Cannabis website Herb builds $4.1 M
We get a lot of weed-related pitchings at TechCrunch, but most of them don’t come with the pedigree of Herb‘s investors.
Herb is announcing today that it has raised $4.1 million in seed fund led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from Slow Ventures, Buddy Media co-founder Michael Lazerow, Bullpen Capital, Shiva Rajarama, Liquid 2 Ventures( the firm led by football legend Joe Montana ), Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke, Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein and Adam Zeplain.
” During our research into the cannabis industry, it became clear to both myself and our squad at Liquid 2 Ventures that HERB was the most professionally operate business for relevant, informative, cannabis content,” Montana said in the funding announcement.
Herb’s articles and videos encompass the latest cannabis-related news, with plenty of how-to and educational content. The site started as something called The Stoner’s Cookbook before it was acquired and rebranded by Gray in 2015. Since then, the company has grown to 200 million video opinions per month, reaching 5.3 million unique viewers, according to Tubular Labs.
And while Herb currently looks like a digital media business, Gray said,” We don’t assure ourselves as only a website. We were always setting out to build a technology platform .”
Eventually, he wants Herb to become a site that you are able to visit for “everything cannabis-related, ” including buying weed from local businesses and get it delivered to your home in simply a few minutes.
Gray compared the company to Uber and Airbnb, both in the sense that they’re an intermediary between both consumers and service providers, and because they’ve had to fight some big legal combats along the way. He told Herb is in accordance with local ordinances around cannabis marketings, but at the same time,” I believe these laws are changing — it’s about time. And as they change, Herb wants to be right there .”
To be clear, Herb is still a ways off from launching a marketplace business, but Gray said the site is adding new features that bringing it closer to that goal, like inducing detailed profiles of local dispensaries.
” There’s a very real stigma that exists around cannabis today and our viewpoint on things here at Herb is that yesterday’s social stigma become tomorrow’s social norms,” he added.” We’re trying to present the best face that it can be for this industry and bringing cannabis into the mainstream .”