A Bend software startup serving the cannabis industry landed $3 million in venture capital from firms backed by Snoop Dogg and Kevin Durant.
Dutchie provides software that allows marijuana users to shop online and place orders for pickup or delivery. “We are now gearing up with this round of financing to be nationwide,” CEO Ross Lipson said.
Dutchie might have set a new Bend record for a first round of venture financing. “It’s the largest local round of seed financing I have seen, or know about, in the seven years I have been in Bend,” said Brian Vierra, venture catalyst at Economic Development for Central Oregon. The last startup to publicize early-stage financing on a similar scale was the robotics software firm Tend.ai, which raised $2 million in 2016.
Dutchie’s main investor is Casa Verde Capital, which is backed by Calvin Broadus, the entertainer better known as Snoop Dogg.
Golden State Warriors player Kevin Durant’s Durant Company contributed, as did current and former executives of the food delivery site DoorDash and the venture capital firm Sinai Ventures, Lipson said.
“Dutchie addresses needs for both consumers and retailers, which makes it an exciting product for the industry,” Karan Wadhera, managing partner of Casa Verde, said in an email. “We also are big fans of Ross, the co-founder and CEO, who has shown his ability to grow and scale businesses in the online delivery space.”
Lipson’s last startup, GrubCanada, was acquired by Just-Eat in 2011. Lipson, who has lived in Bend for the past seven years, said he began working on Dutchie last year after Oregon changed its law around home delivery of marijuana. In June 2016, the state raised the limit on the value of product a delivery person can carry from $100 to $3,000.
So far 100 marijuana shops in Oregon are using the software, which ties into their point-of-sale systems, and Dutchie has facilitated $2.5 million in sales, Lipson said.
Not all states where recreational use of cannabis is legal allow home delivery, but Lipson said consumers also want to shop online and then pick up their orders at the dispensaries. The leading dispensary menu and review sites, Leafly and Weedmaps, recently began facilitating online purchases.
Lipson said he wants Dutchie to have a presence in medical marijuana dispensaries, which are legal in 31 states, and Canada. Dutchie is working with Canopy Rivers, the venture arm of Canopy Growth, a publicly traded Canadian cannabis company, to reach international markets, he said.
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This story has been corrected. An earlier version contained inaccurate information about Leafly and Weedmaps.