With its latest $40 million raise, cannabis investor Privateer Holdings has reportedly become the first legal marijuana business to collect more than $100 million in total funding. Founded in 2010, the Seattle-based company has raised about $122 million altogether, including a $75 million Series B last year led by Founders Fund, then valuing the company at $490 million. Privateer’s portfolio consists of marijuana producer Tilray, cannabis information and review company Leafly and Marley Natural, a lifestyle and product line inspired by Bob Marley.
Privateer announced the convertible debt round just days before nine states will vote on recreational or medical marijuana legalization. CEO Brendan Kennedy told Reuters most potential lead backers decided to wait until after the election to invest, and that this most recent financing is part of an upcoming Series C round that has a target of $100 million.
Article by PitchBook
Gone To Pot: 5 PE Investors Raising Capital For Cannabis
Article by Kevin Dowd
With either recreational or medical marijuana now allowed in some form in half the U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia), the arc of history is bending sharply toward widespread cannabis legalization. And as you might imagine, that means private equity is taking an increasing interest, with more and more firms raising greenbacks to invest in green plants.
The latest development comes out of Los Angeles, where cannabis-focused management company MedMen has partnered with Wicklow Capital to raise a $100 million PE fund that will pursue strategic investments in legal marijuana. MedMen claims to have helped more than 100 business get up and running since 2009, the sort of baked-in knowledge that’s particularly critical for an industry navigating complex federal and state regulations.
Between MedMen and Privateer Holdings, which in 2015 raised $75 million from Founders Fund to make private equity investments in marijuana companies, PE dollars are streaming into the industry. Here are some of the other financiers focused on cannabis cultivation.
KIND Financial has two primary offerings for the cannabis industry. The first is Agrisoft, the company’s so-called seed-to-sale software, which allows companies and regulators to track marijuana products through the full chain of custody, ensuring no irregularities or illegalities. The second is a fund that provides investment capital for emerging companies in the space.
Tuatara Capital was founded in 2014 to invest exclusively in legal cannabis, seeking companies with strong financials that are positioned to transform the industry in one way or another; early investments include Willie’s Reserve, the brand of country singer Willie Nelson. A regulatory filing dated April 20—we’re not kidding—indicates the firm has raised more than $37 million for its debut fund.
For the past 42 years, High Times has published a monthly magazine covering all things cannabis. In 2014, the company announced plans to raise a $100 million private equity fund to invest in the industry; while the vehicle is currently inactive, High Times plans to resume fundraising efforts later this year, according to reports.
The marijuana industry is even drawing some more traditional investors looking to expand their strategies. Since its founding in 1996, Dutchess Capital has invested in a diverse array of industries, including energy, healthcare and IT; in 2012, the firm unveiled a new focus on legalized cannabis as a self-described “activist, principal investor.” Among the firm’s investments is a $475,000 early-stage financing of MassRoots, a social network for the legal cannabis community.
VC Sparks Growing Crop Of Marijuana Startups
Article by Mikey Tom
24 U.S. states have legalized at least the medical use of marijuana, but as more and more states have enacted legislation to make recreational use legal, the cannabis industry has begun to see the massive growth, investment and innovation that other budding industries are accustomed to. Below, we’ve featured a few of the companies and investors that are working to stake their claim within the marijuana industry.
One of the more prolific names in the industry, Privateer Holdings is a private equity firm focused on investing exclusively in the legal cannabis space. The firm currently holds three companies in its portfolio: Leafly, an online community for sharing reviews of cannabis strains, products and dispensaries; Tilray, a producer of premium medical cannabis; and Marley Natural, a cannabis lifestyle brand rooted in the life and legacy of Bob Marley. Other investors seem to think Privateer is on to something too, as the firm announced a $75 million funding round in April of last year.
CanopyBoulder has taken one of the more popular trends in the startup world today, accelerators, and applied it to the cannabis industry. Its program offers mentorship, seed-stage investment and guidance for companies focused on the industry. The firm operates two classes per year and has a total of 19 alumni.
Growing your own marijuana plant might sound like a fun endeavor for the casual smoker, but in reality the process is labor intensive and requires specific knowledge. Leaf has developed a “Plug n’ Plant” system for growing a personal supply, simplifying the process for users by offering pre-packaged materials, such as plant nutrients, as well as a smart-phone-monitored climate system conducive to growing. A graduate of CanopyBoulder, the company seems to have developed a hit, as the first batch of Leaf units has already sold out.
Billowby operates an online store for smoking-related products, such as vaporizers, bongs and pipes. The company was formed to combat and address the dodgy image of online smoke shops by offering a clean marketplace that features high-quality products and has a focus on customer service. Among Billowby’s list of investors is Queensbridge Venture Partners, a VC firm co-founded by rapper Nas.
Eaze offers an on-demand medical marijuana delivery service available in roughly 100 cities throughout California. Through the company’s app, users are able to browse different products available from nearby stores and have their order dropped off at their door within 20 minutes. Eaze has raised $11.5 million in VC funding to date, most recently securing a $10 million Series A round in April of last year. Investors include DCM Ventures, 500 Startups and Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Ventures.
Strainz is a cannabis brand management company that helps smaller enterprises scale across the U.S. into legal markets. The company has partnerships with cannabis production facilities in three U.S. states—Colorado, Nevada and Washington—and also secured $8 million in Series A debt and equity funding earlier this month.
The company is an online information resource for consumers and medical marijuana patients. Through either Leafly’s website or mobile app, users are able to browse strain ratings, study reviews, read recommendations, view lab-testing data and review dispensaries. The company was acquired by Privateer Holdings in 2011.