Casa Verde Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 16, 2020
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4min8820

Capital may be tight for most cannabis companies, but investors are still willing to make some selective bets. The cannabis retail platform, Greenbits raised $23 Million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global and Casa Verde. Greenbits serves more than 1,200 retail locations, including both medical dispensaries and adult-use retailers, across 13 states. In February, Greenbits began operating in the state of Illinois, which opened its adult-use market in January and is expected to become the second-largest cannabis market in the United States. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on retail, Greenbits has managed to stay above the chaos. “Same-store sales are up 35% year over year in March. We saw legal cannabis sales spike in the onset of the coronavirus pandemic this March, and they have remained robust in the weeks since,” said CEO Barry Saik. “We have continued to support our retail and dispensary customers as they adapt to offer call-ahead ordering and ordering and curbside deliveries, ensuring safe practices for their communities. With this investment, we’ll able to continue helping our customers grow their businesses with ease,” said Greenbits CEO Barry Saik.

The investment comes from New York-based Tiger Global Management, an investment firm focused on growth-oriented internet, software, consumer, and payments. Tiger co-led the round with Los Angeles-based  Casa Verde, a  cannabis investment fund. The round also included existing investors as well as several prominent industry executives with experience in software and payments. 

“Over the last six months, we laid plans to position the company for a new phase of accelerated growth. We could not be more pleased that Tiger Global and Casa Verde share our vision and excitement in the future of the company and the sector at large,” said Greenbits CEO Barry Saik, who joined the company in late 2019 after a long run at Intuit and then at GoDaddy. 

Today, Greenbits serves more than 1,200 retail locations, including medical dispensaries and adult-use retailers, across 13 states. Greenbits will use the new capital to accelerate sales, marketing, and product development while expanding product and service offerings to new geographic markets. Greenbits processes $3.7 billion in regulated cannabis sales annually on its point-of-sale platform.

“We are excited to partner with Greenbits again in its next phase of growth,” said Karan Wadhera, Managing Partner of Casa Verde. “Greenbits has emerged as the leading player in the industry because of its sharp focus on retail, its ability to serve customers ranging from single-store locations to the largest multi-state operators, and its development into a comprehensive retail platform that can rapidly scale.” 

Saik joined Greenbits after founding and running the SmartLine business at GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY), the global company that helps entrepreneurs and businesses to be successful online. In addition, Greenbits announced that Sarvesh Mathur has joined the company as its new Chief Technology Officer. Before Greenbits, Mathur served as CTO at Scout RFP (acquired by Workday), the procurement and sourcing software solution for businesses that has been praised for its simplicity, design, and impact on customers’ bottom lines. 

 

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtOctober 23, 2019
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12min9490

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.”

 


Jack SmithJack SmithApril 18, 2018
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7min17670

When it comes to his music career and his well-known love of marijuana, Snoop Dogg has lived by the motto “the more medicated, the more dedicated.” Now, the affable rapper is applying that to his investing career, investing cannabis software company Green Bits.

Green Bits, headquartered in San Jose, announced it has raised a $17 million Series A funding round, led by Tiger Global, the New York-based investment firm, along with participation by Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital.

“We are honored and excited to have Tiger Global join our team. We have grown quickly in a short period, and this new capital will allow us to exponentially accelerate our growth. Our goal is to be in every state that has legalized cannabis in some way,” said Ben Curren,
co-founder and chief executive officer of Green Bits

Tiger Global, run by billionaire Chase Coleman, has started to venture outside of traditional public market investing, investing in private companies such as question and answer website Quora, job searching company Glassdoor and Airbnb, among others.

In total, Tiger Global has made 234 investments, nearly half the time being the lead investor, according to data compiled by Crunchbase.

It has also exited 35 of those investments, including companies such as Spotify, which recently went public on the New York Stock Exchange in an untraditional manner, mobile game developer Zynga and real estate company Redfin.

Prior to putting money into Green Bits, Casa Verde has made 9 other investments, investing as the lead investor 4 times. The fund, which mostly acts as a seed stage investor, has raised $45 million to invest in “the ancillary cannabis industry,” according to Crunchbase.  “We couldn’t be more excited to reinvest in Green Bits. This round brings tremendous validation not only to Green Bits but also to the cannabis industry,” said Casa Verde Capital’s Managing Partner, Karan Wadhera.

These investments can include a number of different areas, including agtech, health & wellness, financial services and more.

With the $17 million in new funding, Green Bits, which has similarities to the Jack Dorsey-led financial service provider Square, has raised $19.3 million in total outside funding. A source close to the matter said the new funding round demonstrates Green Bits “continued adoption and growth within the rapidly expanding legal cannabis industry.”

The source also noted that this is the first funding round in the cannabis space led by an institutional investor, noting “hedge funds and venture capitalists have been known to steer away from this market.”

Currently, Green Bits serves 11 different states, with its software available in Alaska, Arizona, California and 8 other states. On the company’s website, it says it has processed more than $2 billion in annual sales, with its software and services available at 800 retailers.

The funding announcement follows news that former Speaker of the House John Boehner has joined the board of directors of of Acreage Holdings. Boehner, who had been staunchly anti-cannabis, said on Twitter that his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”

Editors Note: Verified CBD has written a piece on CBD For Women, that touches on lots of extra points not explored by others, like pain relief in Endometriosis.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtSeptember 28, 2017
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3min16130

Casa Verde Capital announced a $2 million investment into cannabis software company Trellis, with reinvestment from Gateway. There is also additional funding from Argonautic Ventures and One Gun

Trellis is a seed-to-sale platform that not only helps cannabis companies stay on top of compliance requirements but also helps customers prepare for upcoming regulations. The platform also helps companies comply with inventory management and security requirements. Trellis had a successful beta launch in 2016 and currently supports cannabis businesses in California and Canada with strong customer growth in 2017. Today’s announced investment round is intended to allow Trellis to expand into additional US market segments and scale to accommodate increasing demand for its software.

“We are at a pivotal point in the industry where the market is expanding with new regulations and operators are experiencing growing pains. This makes it all the more important to have strong tools and procedures in place,” said Pranav Sood, CEO of Trellis. “Our focus is on developing industry tools that help clients manage their cannabis inventory, simplify their compliance processes and support the production of safe, optimum quality product. We are thrilled to have been able to attract such a strong team of beta clients, investors, and advisors to support us in our vision.”

Some of Trellis’ beta clients include Humboldt Legends, Cultivate, Sonoma Grown, Greenrock Botanicals and Peridot Labs.

Casa Verde Capital is led by Karan Wadhera and Evan Eneman, along with Snoop Dogg and his longtime business partner Ted Chung. The company makes early stage investments in innovative and fast-growing ancillary businesses in the emerging cannabis industry. The VC firm focuses on businesses that “do not touch the plant,” allowing the team to focus its efforts on businesses proven to scale in a still uncertain regulatory environment.

“As cannabis legalization sweeps the US, the compliance burden for cannabis-related businesses will become more and more rigorous. Growers, who are generally hesitant to adopt new technologies, have been thrilled with Trellis’ tracking software. We have been searching for companies with an elegant solution to address the growing pains of the industry. That is exactly what Pranav and his team have built with Trellis,” says Karan Wadhera, Partner at Casa Verde Capital.

 



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