Have you ever heard of Paypal? You know that “Ebay payment thing”? Well if you’re not living under a rock, that company has been around, processing payments for the better part of the last twenty or so years. This Billion Dollar company’s co-founder, Peter Thiel, just did what some conservatives may call “the unthinkable”; he made an investment into the marijuana industry!
Thiel’s Founders Fund is the first institutional investor to put money into the burgeoning cannabis industry. The fund isn’t a stranger to monster successful investments either. Founders was an early investor in Facebook and has current investments in SpaceX, Spotify and Airbnb. Through a cash infusion into the increasingly popular Privateer Holdings, Thiel’s fund will take a “minority stake”. If you aren’t too familiar with PH, that’s ok, we’ll get you up to speed. Privateer is the “big money” behind many of the marijuana industry’s popular brands and even mobile apps.
Most recently the company brought Marley Natural to the forefront by helping the Marley Family build off of its Legendary son. In addition to that, Privateer has also backed successful tech start-ups like Leafly, an app that acts like Yelp but for the marijuana industry. Users can vote on, rate, share, and investigate different head shops, marijuana strains, and much more (just download the app if you want to know more).
Now, to this point no dollar amounts have been released or discussed publicly so speculation has risen as to how big (or small) this Thiel’s billion dollar fund put up for a “minority stake”. Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy thinks the Founders investment will lead to more professional investment into marijuana-related businesses and help advance the push toward legalization…something that we tend to agree with. Kennedy states, “One of the important milestones for this business is having access to capital, and significant capital. There will be a lot of people who wake up (now) and realize they need to look at this industry just as they have looked at other emerging industries around the world.”
There’s no doubt that the marijuana industry is evolving in a big way. Compared to last year, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of what many would have thought. New states have come online for legalization for both medical and recreational cannabis use and Colorado has just seen its first cannabis credit union open. We’re firm believers that this space will continue to grow (no pun intended) and with big investment coming into the industry, this could be a catalyst to see many others break down their own walls and begin to see the huge opportunity that this industry boom could have.
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