Wildly successful venture capitalist Peter Thiel just gave millions of reasons why the marijuana industry is serious business.
Thiel’s firm the Founders Fund announced this week that they will be making a multi-million dollar investment into Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm focused on cannabis-related businesses.
The two seem to be a perfect match for each other. Privateer is a no nonsense equity firm with investments in dispensary review site Leafly, upcoming cannabis brand Marley Natural named after Bob Marley, and Canadian medical marijuana processor Tilray. The goliath Founders Fund boasts a $2-billion portfolio that includes Airbnb, Lyft, Spotify, and even Elon Musk’s space travel company SpaceX. Both entities seem quite comfortable making ridiculous amounts of cash in fledgling sectors where little knowledge is established.
Executives from both parties declined to disclose the size of the funding, but the Founders Fund’s contribution has put Privateer Holdings close to its goal of raising $75 million.
“Privateer Holdings has emerged as the market leader in legal cannabis, which we believe will become a massive industry within the next decade,” said Founders Fund partner Geoff Lewis. “We’ve been evaluating the cannabis industry for several years, and we haven’t seen another company that comes close to Privateer Holdings in terms of strategy, professionalism, talent, expertise and potential for growth.”
The decision makes Founders Fund the biggest venture capitalist firm to enter the marijuana sector so far, although a transition of this magnitude will definitely influence more established firms to reconsider investing in cannabis-related businesses.