Prøhbtd, a startup that CEO Drake Sutton-Shearer mentioned is designed to “construct a bridge” between the hashish business and mainstream tradition, is saying that it has raised $eight million in Sequence A funding.
It’s not the one cannabis-focused digital media firm on the market; I wrote concerning the preliminary funding for Herb final yr. However Sutton-Shearer argued that Prøhbtd is creating premium content material with a novel voice.
For one factor, he mentioned Prøhbtd’s isn’t centered completely on hashish. As a substitute, the objective is to create a various slate of lifestyle- and culture-related content material, with hashish because the hook.
Take, for instance, Edibles, a video collection hosted by Birdie Harrelson (niece of Woody Harrelson) — the collection consists of recipes for creating cannabis-infused baked items, however as Sutton-Shearer put it, when every episode opens, “She’s not speaking about weed, she’s going to bakeries.”
The corporate says that its video content material (which is offered on each the Prøhbtd web site and on units like Apple TV and Roku) noticed 21 million views in Could, with a median view time of three minutes and 45 seconds.
Sutton-Shearer mentioned one among his priorities is forging “mainstream partnerships” like Prøhbtd’s cope with Promoting Week. The corporate additionally works with greater than 60 hashish manufacturers — not simply on branded movies and sponsorships, however extra broadly on product growth, design and advertising and marketing.
Requested whether or not this creates a possible battle with the editorial aspect of the enterprise, Sutton-Shearer identified that loads of different digital media corporations (like BuzzFeed and Vice) run their very own branded content material studios.
“As we speak’s youthful shopper, I don’t assume they actually care that a lot whether or not one thing’s branded or not,” he mentioned. “They do need to know if it’s entertaining and considerate.”
Prøhbtd had beforehand raised $four million in seed funding from traders together with actor/musician Donald Glover. The brand new spherical was led by Serruya Personal Fairness, The Delavaco Group and Cresco Capital.
“We’ve seen each media alternative within the hashish business however none of them evaluate to what the crew at PRØHBTD has constructed,” mentioned Serruya Personal Fairness’s Aaron Serruya within the funding announcement. “We count on nice issues from the corporate and we’re excited to assist the crew’s world imaginative and prescient.”
Talking of that imaginative and prescient, Sutton-Shearer mentioned Prøhbtd is exploring worldwide alternatives, together with in Canada, Australia and Latin America, with plans for a Canadian public providing.
“We’re very strategically taking a look at the remainder of the world, however there’s nonetheless so much to be executed within the U.S.,” Sutton-Shearer mentioned.