Casa Verde, a venture firm that counts Snoop Dogg as a partner, led a $7 million financing round for cannabis short-term lender Bespoke Financial. Bespoke Financial was launched in 2018 by co-founders Benjamin Dusastre, Pablo Borquez-Schwarzbeck and George Mancheril.
“While the US legal cannabis market is forecasted to grow over 20% annually, reaching $23B by 2022, the industry’s true growth potential is limited by long cash flow cycles throughout the supply chain and a lack of scalable and efficient capital sources,” says Bespoke Financial Co-Founder and CEO, George Mancheril. “Our approach will dramatically improve cash flow cycles across the supply chain and provide scalable working capital to fuel our clients’ growth.”
Borquez-Schwarzbeck and Dusastre are also the co-founders of ProducePay, a fintech platform focused on produce farmers across North and South America. Founded in 2014, ProducePay has financed $2+ billion in perishable commodities to date, operates in 13 countries, processes thousands of transactions monthly and has raised over $200M in funding from some of the largest and most prominent investors in the world.
Building off ProducePay’s successful business model to offer financing to a similarly underbanked industry, Bespoke provides unique financing options for the cannabis industry by incorporating ProducePay’s proven underwriting model, risk management controls and technological expertise in building a successful fintech platform.
In addition to Casa Verde, Greenhouse Capital Partners, and Outbound Ventures among others will be used to both enhance Bespoke’s existing online platform where borrowers can request funds on a real-time basis and to expand Bespoke’s team and marketing efforts. While currently focused on the California cannabis market, the company has plans to quickly expand into other legal US jurisdictions.
“Bespoke is filling a critical funding gap for US cannabis businesses that are rapidly scaling and need short-term working capital solutions. With the recent softening of the public markets, private financing is becoming more expensive. As such, Bespoke has created an efficient alternative for cannabis companies to access liquidity while managing their dilution,” says Karan Wadhera, Managing Partner of Casa Verde. “Given the Bespoke team’s previous success in building the leading agtech platform, coupled with their depth of fintech expertise, we are confident in leadership’s ability to execute.”