One of the fastest growing cannabis-focused public relations firm MATTIO Communications announced that it received a seed round of funding. The investors for the company included Phyto Partners, venture capital titan Alan Patricof, founder of Greycroft, and Green Seed Fund.
“We’ve been thrilled to be growing so rapidly by helping our partners build their brands and footprint,” said Rosie Mattio, Founder & CEO. “We’re excited to add even more services and tools to help our clients expand to the next level.”
Rosie Mattio launched MATTIO Communications, formerly RMPR, in 2004 as a one-woman PR firm, but not one that specialized in cannabis. Mattio was living in Seattle with her family in 2014, at the time when adult-use cannabis was legalized in the state of Washington. Her timing was impeccable because she quickly realized emerging cannabis brands had specific marketing needs – and challenges.
She also took the risk to represent these clients. Many people forget that five years ago when you decided to work in the cannabis industry your peers would suggest you were potentially ruining your career. If you went to work in cannabis you would never be able to return to the traditional work world without being stained by the stigma of cannabis.
Since those early days, MATTIO Communications moved back east and is now based in New York City and serves over 25 marquee cannabis clients, including Headset, Canndescent, Papa & Barkley, LeafLink, Flowhub, Caliva, Green Mile, and Ascend Wellness Holdings. The agency offers a full spectrum of marketing services, including public relations, social media, SEO and investor relations. The company said the funds will be used to expand its array of digital services, including a targeted programmatic ad network, specifically for cannabis clients.
“We invest in companies that are writing the narrative of the cannabis industry,” said Brett Finklestein, Managing Director of Phyto Partners. “We’ve watched Rosie build a powerhouse agency since its infancy. Her expertise in the cannabis space is unparalleled. She represents a number of our portfolio companies, and we’re excited to be part of her growth.”
The global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $146 billion by the end of 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Grand Views noted that the U.S. legal marijuana market size was estimated at $7 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.9% from 2017 to 2025. As the cannabis industry has grown by leaps and bounds, MATTIO Communications has followed that trajectory higher. Mattio is no longer a one-woman firm and has grown 210% over last year. She has built a team including Mitchel Rothschild, Colleen Crawford, Renee Cotsis, Hally Gordon and many more.
The Mattio approach uses outside the box thinking for its clients versus the standard PR tactics. For example, instead of just inviting journalists to meet the client Papa & Barkley, a product known for its stringent cannabis sourcing. Mattio brought the journalists to the client’s home base to see those production standards first hand and even brought them to a farm to see the product and meet the farmer. A real farm to shelf experience. Her creative approach and strong relationship building have opened many publication doors.
Mattio is known for making each client feel like it is the number one most important client in the roster. That level of attention has created a word of mouth drawing numerous cannabis companies through her doors.
“As we expand our portfolio of investments, we look for best- in -class operators with proven track records,” says Kenneth Frisman, a partner in Green Seed Fund. “Mattio and her team have helped build some of the most recognized brands in the Cannabis industry and we are excited to watch as they continue to expand as the preeminent marketing firm in the space.”