Just off the release of his new album, Bible of Love, rapper, entertainer, and business mogul, Snoop Dogg, has scooped another innovative milestone.
The venture firm he co-founded in 2015, Casa Verde Capital, has secured $45 million in its debut fund, closing out a fundraising effort which began last year. The firm makes seed and series A bets in the “ancillary cannabis industry”.
As the firm explains on its site, “the ancillary ecosystem is commonly referred to as not touching the plant; this category includes, but is not limited to, agtech, health & wellness, financial services, technology, media, compliance and laboratory technology.”
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Among the firm’s current portfolio of eight cannabis ancillary companies is another one of Snoop’s companies, MerryJane.com, a media platform that serves as the information hotline for the industry. It serves celebrity interviews, news coverage of business and politics on the cannabis industry and a cooking show.
The firm’s managing partner, Karan Wadhera, told Tech Crunch the following about what it does with the fund’s money:
We’re writing seed-stage to Series A-size checks, so $1 million plus, with roughly half our fund reserved for follow-on investments, where we can write another $3 million to $5 million [to a limited number of breakout companies]. And we’re only focused on the ancillary part of the cannabis industry, so we won’t invest in companies that touch the plants. No dispensaries or cultivators or manufacturers. We’re investing in the picks and shovels. Our biggest investment to date is LeafLink, a marketplace for retailers and brands. If you were Walmart and logging onto a platform to order from vendors, that’s what LeafLink has created for the cannabis space. A dispensary can log in and order from vendors on one consolidated platform.
When asked of Snoop’s role in the company, Wadhere revealed that he is mostly hands-off, explaining:
He mainly handles the financial modeling. [Laughs.] He’s among the most important cultural figures in this industry, which is incredibly important. His involvement lends a lot of credibility and excitement to our portfolio companies. He’s also there for input whenever we need it.
He’s hands-off on the investment process, but when it comes to certain companies, he’s very involved, including with Merry Jane, a lifestyle media site [focused around cannabis]. That’s content. That’s media. That’s Snoop’s bread and butter.