In the last few years, Europe has been witnessing a shift regarding the legalization, cultivation, and trade of medical cannabis, urging startups and entrepreneurs to fully capitalize on this new opportunity. Not surprisingly, some have already started gaining a foothold in this emerging market. In addition, with most of Europe quarantined inside during the past few months, home delivery e-commerce options for CBD have received more attention.
From stress-relief chewing gum, to CBD-infused tampons for pain relief, here are 10 European-born startups founded in the past few years that are changing the cannabis landscape of Europe.
Blossom Genetics – In 2019 Oliver Davies, Oskar Fletcher and Naeem Dungarwalla, launched Blossom Genetics with the aim of utilising their experience of growing and breeding soft fruit to develop medical grade cannabis genetics and products. For now, their portfolio consists of two different products: cannabis genetics and medical cannabis (whole cannabis flower). The London-based startup raised an initial pre-seed funding round led by Deepbridge Capital in April 2020 to accelerate the journey.
Cannamedical Pharma – Cannamedical (2016) is a pioneer in the business with medical cannabis. As the only independent German cannabis wholesaler, Cannamedical has established business relationships with around 3,500 pharmacies throughout Germany and claims to have the largest and most stable supply chain in the EU with access to 40,000 kilograms of medical cannabis, which is sold under the Cannamedical label. In April 2020, the Cologne-based startup closed a €12 million strategic Series A investment round.
Demecan – Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Berlin, Demecan is the only German company allowed to legally grow medical cannabis from 2020 onwards. According to the company, the first supplies of medical cannabis to German patients is scheduled for the end of 2020. In 2019, the startup raised €7 million for the construction of their production facility in Dresden, and in May 2020 it was announced that the startup has attracted a seven-digit investment, from a number of investors, including Bernhard Schadeberg, head of the Krombacher brewery.
Grass & Co – Under the philosophy “Life Enhanced By Nature”, Grass & Co (2018) offers a THC-free CBD oil, specially blended using the highest quality organic CBD and therapeutic botanical ingredients. Divided into three categories: EASE, CALM and REST, it promises to calm stress and make you more at ease. In 2019, they signed an exclusive partnership with luxury department store Selfridges who will offer a number of select CBD products from the Grass & Co EASE and CALM collections to shoppers.
Cannaray – Founded in 2018, this London-based startup is a socially-conscious team that hopes to empower people to live better lives via its ‘gold standard’ CBD. Focusing on the health benefits of this product and backed by a team of doctors and scientists, their hand creams, balms, drops and capsules fit into our daily routines with ease. Their products also carry eco-conscious certifications, are produced using 100% recycled plastic, and list where they are vegetarian or vegan. The team raised around €8 million last year, and are on the rise.
Rainbow – We all live stressful lives and constantly search for a way out of it. French startup Rainbow (2019) has combined ancient healing techniques with modern technology to create unique stress relief products. So far they have launched two wellness brands in the UK and France, Kaya and Peace & Skin. Kaya’s first product is relaxing chewing gum, while Peace & Skin helps people fight the effects of stress on the skin, with a relaxing and organic hemp-based and adaptogenic plant routine, available as of September. Rainbow raised funding during the pandemic.
NOBL – Under the motto “Shaping The Future of Cannabis”, the NOBL Group is unlocking opportunities in the world of cannabis data and media. Functioning as a media, data, tech and consultancy group, NOBL Group’s portfolio of wholly-owned companies includes some of the most respected brands in the sector and is hoping to become a catalyst for positive change in the cannabis industry, bringing together leaders in health, policy, science and business. At the beginning of 2020, they announced the closing of its Series A round and a capital injection of €14 million.
Alphagreen – Founded in 2019, London-based Alphagreen is a leading online marketplace for tech-enabled CBD and alternative healthcare products. Having used CBD to alleviate both psychological and physiological ailments, Ukrainian co-founder Alexej Pikovsky realised there was gap in the market for trustworthy and effective CBD products that go beyond oil and vapes. Now with Russian co-founder Viktor Khliupko they have grown to 30+ employees and landed €590K seed funding this May 2020.
Sanity Group – Sanity Group was founded in 2018 by German entrepreneurs and cannabis advocates Finn Hänsel and Fabian Friede. The company is currently operational with two business units, Sanatio Pharma, a medical cannabis company devoted to the development of new therapies and pharmaceuticals, and wellness brand VAAY, targeting the lifestyle market with prescription-free, CBD-containing products. In February 2020, they announced the completion of a €20 million financing round.
Daye – Daye, founded in 2017, is building a femtech and cannatech brand combined, to raise the standards in female health and bridge the gender gap in medical research. Their first product is a newly developed tampon that uses CBD (an extract derived from the flower of the industrial hemp plant, a legal relative to marijuana) to help tackle period cramps (or dysmenorrhea) as an alternative to traditional painkillers. So far their team of 40+ has raised around €5 million.
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