- Insider has identified the top companies investing the most money in cannabis startups in 2021.
- This is the fourth annual edition of our list.
- You can read the lists for 2018, 2019 and 2020 here.
While 2021 has been a tough year for publicly traded cannabis companies, nascent industry startups — from software platforms to cannabis-infused beverage companies — have had a banner year for fundraising.
Investors paid $2.7 billion across 272 deals into cannabis startups last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2020, according to data provider PitchBook. Of that, more than 85% went to US-based companies, a sign that investors are largely focused on the US, even though cannabis is not yet federally legal.
For this reason, cannabis tech startups, which offer investors a way to bet on the spread of legalization without directly profiting from a controlled substance, tend to attract the most high-profile and top backers. big rounds.
Oregon-based Dutchie, which helps connect cannabis stores to consumers in legal states, led the pack. The startup raised $550 million in two rounds this year, at a valuation of $3.75 billion, among other monster funding rounds last year.
But the most active funds in the industry – the majority of which are represented on this year’s list – are created specifically to invest in cannabis, and they don’t shy away from what is known in the parlance of the industry. investment industry “affecting plants”.
These companies, like Merida Capital Holdings, Poseidon Asset Management, Navy Capital and others, tend to raise funds from family offices or wealthy individuals so that they can take risks that institutional companies, backed by large asset managers or pension funds, cannot.
To compile this list, Insider pulled data from 45 companies that invested in the cannabis industry last year. Of these, we have generated a short list of companies that have deployed over $10 million in private ventures across the industry.
We cross-referenced responses with data providers PitchBook and CB Insights and asked companies to provide breakdowns of their transactions to ensure accuracy.
Although the majority of these investments are just shares, some companies have included transactions structured as convertible debt – a form of debt that converts into shares on an agreed date.