Despite a challenging year in the cannabis industry, venture investors poured over $2.3 billion into cannabis startups in 2019, up from $1.5 billion in 2018.
The industry was hit with a number of headwinds, including slower-than-expected retail sales in Canada and legal jurisdictions in the US, as well as a spate of vaping-related illnesses in the US that prompted some states to introduce bans on the sale of vaping products.
As part of a broader effort to track who’s investing in cannabis — and where that money is going — Business Insider identified the top 14 venture funds based on how many deals they landed in 2019.
We also queried the investors on their outlook for 2020, and where they’re looking to place their next bets.
The firms told us they were looking to invest in areas such as advertising technology, international opportunities for CBD and hemp, drug-delivery platforms, lab testing, and synthetic cannabinoids.
One of the most common predictions Business Insider heard from venture capitalists was that 2020 would be the year when a few brands “pull away from the pack” and emerge as the top brands in cannabis.