We got an exclusive look at the 11-slide pitch deck that a cannabis startup used to sell investors on its unique approach to an untapped market and raise $15 million

Cansativa founders Benedikt Sons and Jakob Sons
  • Investors are turning to Europe as the possibility of recreational cannabis shows promise.
  • The German cannabis company Cansativa raised $15 million from investors this month.
  • The funding round is an indication that investors are looking beyond the US.

As Europe inches toward cannabis reform, companies and investors are gearing up to get in early on what could become a huge market.

Cannabis is legal for medical purposes in many countries in Europe, but in recent months, a handful of nations have signaled their intentions to legalize recreational cannabis.

Malta now allows cannabis for personal use, and residents are allowed to grow plants at home. Other countries — like Germany, Luxembourg, and Italy — may also legalize in the coming months.

The German cannabis company Cansativa, which operates within the country’s medical marketplace, is gearing up to meet potential demand.

Cansativa said in February that it had raised a $15 million Series B round from investors. The US cannabis venture-capital firm Casa Verde led the round. The Cayman Islands’ Argonautic Ventures and Munich’s family office Alluti also participated.

Last year, investors poured $2.7 billion into cannabis startups, up from $1.5 billion in 2020, according to the data provider PitchBook. Of that $2.7 billion, over 85% went into US companies, a sign that investors are broadly focused on the US, even though cannabis isn’t federally legal. 

But Cansativa’s funding round marks a growing shift in where cannabis investment dollars may go geographically in the coming years.

The venture-capital firm Óskare Capital in Paris told Insider this month that it was raising a 150-million-euro fund (about $171 million) to chase down deals in the emerging European cannabis market. The US cannabis giant Curaleaf acquired the cannabis company EMMAC Life Sciences in a $286 million stock and cash deal last year to enter the European market.

Cansativa offers tools and products through its platform that allows dispensaries, suppliers, and growers in the German cannabis supply chain to navigate the highly regulated market. 

Benedikt Sons, Cansativa’s managing director and CEO, told Insider that while a large portion of the funding would be focused on growing the company’s team and building out its platform for the medical market, a significant portion of the money would be earmarked for the expected recreational market in Germany.

“This is a tipping point in history,” Sons said. “We’ve already proved that we know how to crack a new regulatory system and framework, and now we just have to do it again within the adult-use and recreational market.”

Cansativa shared with Insider the 11-slide presentation it used to raise $15 million from top cannabis VCs. Some financial figures were removed in this version. Take a look.

Cansativa was founded in 2017 by Benedikt and Jakob Sons, two brothers, just as Germany’s medical market came online.


In Germany, where the company is, Cansativa predicts legalization will happen in the next 24 to 36 months.


Germany has a large economy and population — factors that matter when it comes to a thriving cannabis market.


Cansativa says it’s time for Europe’s regulations around cannabis to change.


This slide lays out why Europe’s market would be a good fit for recreational cannabis.


Cansativa says it is looking to make cannabis available in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.


Getting involved in the cannabis industry is an arduous process, but Cansativa says it works with suppliers, growers, and dispensaries in the German supply chain through its platform.


Cansativa says it holds a key advantage in the German market: It has an exclusive partnership with the German regulatory body tasked with the country’s medical cannabis market.


The company has brought in tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue over the past few years, according to Sons. Once an adult-use market opens up, around 2024, Sons said he expected the company to bring in hundreds of millions in revenue.


Sons told Insider the $15 million would be used to grow the team, market the platform, and prepare for a recreational market in Germany.