BDS announces big capital raise as demand for hemp data mushrooms

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images
In a development reflective of the rapidly developing hemp and cannabis markets, research firm BDS Analytics has announced $7 million in new financing.

BDS Analytics, which was founded by Roy Bingham and Liz Stahura, is a relatively new data firm specializing in the medical and recreational cannabis and consumer hemp products pace.

Bingham has a long history in the natural products space. He was involved early on in Nutrition Business Journal before the sale of that publication to what is now multinational firm Informa. He also was an early investor in the launch of the SPINS data service, and held a senior position at the probiotics manufacturer Renew Life Formulas.

BDS Analytics, which is based in Boulder, CO, got its start after Bingham teamed up with Stahura, who had run a previous analytical business looking at the markets for outdoor products.  The pair were able to more or less reconstitute the team Stahura had assembled, meaning BDS Analytics got a jump start.

The company first looked at medical marijuana and then started branching out into hemp/CBD after that market started to develop following the 2014 Farm Bill, which first opened the door for industrial hemp cultivation.

Market to hit $20 billion by 2024

Now that hemp has been further legitimized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the market is set to take off.  Bingham says the market for hemp products in the US is now about $1.8 billion.  But he tentatively predicts it will hit around $20 billion in 2024.

That flourishing market means there are more and more companies looking for the information his firm can provide, meaning more opportunity for investors.  The $7 million investment is being led by KEY Investment Partners​, Altitude Investment Management​, and 7thirty​, with participation from other investors. Additionally, Pete Karabas of KEY Investment Partners will be joining the board of directors alongside existing representatives from Altitude and 7thirty.

Bingham said BDS Analytics will use the capital to expand coverage of emerging cannabis markets, with a focus on providing a holistic view of the global cannabinoid market (cannabis and CBD). The team will also strengthen its operating infrastructure with investments in machine learning, marketing and sales, and strategic partnerships.

"As the global cannabis economy continues to expand, it is imperative that we're able to scale alongside it to remain an indispensable asset for key decision makers in the industry," ​Bingham said.

"We're excited about this new round of funding, which will allow us to further enhance our GreenEdge platform and expand our capabilities to the entire addressable cannabinoid market,​” he added.

GreenEdge is BDS Analytics’ name for a data platform that incorporates thorough and up-to-date dispensary sales data, industry intelligence and consumer research with a 360-degree perspective of the cannabinoid market.

“We have also partnered with IRI,” ​Bingham said. “There will be a doubling of the market in the US because of CBD, but there will also be a global opportunity.”

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