Everyone knows Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. better by his stage name Snoop Dogg. A best-selling rapper who started his career in 1992, Snoop Dogg has sold over 35 million albums worldwide.
But, he deserves more credit than he’s given: Snoop Dogg has proven once again that he is an astute businessman. The rapper’s VC firm, Casa Verde Capital, has recently raised a total of $45 Million which will be used to invest in early-stage startups focusing on the emerging cannabis industry. Snoop has already committed to eight different investments, looking to put in up to one million dollars in companies that are interesting to him.
According to managing partner Karan Wadhera, an alumnus of both Goldman Sachs and Nomura Securities, the investment money was raised in earnest last year. Karan joined the company over two years ago to take over the process of securing capital and oversee its investments. Wadhera, together with managing director Evan Enema, undertook the capital raising process.
“We’re writing seed-stage to Series A-size checks, so $1 million plus, with roughly half our fund reserved for follow-on investments, where we can write another $3 million to $5 million [to a limited number of breakout companies],” Wadhera told TechCrunch. “And we’re only focused on the ancillary part of the cannabis industry, so we won’t invest in companies that touch the plants. No dispensaries or cultivators or manufacturers. We’re investing in the picks and shovels.”
So far, the biggest investment of the firm is for LeafLink, a marketplace for various retailers and brands. Basically, think of a B2B platform for weed-related products, and you got the idea. Dispensaries can log in and order from vendors on one consolidated platform.
Since its inception in 2015, Casa Verde Capital has made seven investments – $10 million in Eaze in April 2015, an undisclosed amount in FunkSac in November 2015, $3 million in Green Bits in August 2017, $2.5 million in Trellis in September 2017, $1 million in Cannalysis in November 2017, and $3 million in April 2017 and an additional $10 million in November 2017 in LeafLink. The firm also backs Merry Jane, a cannabis-focused digital media platform set up by Snoop Dogg in 2015 with media entrepreneur Ted Chung.