As the cannabis markets are maturing, we’re seeing new opportunities rise to the surface. JourneyOne Ventures told TechCrunch it’s completed the first close of a $10 million fund and has started making its first investments. TechCrunch spoke with the fund’s solo manager, Helene Servillon, to figure out where the opportunities are in this market.
“There’s only a specific amount of time that I have, until Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital and Sequoia Capital are starting to play in this industry. Right now, I don’t have to compete with them, so I want to use that as my advantage,” Servillon said in an interview, noting that there are other big players in this space, especially on the corporate side of things. “Boston Beer works in the cannabis industry. PBR is in the cannabis industry, but not everybody is. I want to be a bridge between being a specialist in the industry and the outside world. For me, an emerging fund manager, this is an entry point into venture capital. I chose cannabis because it was the biggest opportunity.”
The fund is dedicated to investing in founders with senior-level executive experience within the cannabis industry. The fund itself counts investors like Elizabeth Yin (general partner at Hustle Fund), Eric Manlunas (general partner at Wavemaker Partners), Fred Kang (former partner at Andreessen Horowitz) and Paul Bowen (founder of Bowen) among its limited partners. The fund proudly points out that more than half of its investors are minorities in the investment space — either women or people of color.
“I created JourneyOne Ventures because the firm I wanted to work at didn’t exist. Before I became a VC, I was an early-stage operator in emerging industries and saw the need to bring an operator-experienced fund to market that had a differentiated network in and out of the cannabis industry, and focused solely on pre-seed to Series A startups,” said Servillon.
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