The rapidly growing marijuana investment fund Privateer Holdings is raising another large investment round to boost the growth of its marijuana stocks-related subsidiaries as more states legalize the use of pot.
The Seattle-based investment firm has brought in an additional $58 million — a combination of equity and a convertible note — which is part of a larger round that Privateer anticipates closing at around $100 to $150 million.
To date, this increases total funding to $140 million for the seven-year-old company, which is not disclosing the investors behind the new round. Marley Natural is one of Privateer’s portfolio companies.
The firm is one of the top cannabis firms’ worldwide, previously raising $40 million as part of a convertible note back in November. In April 2015, it raised a $75 million Series B round from big investors such as Founder’s Fund, the same VC fund that was started by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, an investor in companies like Facebook, SpaceX, Linkedin and more.
Privateer hasn’t provided an updated valuation after its Series B put them at a valuation of roughly $500 million- though the firm is closing in on unicorn status.
The new investment will help Privateer continue expanding its existing portfolio companies, develop new brands, and support future acquisitions and investments. It employs more than 500 people in seven U.S. states and seven countries.
Privateer, founded by Brendan Kennedy, Michael Blue and Christian Groh, owns and operates three companies in the legal marijuana industry:
• Leafly a strain resource app that generates more than 13 million unique visitors per month — 75 percent come from the United States, with 25 percent overseas. It recently launched a German-language edition and is investing strongly in news and lifestyle content.
• Tilray a Canadian-based brand of medical marijuana that serves more than 25,000 patients in Canada and now has subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. It exports products to six countries around the globe and anticipates adding another five by the end of 2017. The company is also supplying products for six clinical trials in partnership with hospitals and universities around the world.
• Marley Natural an international company started by Bob Marley’s family that sells cannabis products in Washington, Oregon, and California. It also sells body care and smoking accessories at hundreds of brick-and-mortar retailers, and online.
Privateer has made headway since launching in 2010 when both the recreational and medical cannabis industries were in a different state than today. Investors are scrambling right now, as medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, while recreational pot is legal in eight U.S. states, including California, which legalized marijuana back in November and could produce a legal market value worth more than $5 billion.
Last year, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. legal marijuana industry could expand to $50 billion within a decade. Countries all over the globe are starting to jump on board the legalization train; voters in Germany approved medical marijuana in January, while recreational is predicted to be legal in Canada in 2018.