Dutchie cannabis e-commerce firm Investment of $35M raising the roof
The most significant sum in Central Oregon, a Bend-based cannabis e-commerce site raised $35 million in early venture capital funding. Dutchie has now raised $18 million in funding from investors such as Snail Dogg’s Casa Verde Funding, Kevin Durant’s Thirty-Five Ventures, Thrive Capital, Gron Ventures, and Howard Schultz, the Starbucks Corp’s founding and Chairman.
With its fresh money, the company is receiving $53 million in financing and has expanded from five to more than 100 employees as it expands internationally and provides legal dispensaries platforms in 30 countries and 301 cities in the United States and Canada. According to the company’s statement, about 75,000 orders online are processed daily via the Dutch platform.
New plans ahead
Brian Vierra, the economic development driver for Central Oregon, said that Dutch recipient of the largest early-stage financing has made Bend a leader in start-ups. “To a rapidly growing business which is a leader in its industry, it provides excellent job prospects in today’s world,” said Vierra.
Damon Runberg, a regional economist for the Oregon Jobs Department said the opportunity to draw risk capital like this is essential to the locality. The risk capitalists are simply “betting” on Bend, said Runberg.
“These early state enterprises are energy-filled and the work here in Central Oregon is exciting,” said Runberg. “While the influx of risk capital is slowing down in the recession, Bend companies will continue to obtain these investments, as long as we remain a lifestyle-driven workforce’s attractive destination.
Pandemic woes surprisingly at peak volumes
COVID-19 has brought about a spike in legalized cannabis sales, and that, in turn, has created a need to have an online presence, said Ross Lipson, CEO of the Dutch government.”There has been an immense change from shop orders to online stores,” said Ross Lipson. “We saw the lockdown boost our revenue by 700%. “And the slow down doesn’t look like that.”
In the second quarter, on-line ordering of cannabis, foods or restaurants was $211.5 billion, up from 31.8% in the first quarter of 2020, according to new Census Bureau estimates.
Dutchie is one of several online cannabis firms. It also charges a flat fee for cannabis retailers to provide a forum to sell items connected to their stock tracking systems. Customers can drive to the shop, obtain their orders from another retailer, or collect them from the curbside.
On a positive note
“Thanks to the pandemic everyone is remote right now,” Lipson said. “We have 102 members, however, and in the next year we expect to twice the squad.”
In the North West Crossing neighborhood of Bend, the organization also plans to extend its office area into a larger area at District 2. “We set the organization high targets. It takes a lot of money to execute them, “said Lipson. “We want to create a team and innovate on the product to meet distributors’ and customers’ needs. The room for cannabis is special and progressive.