Snoop Dogg’s two-year-old cannabis venture capital firm Casa Verde Capital has closed its debut fund with $45 million, according to his managing partner Karan Wadhera.
“We have a decent blend of limited partners that include family offices and individual investors,” Wadhera told Tech Crunch Tuesday, March 13 of where the capital is come from. “We don’t have any institutions [funding us] yet, but we saw a lot of them poking around as we were closing the fund.”
The Goldman Sachs and Nomura Securities alum, who joined the firm in 2016 to help secure capital, said the funds were raised last year.
Casa Verde Capital has made eight investments so far and the company isn’t willing to put funds into just any marijuana startup. The firm is only investing in ancillary parts of the industry, so dispensaries like ones The Game are involved in are off the table.
“We’re writing seed-stage to Series A-size checks, so $1 million plus, with roughly half our fund reserved for follow-on investments, where we can write another $3 million to $5 million [to a limited number of breakout companies],” said Wadhera. “And we’re only focused on the ancillary part of the cannabis industry, so we won’t invest in companies that touch the plants. No dispensaries or cultivators or manufacturers. We’re investing in the picks and shovels.”
The west coast rapper’s influence in the cannabis industry is widely known. Something Wadhera touched on when highlighting Snoop’s role in the firm. “He’s among the most important cultural figures in this industry, which is incredibly important. His involvement lends a lot of credibility and excitement to our portfolio companies. He’s also there for input whenever we need it.” Wadhera noted Snoop’s “hands-off on the investment process” but handles the financial modeling and content.
To those seeking capital, Wadhera offered insight on their criteria.
“People who’ve run companies before is always a plus and a common thread in our portfolio. We’ve invested in founders who’d built companies outside of the cannabis industry but now see a massive market that’s growing incredibly quickly. But we don’t close our doors to any one type of entrepreneur.”