Back in January, directly following the legalization of cannabis for recreational use by adults, Crunchbase News reported on the state of the cannabis industry. We found that the industry was attracting a lot of attention in media and among adults looking to explore cannabis for entertainment and medical purposes.
However, VC funding, seemingly stalled by federal illegality and inflammatory statements on the part of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, did not mirror that excitement. Despite that discouragement and insecurity, many startups were optimistic about the future of the industry.
With five months of legal recreational use already under California’s belt, Crunchbase News decided to revisit the industry and take a look at which cannabis startups have raised the most over the last couple of years. All of the companies included in the list are startups that have raised at least one round since the beginning of 2016.
Number one on our list of startups is probably familiar to you if you live in California. San Francisco-based Eaze began as a medical marijuana delivery service, but it has expanded to recreational delivery. Just before legalization in California in September 2017, Eaze raised a $27 million Series B extension led by Bailey Venture Partners.
In all, Eaze has raised a total of $51.5 million over five rounds, according to Crunchbase. Prior to its most recent Series B, the company raised $13 million in an initial Series B in October 2016. Its backers include 500 Startups, DCM Ventures, Fresh VC, the above mentioned Bailey Venture Partners, and others.
The Postmates for cannabis startups, much like its food delivery counterparts, has burned a lot of its capital, according to TechCrunch. However, the company is confident that its current strategy is not only typical of startups in similar spaces. Eaze also believes its the ticket to dominance in a growing market. And the company said that a big focus over the past year has been education.
“We recently launched a more content-focused homepage to help curious consumers understand the wellness benefits of cannabis. Our marketing is focused on creative ways to continue educating adults around these benefits,” Eaze spokesperson Sheena Shiravi told Crunchbase News in an email.
Tech For Cannabis Business Owners
Another company, Baker Technologies, exemplifies the efforts of startups to address the needs of cannabis businesses and dispensaries. Baker is a point-of-sale platform which provides dispensaries with business management and customer relations software.
The company has raised a total of $12.5 million in funding since its founding in 2014. Baker’s latest funding round, an $8 million Series A led by Cannabis industry-focused firm Poseidon Asset Management in November 2017, supported the company’s opening of an LA office before California’s legalization of cannabis.
When we connected with Baker by email back in January, the CEO was confident in the broad public support for state-led cannabis legalization, as well as the incentive of benefits like taxation and job creation for future support and legalization on the state level. However, federal regulations were still causing uncertainty for the company. (Baker did not respond to a request for comment by publish date.)
Other startups are addressing large-scale cultivation management to technology that could potentially help police officers regulate driving under the influence. The following is a list of ten startups that have raised the most funding in the cannabis industry.
|Company Name||Headquarters Location||Description||Total Raised|
|Eaze||San Francisco, CA||Eaze offers medical marijuana delivery, helping customers order cannabis on demand.||$51.5M|
|Surterra Holdings, Inc.||Atlanta, GA||Cannabis-based Therapeutics company||$25.3M|
|Green Bits||San Jose, CA||Green Bits is a retail management and point-of-sale platform that helps legal cannabis retailers grow their businesses||$20M|
|Canndescent||Santa Barbara, CA||Canndescent has created a brand of cannabis flower produced, packaged and distributed in accordance with all state and local laws.||$16.5M|
|LeafLink||New York, NY||LeafLink is a wholesale management platform for the cannabis industry. It connects cannabis brands & retailers.||$14M|
|Baker Technologies||Denver, CO||Baker makes smart products to help the best dispensaries keep their customers happy and loyal.||$12.5M|
|Mj Freeway||Denver, CO||The marijuana industry's premium business platform offering industry-leading seed-to-sale tracking software.||$11M|
|HelloMD||San Francisco, CA||HelloMD is a digital healthcare platform for medical cannabis doctor consultations.||$8.5M|
|Hound Labs||Oakland, CA||Hound Labs develops a scientific device that measures and detects level of marijuana and alcohol in a person's body.||$8.1M|
|Strainz||Las Vegas, NV||Strainz is a leading cannabis brand management company delivering a portfolio of premium grade cannabis products..||$8M|