the weed business unicorn

420 Startups, The Next Big Unicorns

What the h*ll is a unicorn?

What the h*ll is a unicorn?

Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures popularized the term to refer to startup companies that reach a valuation (somewhat arbitrarily) of over a billion dollars. If you “follow the money” on, a platform for angel investing into startup companies, there are over 380 startups, over 1,600 investors and the average valuation is 3.5 million dollars for marijuana industry startups. “Whoa.” So even though it is illegal to smoke marijuana in most states in America and countries around the world many of the world’s most brilliant people are spending their lives building companies anticipating decriminalization and they have financial backers. Last month Colorado, the test bed and leader for cannabis deregulation eclipsed $100 million dollar in medical marijuana sales. Here come the sharks. Actually it probably isn’t a bad idea for a bunch of smart twenty-some and thirty-something year olds to smoke some weed and think about problems to solve. If only right?

Check out these startups:

Niwa – “Now, anyone can grow” –
Niwa is a new platform that makes growing anything as easy, fun and interactive as a swipe of your smartphone screen.

Baker – Loyalty and rewards for cannabis customers –
Baker provides the best cannabis buying experience possible, by giving dispensaries the ability to treat their regular customers like VIPs. Using the Baker mobile app, customers get access to Baker-only discounts, never wait on line, and earn free product and loyalty rewards with every purchase.
Dispensaries can manage incoming orders before customers arrive, and use Baker to post realtime specials and promote loyalty.

Nancy – The birchbox of cannabis –
Nancy is cannabis based pain, anxiety and depression relief. We have an online store, will be sold in big box stores and our subscription box component allows people to click it and forget it -a benefit to both Nancy and the customer.
Their product line is an exclusive collection of high-CBD, low-THC edibles, vaporizers and tinctures/sprays made from hemp and marijuana (made in the Emerald Triangle).

Confident Cannabis – Bringing transparency to legal cannabis –
Confident Cannabis is bringing transparency to legal cannabis through technology. We are building the biggest real-time database of cannabis in the world by offering free software to cannabis testing labs. Confident Cannabis was founded by Stanford graduates with experience building startups and backgrounds in engineering and business. We are backed by Y Combinator (Summer 2015 batch) and have recently completed a +$2m seed round from prominent VCs and tech founder angels.

Keep an eye out for these guys. They’re entering the game with the vision of a weed-legal world and the guts of a wingsuit flyer. However, many of these forward thinkers with their groins of steel may face the same fate as the wingsuit guys… Obvious I was talking about flight… Flight to a billion dollar valuation. For the list of all the companies available check out:

Well for those of you feeling unmotivated in your current careers there is no shortage of demand in this booming industry. Just like how our American forefathers moved across the nation from one coast to another with the lure of gold and fortune for generations this industry has been referred to as the next gold rush, or should we call it the GREEN rush? Legal marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the nation, last year in 2014 it grossed over 2.4 billion dollars, a 74% growth from the year before. Am I killing your high from these numbers? Take another hit I’ll wait for that to sink in. That’s potentially a 11 billion dollar industry by 2019. Don’t call your mother just yet to tell her that you dropping out of school to smoke weed was a good idea.. yet… The most optimistic of analysts project that by 2020 over 30% of the United States might legalize marijuana but it’s still got a way to go.

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