Cannabis startups have raised closed to $2 billion of venture capital cash in 2019, up from just $17 million in 2013. As part of a broader effort to track where money is flowing in the cannabis industry — and who’s profiting off these deals — Business Insider put together a list of the top venture-backed startups in the sector, ordered by amount raised, using data from Crunchbase and PitchBook. Scroll down to see the full list. Click here for more BI Prime stories, and subscribe to our weekly cannabis newsletter, Cultivated.
More venture capital money is flowing into cannabis and cannabis-related companies than ever before.
Through the end of October, venture capital firms have poured close to $2 billion into cannabis-industry startups, according to the data provider PitchBook. That’s up from just $17 million in 2013, right after Colorado became the first state to open its doors to the commercial cannabis industry.
That number is bolstered by mega-rounds for companies like Pax Labs, which closed a $420 million funding round in April.
Much of that money, however, has flowed into early-stage companies. For companies later in the growth cycle, there still isn’t much capital available because THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is federally illegal, so many big funds are reluctant to invest.
Most institutional VCs still draw a hard line between cannabis-tech companies, like software platforms for dispensaries, and branded products that “touch the plant” — or sell and distribute THC — a number of venture investors previously told Business Insider.
That’s because the cash in these funds often comes from pension funds, endowments, or sovereign wealth funds, who are unwilling to take risks on a brand-new industry in a muddy legal climate.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Cannabis-specific funds — like Altitude Investment Management and Tuatara Capital — that