California-based Connected International Inc. also known as Connected Cannabis Co. closed on a $30 million capital raise consisting of debt and equity financing. The round was led by existing investors Navy Capital and One Tower Group with participation from new investors Emerald Park Capital, an affiliate of Bryant Park Capital, and Presidio View Capital. Connected previously raised $25 million in a Series A round of funding in July 2019.
“We’re thrilled to bring Emerald Park Capital and Presidio View Capital into the Connected family and welcome back our long-term partners that have supported our company’s mission from the very beginning,” said Sam Ghods, CEO of Connected. “We are steadfast in our development of new, best-in-class genetics and our production of top-quality flower that has resulted in impressive growth and unwavering customer loyalty. That same commitment and quality that we’ve prided ourselves on from day one will stay with us as we enter additional states. We look forward to bringing our true product and brand to consumers in new markets – that is our highest priority every time we look at expansion.”
Connected has been building a proprietary genetics portfolio of premium strains and meticulously cultivating cannabis at scale since 2009 and is considered by some to be the pioneer of “designer weed.” Connected is currently EBITDA-positive.
Connected has won several awards for its strains and has experienced monumental 68% year-over-year growth with 75% revenue CAGR through 2021. Connected and its partner brand, Alien Labs, acquired by Connected in 2017, recently took home a total of five top-ten wins across the Indoor Flower and Live Resin Cartridges categories of the 2021 Emerald Cup – Northern California’s premier cannabis destination and the industry’s most prestigious award. Connected led the indoor flower category with their Gelonade strain taking first place while Alien Labs’ Biskante placed third.
“Connected’s product quality is unmatched across the cannabis industry, as exemplified by their dedicated mass following,” said Chetan Gulati, Partner of Navy Capital. “The company’s success is largely due to their proprietary genetics as well as their ability to grow premium cannabis efficiently and at scale without compromising on quality. We look forward to seeing the team bring that same top-shelf quality to more U.S. markets.”
The company currently operates in California and Arizona. By virtue of its organically developed and trusted reputation, Connected’s expansion into Arizona in November 2020 has seen continuously high sales since launching.
With the additional capital, Connected will accelerate its national expansion while maintaining control over its state-of-the-art cultivation techniques. The company plans to focus on states with robust cannabis cultures and promising potential for sustained growth, such as Nevada with its entertainment and cannabis tourism and Michigan with its continued increase in sales.
“Connected is a legacy brand that’s established itself as a market leader based entirely on their unique, premium cannabis strains and flower,” said Joel Magerman, Managing Partner of Emerald Park Capital. “Over the last decade, Connected has built a best-in-class team across departments, from cultivation to marketing. We are eager to see what innovations and additional value the team will bring as they continue on their path to becoming a leading national brand.”