Though still in its infancy, the potential for the growth of the legal marijuana space has caught the attention of many high profile investors. Platforms aimed at funding marijuana-related startups have increased in the recent past, with Silicon Valley founders holding fort at the helm. The ample room for innovation in this space is one of the most attractive factors to big time investors. According to Forbes, US cannabis sales in 2016 alone reached $6.7 billion, with Bloomberg predicting that it will reach $50 Billion by 2026.
As the marijuana industry flourishes in its infancy, acquiring funding for your canna-business start-up may still not be a walk in the park. However, there are a wide variety of options including Angel Investors, Cannabis-specific funding sites, and Venture Capital firms.
We will take you through the notable sources for funding your cannabis start-up.
How do you find an angel investor?
Due largely in part to federal laws outlawing marijuana, the marketing of it, and the involvements of the federal law overseeing investment dollars in marijuana, the initial cannabis businesses could not procure loans through the normal banking channels. As such, angel investors were the first funders in this space.
Who is an angel investor?
In a nutshell, this is a type of investor who puts his, or her money in a startup that they believe has the potential to succeed in exchange for shares in the startup, or future repayment.
Angel investors can be sourced privately, or using a custom built search engine, or service. Privately, they could even include people in your circle such as family, friends or individuals you may come into contact with who might have the funds and wherewithal to fund your startup.
Public platforms for finding angel investors listed below:
https://angel.co is a portal where angel investors and entrepreneurs come together.
Cannafundr is a company who receives funds from private investors and whose primary mission is "crowdfunding for cannabis start-ups by way of accredited investors." They have a minimum funding amount of $2,500, unlike other investment funds who start in the range of $50,000. This is a great platform for smaller start-ups looking to find Angel Investors.
"Marijuana angel Investors" have an angel list of more than 1,000 investors actively looking for new opportunities in the cannabis sector.
Blogs such as techcrunch, new cannabis ventures, and Bitly have a list of angel investors you can approach, but there is a limit on the information you would receive about the investor prior to engaging them, making this option the least engaging.
Membership to most of these spaces is free.
Other investors for your cannabis business
Quite different than tech and some other industries where innovators have to create a demand for their products, the cannabis market is already primed and growing. As such, investors who are known for backing tech firms are flocking into the cannabis startup space. Reaching out to high net worth individuals operating in high-demand industries such as musicians, athletes and other celebrities could yield promising fruit in terms of securing investors who are serious about making money in the long-run.
Industry-specific holding companies have also been substantial sources of funds for startups. Calvin Broadus Jr., also known as Snoop Dogg is also a notable early investor as the director of a cannabis fund called Casa Verde Capital.
Jay Z is doing the same.
Start-Ups that received funding
It is very encouraging to see the number of cannabis start-ups who have been able to raise substantial funding for their businesses.
Just to congratulate a few, the start-ups listed below received funding in excess of several million dollars:
Eaze, an online app for the delivery of marijuana has raised $202.5 million.
Surterra Wellness, a cannabis-based therapy outfit, has raised $355.7 million.
Greenbits, this is platform for cannabis point-of-sales managed to raise $41 million.
Canndescent, specializes in cultivating, packaging and selling cannabis flowers and have raised $57 million.
Though not all investors are quick to jump onto the cannabis start-up bandwagon, there is certainly a positive push in this direction. As the potential for profit in marijuana-related businesses increases, more silent angel investors are willing to be associated with the trade, with many more who previously invested in other industries, stepping up for their slice of the pie.
time to get baked?