Cannabis delivery service Eaze is getting into the next phase of its corporate evolution as it currently aims to raise $75 million to go beyond mere delivery and into actual retail.
As of press time, 80% of the amount has already been committed by investors. According to Rogelio Choy, Eaze’s chief executive officer, much of the capital was raised by family-run corporations and individual investors, as many venture capital firms and private equity funds are reluctant to deal with companies operating in the CBD sector.
The company is also set to purchase the cannabis dispensary chain Green Dragon in order to expand its retail footprint. Eaze currently has market presence in California and Michigan, and the all-stock acquisition of Green Dragon will give it access to storefronts in Florida and Colorado.
These developments are just the latest milestones as Eaze moves forward towards its goal of market dominance. In 2020, Eaze began to shift from pure delivery to distribution via its own dispensaries – a significant move as opposed to establishing partnerships with other companies.
Of late, Eaze has begun positioning itself as a multi-state operator as it aims to sell cannabis and cannabis-derived products in various states. As such, it puts itself in a position to challenge the likes of Curaleaf and Green Thumb Industries, two companies that are practically at the top of the cannabis retail industry in the US.
According to Silverleaf Venture Partners co-founder Doug Hannah, who joined the company’s Series E funding round, the company has come a long way since its difficult early years. He commended Choy for his decision to hire an entirely new management team that understood Eaze’s long-term objectives.
“Eaze’s [paradigm shift] is a win-win situation,” Hannah said, noting that Eaze’s most recent funding drive and the pending acquisition will give it a bigger chunk of the supply chain.
Founded in 2014, Eaze quickly rose to become a power-player in the then-nascent cannabis industry. By 2018, it secured a $400 million valuation and was pegged to become another corporate unicorn. Unfortunately, what followed were several years of lawsuits which led to two of its consultants getting charged with fraud, coupled with layoffs and a general tarnishing of its image.
Choy has spent the past couple of years cleaning up the company’s act and, as of press time, raised over $200 million for his firm by way of several funding rounds.