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.