Bespoke Financial, the Nation’s First Commercial Cannabis Lender, Closes $8 Million Series A
Further strengthening its reputation as a fast growth fintech company offering flexible lending to the entire cannabis supply chain
Bespoke Financial, the first Fintech lender in the country providing debt financing to cannabis companies, announced today the close of a $8 million Series A, bringing the company’s total funding to date to over $28 million. The raise was co-led by Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital and Sweat Equity Ventures and includes participation from Ceres Group Holdings, Greenhouse Capital Partners, DoubleLine Capital’s Co-Founder & Former President Philip Barach, and New York venture capitalist Robert Stavis.
The new round of funding follows a record year for Bespoke as the company outgrew forecasts by 25 percent while expanding to offer a suite of debt financing solutions to cannabis companies across the supply chain in over 80% of the US market. Founded in 2018 by a premier team of experts in the fintech and cannabis industries, Bespoke’s loan origination volume has grown exponentially, financing over $120mm in GMV with zero defaults to date while amassing a credit performance database tracking over 2,000 cannabis license holders across the country.
“The strength and growth of this industry over these past few years validates our initial core thesis that cannabis presents a uniquely attractive opportunity within the broader debt landscape,” says Bespoke Financial Co-Founder and CEO, George Mancheril. “We’re excited to partner with Sweat Equity Ventures alongside our existing investors to continue scaling our tech driven financing platform as the bridge between our cannabis clients and the broader capital markets.”
Although cannabis sales are forecasted to grow to $40 billion by 2025, institutional investors have only recently focused on the industry following 2020’s US elections. Beyond federal illegality, investors have also been hindered by the industry’s fragmentation, state specific regulations, and lack of credit data. As a first mover with an impressive credit performance record, Bespoke is poised to bridge the divide between institutional investors and cannabis as proven by Sweat Equity Ventures’ lead role in this financing round.
“This is our firm’s first investment in the cannabis industry and we are excited to partner with Bespoke as more and more states legalize cannabis use and the Federal government contemplates nationwide legalization. This partnership combines Bespoke’s finance and cannabis acumen with our team’s expertise scaling innovative tech companies and will provide cannabis companies greater access to streamlined financing while benefiting investors with increased transparency and enhanced risk surveillance,” says Dan Portillo, Managing Partner of Sweat Equity Ventures.
Despite renewed national focus on future legalization, cannabis companies remain mired in the challenges created by regulatory ambiguity even as an expanding consumer base drives record sales. Bespoke’s meteoric rise growth highlights both the industry’s pressing need for working capital and the firm’s technological capabilities to service a diverse group of cannabis borrowers across 11 states.
“Our continued investment into Bespoke Financial speaks to the team’s relentless drive to help cannabis companies succeed,” says Karan Wadhera, Managing Partner, Casa Verde Capital. “We have worked with some of the largest operators in the industry and our team knows the value of a company like Bespoke, addressing critical needs in a rapidly growing industry.”
Bespoke’s platform offers approved borrowers the ability to access capital within 24 hours, increase purchasing power to scale operations towards profitability, and manage payments both to vendors and from customers in a centralized location. Following this financing round, Bespoke will leverage its proprietary credit dataset and partner platform integrations to seamlessly extend flexible financing options across a variety of distribution channels. The company also expects to launch new financing structures specifically designed for the industry’s changing needs as it continues to mature.
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