) pursuant to Section 14(b) of the Senior Convertible Notes and the prohibition permitting Liens (as defined in the Senior Convertible Notes) to exist other than Permitted Liens (as defined in the Senior Convertible Notes) pursuant to Section 14(c) of the Senior Convertible Notes and Section 5(g)(v) of the 2021 SPA (the “Waiver”). In connection to the New Note Transaction Documents, MJA, Akerna, and HT Investments MA LLC (the “Senior Agent”, together with the Holders, the “Senior Creditors”), as collateral agent under the 2021 SPA, each on behalf of the respective Holders, entered into a subordination and intercreditor agreement (the “Subordination Agreement”), whereby the parties agreed that the payment of any and all obligations, liabilities and indebtedness of every nature of Akerna, its applicable subsidiary and/or affiliates from time to time owed to MJA under the Subordinated Debt Documents (as defined in the Subordination Agreement) will be subordinate and subject in right and time of payment, to the prior payment in full of all obligations under the Senior Convertible Notes.

Financial Reporting and Classification

As a result of the corporate actions described above, 365 Cannabis and LCA (together, the “Discontinued Group”) met the criteria to be considered “held for sale” as that term is defined in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). Accordingly. the assets and liabilities of these entities are classified and reflected on our condensed consolidated balance sheets as held for sale as of December 31, 2022 and their results of operations are classified as discontinued operations in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. Certain financial disclosures including major components of the assets and liabilities and results of operations of the Discontinued Group are provided in Note 12. Our core SMB and governmental business unit (MJF and Ample), the businesses for which we have committed to terminate operations (Viridian, Solo and Trellis) and our publicly-held parent holding company (Akerna Corp.) comprise our continuing operations. Collectively, these entities are presented as  continuing operations for all periods presented herein and until such time that stockholder approval is received for the Sale Transaction and the Merger.