Leafwire, a cutting-edge platform connecting investors and entrepreneurs in the new cannabis economy, unveils the first platform dedicated to the cannabis industry to help cannabis companies and investors to succeed in this burgeoning market. This innovative marketplace will also enable the entire cannabis ecosystem to connect, and exchange knowledge and opportunities within this emergent space.
According to New Frontier Data, cannabis entrepreneurs and businesses have been responsible for more than 210,000 new jobs last year and have secured more than $1.5 billion in investment in the first quarter of 2018. The growth continues, yet cannabis entrepreneurs and investors interested in the space still struggle for clarity to understand the opportunities or find the right investment partners. Federal regulations, inconsistent enforcement, and the stigma associated with cannabis create barriers and lead to fewer investors funding the cannabis economy. Despite the challenges, investors remain interested, curious and eager to join the green rush.
“Legalization of cannabis opens up a huge opportunity, not only for cultivators and distributors, but for the ancillary market that supports those companies,” explains Leafwire CEO Peter Vogel. “Yet the investment community has been slower to support this industry than other emerging markets because of the lingering Federal regulations and existing stigma. That said, I have spoken to 100s of investors who are looking for the right opportunities to explore in this market. Leafwire will help to connect those investors with the prospect that best meets their needs.”
Leafwire's first offering connects entrepreneurs who are seeking funding with investors interested in finding cannabis related investments. Both entrepreneurs and investors can create profiles outlining their investment preferences and professional experiences as well as their current needs. The platform allows entrepreneurs to search for appropriate investors leveraging filters including stage of investment, location and preferred type of cannabis businesses. Investors can search and assess companies based on size and stage of raise, company location and company type. Company profiles provide details on products and services for a comprehensive and streamlined experience.
“The number of Investors interested in cannabis related business continues to rise but there are many questions from those who are new to the industry,” explains Matthew Nordgren, CEO of Arcadian Fund. “What I love about Leafwire is the clarity and education it brings allowing those investors who are looking to take the plunge to do so with knowledge.”
“Unlike other emerging markets, cannabis lacks a collective investment community. It is very much a one-to-one experience for us. And for those younger entrepreneurs who know their business but lack experience in finding institutional funding, the road is harder,” explains Nancy Whiteman, Founder and CEO at Wana Brands. “Leafwire has the potential to expedite what could otherwise be a lengthy funding process, allowing cannabis companies to innovate and grow at a brisk pace.”
Leafwire will also serve as an online repository to news, regulations and updates from members of the individual user's network, as well as a messaging platform for colleagues to connect on a more private level. Leafwire provides insights and guidelines for entrepreneurs on how best to connect with investors ensuring a professional engagement. For investors, the platform contains trusted sources of data and insights to discover, assess and link with innovative businesses in the new cannabis economy.
Leafwire will be celebrating the launch of its beta with their inaugural pitch-a-thon inDenver, CO, on July 19, featuring six emerging companies seeking funding for a cash prize. Judges will include senior executives from Kush Bottles, Vicente Sederberg, Phyto Partners, New Frontier Data, Wana Brands, and Denver Relief. Additional pitch events will be held later this year in southern California and Miami.