Cannabis-infused beverage startup K-Zen raised $5 million from the venerable Silicon Valley venture firm DCM Ventures in May.
K-Zen co-CEO Judy Yee told Business Insider that the startup targeted its fundraising approach to investors who would be willing to invest in cannabis, as most mainstream venture funds are still reticent about the space.
K-Zen is now in the early stages of raising fresh capital. Read on to see the full pitch deck that K-Zen used to raise its seed round.
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For cannabis startups, particularly ones that deal with THC directly, raising money from mainstream investors can be a challenge.
While cannabis legalization is increasingly sweeping the US, THC is still considered an illegal drug by the federal government. That means that most mainstream venture funds are reticent to invest in companies that directly sell or cultivate THC-containing products, despite the attractive growth prospects.
For K-Zen, a San Francisco-based cannabis beverage startup, that wasn’t an issue. K-Zen closed a $5 million seed round in May, led by early-stage fund DCM Ventures.
DCM, for its part, has been one of the few prestigious venture funds willing to invest in cannabis. The firm, which manages more than $4 billion, also invested in cannabis delivery startup Eaze’s $65 million Series C round last November.
K-Zen co-CEO Judy Yee told Business Insider in an interview that she and her co-founder, Soon Yu, did “lots of homework” to figure out which investors to pitch.
Yee said her team looked primarily at investors like DCM that have previously worked on deals in the cannabis space or had signaled they were open to the right opportunity.
Read more: The CEO of cannabis-tech startup Headset told us why having a concise mission statement is crucial to successfully pitching investors
“I think …read more
Source:: Business Insider