Front Range Biosciences, an agricultural biotech company based in Lafayette, Colorado, has raised $10 million to finance a cannabis and hemp research and development program. The investments constitute the largest round of fundraising by a U.S. cannabis biotech company to date, according to a release from the company.
High Tech Propagation
Dr. Jonathan Vaught, the CEO and co-founder of Front Range Biosciences (FRB), said that the company will use the cash to expand its tissue culture propagation operations to provide growers with high-quality, healthy plants.
“This financing will help us accelerate our Clean Stock® program in Colorado, California, and Canada, in addition to aggressively pursuing IP development and resourcing our varietal development program for hemp and cannabis,” said Vaught. “As cannabis and hemp legalization spreads throughout the United States and internationally, there is an increase in demand for clean, quality crops — this capital will also enable us to expand our capacity to meet a small portion of that demand. We appreciate the support from our early investors and are pleased to welcome new investors to the family as we execute on our mission to provide growers with a wide variety of disease-free and true-to-type plant stock.”
Phyto Partners, WelCan Capital, Salveo Capital, Cornerstone Opportunity Partners, Sand Hill Angels, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of New York, New York Angels, Altitude Investment Management, and “other new and returning investors” were named as participants in the round of financing.
Larry Schnurmacher, the managing director of Phyto Partners, said that the investment was indicative of his company’s faith in the financial strength and discipline of Front Range Biosciences.
“We are excited to participate in follow on funding for FRB,” said Schnurmacher. “The management team has been successfully executing on almost every KPI put forth in our initial due diligence and their business plan. FRB is experiencing incredible growth in a short amount of time and is poised to take an even bigger step forward as the cannabis supply chain continues to mature.”
Better Strains of Cannabis
Michael Gruber, managing partner for Salveo Capital, said that new funding will support the development of new better strains of cannabis.
“FRB has a proven track record of developing a unique platform to improve yield and quality within crops, particularly in the emerging hemp and marijuana space,” Gruber said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in and partner with an innovative and disruptive company that we believe has tremendous growth potential. We look forward to working collaboratively with the entire FRB team to help promote significant value creation in the business.”
Vikas Desai, a partner at WelCan Capital, said that a fresh infusion of capital will allow Front Range to continue to expand in legal cannabis markets.
“We are impressed with FRB’s ability to scale their business and solve a key problem in the industry,” said Desai.” This latest round of funding demonstrates their capacity to attract capital from institutionally trained and sophisticated investors. FRB is a prime example of a cannabis company with a deep, experienced management team and a true institutional caliber operation, with many similarities to a traditional biotech company.”