Master Plant raised £500,000 in funding round with Angel Investment Network

In June 2022, MASTER Plant Holdings (“Master Plant” or the “Company”), an emerging force in the European cannabis industry, raised £500,000 in a seed funding round with Angel Investment Network (AIN), the world’s largest online angel investment platform.

Following this investment, Master Plant will aim to licence and redevelop a pharmaceutical distribution facility in Guernsey designed to develop high quality medical cannabis, unique strains and wider products for European distribution.

The European cannabis market is rapidly growing with Germany leading the way. Currently, the market exists via medical channels with limited psychoactive THC quantities (Cannabis Light). In fact, 89% of cannabis use cases involve this product for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. The European market is predicted to reach €13bn by 2027 according to Market Data Forecasts. In comparison, the United States market was estimated at approximately $65bn in sales in 2021, of which $21bn were from legal sources creating $4bn in tax.

After the first £500k round of funding, Master Plant is intent on remaining ahead of the curve. The Company is in the process gaining their cannabis licence for research, development and manufacturing of 300+ strains and formulations on the Island of Guernsey. Already, the company has consolidated decades of research and development into its proprietary cannabis genetics bank. This research will provide diversity in major and minor cannabinoids, as well as other beneficial molecules that will contribute to a vast assortment of future products. The licensed facility is set to distribute high quality medical cannabis, launch unique strains and products and develop deep tech enabled growth.

AIN’s funding will also enable the expansion of Master Plant’s senior team with seasoned experts joining from the North American cannabis industry. The commercial operations of Master Plant and Mee CBD, with groundbreaking water-soluble formulas, will also see wider development. 

According to Master Plant CEO, Oliver Osgood: “We are delighted that angel investors have backed Master Plant’s vision as we continue to break new ground in the cannabis industry.  As we look forward to the future, we are confident our cannabis licence and market proposition is unique. Combined with our proven track record and global cannabis credentials we are ambitious to become a key player in European cannabis.”Master Plant will aim to launch their next round of Series A funding in 2023. The £2m Series A funding will go towards retrofitting the Guernsey facility and developing commercial operations. Sign up for further updates here.

Australian payment platform for hospitality Payo is AIN’s Startup of the Month

A pioneering Australian payment platform for hospitality called Payo has been named as AIN’s Startup of the Month. The platform was singled out from close to 150,000 startups currently raising on the AIN platform for having ‘a winning formula’ as an investable proposition. The business was given the accolade after a judging process involving AIN’s expert panel, combined with a high number of connections from investors.

Payo is a payments and software solution for small and medium restaurants. It solves the problem in hospitality of venues needing to use 4-6 different payment systems with an all-in-one solution enabling venues to make payments more simply and cheaply. The Payo founders came up with the idea following more than 10,000 conversations with venue owners and operators over the past decade in various roles. 

Startup of the Month is a new initiative from AIN to champion and celebrate businesses on the platform with great potential and to help raise their profile. In showcasing these startups, AIN’s aim is to highlight the qualities of investable businesses to inspire and educate others. The team at AIN were impressed with Payo’s innovation, clear evidence of traction and experienced founding team.

The Payo team are looking for funding to complete the front and back end development of the platform, as well as supporting sales efforts to further growth. The startup has more than 1,000 venues signed up so far. 

According to Mike Lebus, co-founder of Angel Investment Network: “AIN is the world’s largest online angel investment platform and Startup of the Month is about showcasing businesses that have a winning formula to gain investor interest. Payo demonstrates that in spades, with a solution to a real world problem for many smaller hospitality businesses, genuine traction and an experienced founding team. We hope other startups seeking funding can learn from what they have achieved and we wish Payo well on the rest of their fundraising journey.”

According to co-founder and CEO of Payo, Taf Chiwanza: “I’m extremely grateful to AIN for this recognition. It is testament to our hard work and the problems we are solving in the hospitality industry. A lot of the problems we are solving are certainly not just an Australian problem. This is a global challenge and we look forward to scaling this and helping restaurants save time and money.”

Check out Payo’s pitch here and watch Taf Chiwanza’s Sixty Second StartUp interview.

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