Karan Wadhera is an interesting fellow with enviable curricula vitae. He’s an executive at Nomura Securities and Goldman Sachs. In 2016, he teamed up with the company to help in sourcing for capital, and he’s in collaboration with Evan Eneman, his co-director.
Wadhera got employed at Goldman immediately he left college and was taken to countries like India and Hong Kong where he worked for more than a decade. He was into the music business as an entertainment consultant while in school, an adventure that fetched him connections to the legendary R&B group, U2 as well as Snoop Dogg. His professional relationship with the rap icon was birthed in Los Angeles.
Hip-hop addicts will remember Snoop Dogg who rocked the pop industry for years in the 90s and early 2000s as an entertainer and entrepreneur. At the moment, he can gladly say that he just won a new trophy in business as one of his co-established chains, Casa Verde Capital, which specializes in producing seeds and Series A bets, just grossed its first ever benchmark of $45 million. The production is based on supplementary ventures in the area of cannabis. Wadhera said that majority of the profit was made in 2017.
Good partnership yields good results
Wadhera was recently cornered by journalists who asked him about Casa Verde Capital, Snoop Dogg and the future of the company. Wadhera agreed that he truly had traditional roots and a solid experience in banking, and that defined his career path as well. He confessed that he worked for Goldman in a bid to impress his family and fortunately, his sacrifice paid off because he was able to travel to different places across the world.
His business partnership also helped him to get an acting role for Snoop in one blockbuster Bollywood film in 2008 when he was working in India for Goldman.
The cannabis deal kicked off immediately he dropped out of the financial sector because, according to him, he already made up his mind to pursue his private company. Snoop had already started strategizing the idea, in partnership with Ted Chung and Eneman, so when he realized from his research that the market is not saturated yet highly lucrative, he joined the equation. However, Wadhera thinks that things are gradually changing.
On the evaluation of CVC investments over the years since its establishment, Wadhera said it had made eight so far, not to mention other recent and fresh ones that will be unveiled in a few weeks’ time. CVC is working ceaselessly, and the management only signs deals that will shoot the firm up to the leaderboard or at least, an equal executive power, and the posts of top advisers, he said. He confidently pointed out that CVC has many connections in the sector.
Although the expert in trading investment earlier felt that cannabis market is not crowded, recently the atmosphere is accommodating more investors, stuffing the industry with steep competition which looks like a threat to pioneer players. However, a level of mutual collaboration to improve the business can be done by the marketers.
More crowd, more competition?
Wadhera also agreed with the competitive disadvantages, as more dealers are coming in to erase its initial contract-fund nature. An increased number of capital from mainstream has also started courting the market.
Notwithstanding, CVC has a checkbook that is moderate in volume and a substantial business presence in the sector, says Wadhera. Market infiltration is inevitable. The company has grown to have strong bonds with retailers, planters, and players, which is an edge the management is using to tower over others, so there is a steady flow of new avenues. CVC customers have also come to rely solely on its products.
The company works for different models of companies and Wadhera told the journalists that since the market is still facing challenges in the areas of legality of cannabis itself, payments and bank hitches, the firm is better focused on working with partners that have long-term goals and not short-term, due to the possibility of the short-term goals becoming obsolete when the federal government finally legalizes cannabis.
Wadhera and Evan are the key decision-makers in the company, so he was asked how Snoop comes into the picture. He clarified the impression by explaining that he only controls the financial aspect with Evan, but the ‘Snoop Dogg’ crooner is the major head. Snoop contributes immensely to the managerial policies, and his engagement gives massive trust and inspiration to CVC’s board.
However, Wadhera says, Snoop is not involved in the business technicalities, except on some specific outfits, like one site that is base on cannabis and lifestyle ‘Merry Jane.’ In other words, Snoop provides the media and quality contents needed by CVC.
Size of check-in companies matter a lot, and for CVC, its checks are written on stages of seeds and A-quantity. The checks range from $1 million to a maximum of $5 million which are sent out to startups. He further explained that CVC is mainly based on the subsidiary aspect of the market, but it steers clear of direct plant operators like planters and producers.
LeafLink is the largest brand that CVC is partnering with at the moment.
For interested investors who may be willing to come into the market, Wadhera advised that it’s better for them to come now when the industry is still at its cradle stage, void of bureaucracy. A newbie can easily develop his space from bottom to the top and watch it grow into a pervasive venture, says Wadhera.