News: Cannabis analysis company Earphone on Tuesday announced that it has raised $8.6 million in funding. That includes $3 million in venture capital from a round led by Althea, as well as the conversion of $5.6 million in bridge notes issued in August 2020 and this past April.
The Seattle-based company reportedly has more than 300 customers and 50 employees.
According to a GeekWire report, the headset has raised about $23 million.
Technology: Headset provides data analytics to the cannabis industry on growers and product manufacturers; retail sales; food, health and beauty products; financial services; and hardware.
The company collects information on market trends, best-selling cannabis strains, market forecasts for states where recreational marijuana is newly legalized, research into the effects of inflation and labels. Brands are popular in different regions.
The new funding will help Headset expand its analytics into new legal markets and launch additional services.
Founders: Headphones was founded in 2015 by CEO Cy Scott, Design Director Brian Wansolich and CTO Scott Vickers, all of whom previously co-founded Leafly, an online cannabis marketplace go public through the SPAC . merger.
Favorable conditions: While Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2012, 16 more states plus Washington, DC have followed. More than a dozen others have approved cannabis for medical use.
As the pandemic forced businesses to close to slow the spread of COVID-19, cannabis dispensaries in many states were deemed “essential” and allowed to stay open. NS New York Times called it “official recognition that for some Americans, marijuana is just as necessary as milk and bread.”
Branch: Competing in the cannabis analytics space includes BDSA, which according to PitchBook has raised $16.2 million, and Cannabis Big Data. Both are based in Colorado.
There is a huge amount of dollars pouring into online cannabis sales. Oregon’s Dutchie has raised over $600 million while Leafly is valued at close to $400 million.
There is also continued momentum in deliveries. Uber just entered the cannabis market last week, notification plans to launch a delivery service in Ontario.
The investors: In addition to private equity firm Althea, the VC round includes two investors focused on the cannabis sector: Poseidon Investment Management and WGD Capital.
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