Brooklyn Bridge Ventures places a bet on the future of weed

The Brooklyn venture firm is betting there's serious bank in dank bud.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures' Charlie O'Donnell shares some of his knowledge at #notapitch, Sept. 24, 2015.

(Photo by Tyler Woods)

With respect to those involved, the recent investment by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in a cannibis derivatives company could be a case study in how to make drugs boring.

Brooklyn Bridge founder Charlie O’Donnell announced the funding round for Seed Commodities Exchange (SeedCX) in a blog post yesterday, saying, “It wasn’t the world’s easiest fundraise, as many investors have to avoid this space entirely. If they run the company with half the grit and persistence that they experienced during their fundraise, they’re going to build a very successful company.”
The size of Brooklyn Bridge’s stake was unpublished, but SeedCX announced the total it raised was $3.5 million and Brooklyn Bridge Ventures was the leading investor out of numerous others in a consortium.
What SeedCX does, or hopes to do, pending regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is become a leading exchange for cannabis futures and derivatives. In just about every commodity market, there are contracts which enable growers and buyers to lock in prices and quantities before the harvest. This allows farmers to put a limit on the risk of what could happen during the growing season, and most efficiently determine how much seed and of which plants to buy and plant.
SeedCX and Brooklyn Bridge Ventures are hoping that this same agonizingly boring process will become the norm for cannabis, as the plant continues to become legalized and sold in states around the country.
“I’m confident that train has left the station and that we’re not suddenly going to go the other way on the cultivation of these plants for a variety of purposes,” O’Donnell wrote in his post.
There is certainly money in commodities exchanges. The largest commodities exchange in the world is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Its revenues were $2.9 billion in 2013.


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