As the cannabis market continues to mature, we see new opportunities rising to the surface. JourneyOne Ventures told Meczyki.Net that it has closed a $10 million fund and has begun making some of its first investments. I spoke to the fund’s solo fund manager, Helen ServillonTo find out where the opportunities lie in this market.
“thI only have a specific amount of time until Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital and Sequoia Capital start playing in this industry. Right now, I don’t need to compete with them, so I want to use that to my advantage,” Cervillon told me in an interview, noting that there are other big players in this area, especially things like On the corporate side. “Boston Beer operates in the cannabis industry. PBR is in the cannabis industry, but not everyone is. I want to be a bridge between being experts in the industry and the outside world. For me, a budding fund manager, it’s venture capital. There is an entry point in. I chose cannabis because it was the biggest opportunity.”
The fund is dedicated to investing in founders with senior level executive experience within the cannabis industry. The fund counts investors such as Elizabeth Yin (general partner at Hustle Fund), Eric Manlunas (general partner at Wavemaker Partners), Fred Kang (former partner of Andreessen Horowitz) and Paul Bowen (founder of Bowen) among its limited partners. The fund proudly states that more than half of its investors are minorities in the investment sector – either women or people of color.
“I created JourneyVen Ventures because the firm I wanted to work for did not exist. Prior to becoming a VC, I was an early stage operator in emerging industries and saw the need to bring an operator-experienced fund to market, which had a differentiated network in and out of the cannabis industry, and focused entirely on pre-seed Series A startups.” Servillon said.
JourneyOne Ventures has begun investing in startups that are building B2B software, including the cannabis industry, biotech and consumer products. Komplyd, prophet, Celebrate, Wonder And plant people,
“We are starting to see the emergence of roll-ups in the tech ecosystem, but it is still too early. I would say a lot of roll-ups are focused on smaller features. As a startup company, you have a There is a very specific go-to-market and problem that you want to solve. Once you expand and scale, there are certain categories that were created for the roll-up. Point-of-sale Systems are one example,” Cervillon says, listing several examples. “Most of the consolidation has been on the license operator side. So cresco [labs] right now acquired Columbia Care is building the largest cannabis venture company in America.”
“Some of these companies are optimizing for market share, but they are not really focusing on the brand. in nascent markets, where your The supply and demand dynamics are off, which gets interesting,” Sevillon said. “When you have very low supply and high demand, it’s not that hard to sell products. I think brand consolidation will happen down the road, but for the interim when you’re making money from what you’re producing.” Eventually, you’ll want to go to a different strategy, one that’s the hardest thing to achieve right now: the CVS and Dove combo of cannabis.
The fund is particularly interested in seeing how cannabis market dynamics evolve over time.
“I really like regulated industries. It creates a perimeter around the opportunity. For people who can get to that perimeter early, there’s always an advantage,” she jokingly explains. “I don’t say that. I believe that everyone wins. One example: the hemp industry in the US is not regulated for consumer sales, and CBD sales have actually declined. Only a few companies were actually able to retain their customers.”