Founders Fund goes up in smoke, joins $75m cannabis investment company

Founders Fund goes up in smoke, joins $75m cannabis investment company

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It’s no secret that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel is a big fan of marijuana. So it’s fitting that his $2 billion investment company, Founders Fund, just plopped down $75 million into Privateer Holdings, a Private Equity fund that’s invested in Leafly the Yelp for marijuana, premium cannabis brand Marley Natural, and Tilray a leading medical cannabis company.

“Privateer Holdings has emerged as the market leader in legal cannabis, which we believe will become a massive industry within the next decade,” said Founders Fund Partner Geoff Lewis, who is leading the firm’s investment in Privateer Holdings. “We’ve been evaluating the cannabis industry for several years and we haven’t seen another company that comes close to Privateer Holdings in terms of strategy, professionalism, talent, expertise, and potential for growth.”

Privateer Holdings, the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in the legal cannabis industry, was founded in 2010 by three MBAs with decades of experience in private equity and venture capital and an undisclosed number of years experience with cannabis. The firm previously closed $22 million in funding through the combination of a Series A fundraising round and a convertible bridge note.  Until today’s announcement, Privateer Holdings’ investors consisted solely of ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices.

Founders Fund is one of the most prolific investors in Silicon Valley. Their portfolio reads like the who’s who of Silicon Valley which includes Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Lyft, Stripe, Palantir Technologies, Oculus Rift, Yammer, Path, Spotify, as well as food- and ag-tech companies Hampton Creek, Climate Corporation.

This could be another home run for Peter Thiel who comes in as early money in what Greenwave Advisors predicts will grow to be a $35 billion industry by 2020. Just remember the old adage Peter, don’t get high on your own supply.

Have news or tips? Email rob@agfunder.com

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