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Guest Post: The Cannabis Conversation with Anuj Desai – Interview with Alex Ouimet-Storrs and Bruce Linton of Óskare Capital

Guest Post: The Cannabis Conversation with Anuj Desai - Interview with Alex Ouimet-Storrs and Bruce Linton of Óskare Capital

An exploration of the role of a VC fund within the cannabis industry, how they operate, and why Europe is currently the most exciting investment space worldwide.

Episode Summary

  • Based in Paris (France), Óskare Capital, has launched the first AIFM and ESG compatible fund with an investment focus on innovative companies and teams in the medical cannabinoid industry.
    This pioneer investment fund which is AIFM domiciled in Dublin, Ireland will be investing principally in European companies and teams that are working with cannabinoids and the related infrastructure, and which are developing disruptive, science-led solutions and emerging technologies within this medical and healthcare sector.
  • Unlike many other funds, Óskare Capital will not be investing directly in opportunities related to the recreational cannabinoid market. Rather the fund will prioritise investment in the development of medical and pharmaceutical products for which there is a strong scientific rationale to utilise cannabinoids.
  • Óskare Capital will be investing principally in European companies and teams that are working with cannabinoids and the related infrastructure, and which are developing disruptive solutions and emerging technologies within this medical and healthcare sector.
  • Alex is a Chemical Engineer by trade, he studied in Canada but moved to France in 2006 to manage technology funds.
  • Alex came across the cannabis industry in a very unconventional way – he discovered that parents of children who have the same rare genetic disorder as his son, were using cannabinoid extracts to manage their children’s symptoms, and so became intrigued.
  • After noticing the rise of European cannabis companies, Alex decided to partner with Bruce who was also interested in investing within the cannabis space.
  • In 2012, Bruce co-founded Canopy Growth – which grew to become the world’s largest cannabis company.
    After disagreements, Bruce was removed as a board member and co-CEO. He stayed within the cannabis industry, later founding Óskare Capital.
  • Bruce chose to operate in Europe due to its large population, its ‘rational’ approach to cannabis legislation, and its institutional advantages.
  • There is a great deal of cannabis-based laboratory research being undertaken across Europe and the UK.
    Many labs are looking into novel cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, and have started their own pharmaceutical companies as a result. An example of this is Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
  • Venture capital is a form of private equity and a type of financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks, and any other financial institutions.
  • Óskare Capital’s services range from preparing a company for an exit to sitting on the board of directors and vary on a case by case basis.
  • Óskare Capital follows the same methodologies as other venture capital firms, although their opportunistic funds target more specific asset classes.

Quotables
We really are sitting on a bit of a goldmine here [in Europe] in terms of potential investment targets as well as some really groundbreaking research on the endocannabinoid system 11:40