Altitude Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtSeptember 24, 2019


New York-based investment firm Altitude Investment Management, plc (AIM plc) is taking the EU plunge and making a $5.5 million investment in Switzerland-based CBD company KannaSwiss AG (KannaSwiss).

“My partners and I have been laser-focused on investing in the legal cannabis industry since 2016. We raised approximately $31 million in our first cannabis vehicle which has been invested in 19 companies across the industry,” said Roderick Stephan, co-founder, and partner of Altitude. “While the CBD/wellness market is thriving, the medical and legal cannabis markets in Europe are in their infancy. We believe that over the next couple of years, medical cannabis will be generally available across Europe and some countries will also allow recreational consumption. The market is poised for tremendous growth just as it has in the U.S.”

The company set its sites on Europe after it opened an office in London and raised $7.4 million for its newly formed UK-based investment company, AIM plc.  The company said in its statement that it targeted Europe because it has a population more than double that of the United States and they are seeing deregulation steps that are beginning to look a lot like North America. Altitude wants to get in early as the market develops.

The investment into KannaSwiss will allow the company to materially scale its commercial ethanol extraction operations both in bulk sales of CBD isolate and distillate, as well as in the development, marketing and sales of branded products.  The funds will also accelerate KannaSwiss’ attainment of ISO 9000 and GMP certification further solidifying the company’s leadership position in the market.  KannaSwiss has recently hired two additional chemists to focus on R&D for cannabinoid-enhanced formulations to address cognitive function, PMS/menopause, PTSD, mood enhancement, sleep, and immune health.

“This significant investment from Altitude will help solidify us as the leading hemp extraction and product company in Europe” said Ivan Enderli, co-founder of KannaSwiss.


“Altitude believes the investment opportunity in the European legal cannabis industry is unique and presents compelling outsized risk adjusted returns. Experts project the CBD wellness market in Pan-European countries to be worth $416 million in 2019 and reach $1.7 billion by 2023, with medical cannabis coming in at $318 million in 2018 with rapid expansion to $8 billion by 2023,” said Stephan. “The path forward has strong support, and we are looking to be one of the first to support and grow the European market.”


Moving forward, AIM plc will invest in controlling and non-controlling interests in emerging private companies specifically across the legal European cannabis industry’s supply chain.  Founded by John Brecker, Michael Goldberg, Rod Stephan and Jon Trauben, Altitude has an established track record of successful investments in the cannabis industry while navigating its ever-changing dynamics. Its portfolio includes Grassroots, EMMAC, Canndescent, Flowhub, SpringBig, PathogenDx, BDS Analytics and more.

Debra BorchardtNovember 27, 2018


Altitude Investment Management is closing its Fund I on November 30, 2018, with $30 million raised. Altitude is led by John Brecker, Jon Trauben, Michael Goldberg, and Roderick Stephan. Fund I opened on March 1, 2018, and the company said that it has invested in 16 companies from early-stage to growth companies. The company plans to launch Fund II at the beginning of 2019 and hopes to raise $100 million.

Partner Jon Trauben sums up Altitude’s Fund I strategy by saying: “We sought reasonable valuation entry points taking advantage of early illiquidity and inefficiency due to the existing federal prohibition.”

Fund I’s portfolio consists of some of the leading firms spanning the North American cannabis industry with concentrations in plant-touching operators/brands/distribution and non-plant-touching companies providing compliance, advertising/marketing, ag-tech and data solutions including:

  • BDS Analytics, the leader in cannabis business intelligence.
  • Canndescent, a leading California ultra-premium brand with world-class management and best practices from consumer-packaged goods, advanced agriculture, and luxury lifestyle marketing.
  • C4 Distro, a leader in the California cannabis distribution market that provides quality distribution services to California’s extremely fragmented market of suppliers and retailers.
  • Enlighten, the leading in-dispensary digital marketing platform.
  • Flowhub, a leading seed-to-sale compliance and robust point-of-sale SaaS platform in partnership with Hewlett Packard.
  • Front Range Bio, an agricultural biotech company that specializes in tissue culture propagation of high-value crops at industrial scale to improve reliability, efficiency, and safety.
  • GrassRoots, a fully-licensed, vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis company active in cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, branding, and retailing.
  • Loud Pack Farms, a leading California vertically-integrated cannabis consumer products company with a family of brands including Loudpack, Kingpen, Double Barrel, and Honey Pot.
  • PathogenDX, a provider of a patented DNA-based disruptive testing technology for state-mandated microbial testing and environmental screening.
  • Segra, a Canadian plant biotechnology company that specializes in industrial-scale plant micropropagation and plant genotyping services.
  • Würk, which helps cannabis companies provide the necessary human resources and payroll infrastructure to manage their employee’s needs and to stay compliant with government regulations.

Partner Michael Goldberg added, “As the cannabis industry matures, more companies will require significant growth capital to fund product, service and geographic expansion. In addition, increasing competition will create the need for consolidation, merger, and acquisition and distressed investment opportunities. A larger capital base in Fund II will ideally position Altitude to take advantage of these opportunities.”



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