Philip Morris investment in Syqe was 2nd-largest 2016 cannabis deal – report

Israel’s Syqe raised $20m last January; global funding in cannabis ventures saw 9% drop last year

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Cannabis plant. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Cannabis plant. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Israel’s Syqe Medical’s $20 million funding deal from Philip Morris International in January last year was the second-largest cannabis deal in 2016, a report by New York-based data firm CB Insights shows.

Global funding in cannabis ventures saw a nine percent drop in 2016 to $220 million from $225 million in 2015, according to the report, with the number of deals also declining to 96 in 2016 from 106 in the same period a year earlier.

The largest deals in 2016 were Washington-based Privateer Holdings, which raised $40 million in convertible notes, Israel-based Syqe Medical‘s $20 million corporate minority round from Philip Morris International, and California-based MedMen‘s $15 million round from Cap-Meridian Ventures, the report said.

Tel Aviv-based Syqe Medical developed a medical cannabis inhaler designed to enhance dosing precision. Privateer Holdings is a private equity firm that invests in medical cannabis companies and has itself raised $144 million since 2013 from investors including Founders Fund and Casa Verde Capital, Snoop Dogg’s cannabis-focused fund. MedMen provides both investment and management services in areas such as cannabis cultivation, extraction, and retail operations, the report said.

The Syqe medical cannabis inhaler (Courtesy)
The Syqe medical cannabis inhaler (Courtesy)

In the past two years, six companies operating within the cannabis industry held initial public offerings on stock markets globally, including MassRoots and Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP), which invests in real estate geared towards cannabis cultivation. IIP, which listed its shares for trade in December 2016, was the first cannabis-related company to hold an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, CB Insights said.

The last quarter of 2016 showed a rise in investments and deals, as eight states and Washington, DC, approved some sort of marijuana legislation late in 2016, the report said.

Global equity funding into private cannabis focused startups surged in 2014, to $117 million, and in 2105, from just $13 million in 2013.

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