NBA star Kevin Durant, Snoop Dogg back marijuana startup Dutchie as part of $15M round

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Dutchie, a Bend, Ore. startup that makes an online platform for customers to order from cannabis companies, raised $15 million from some big-name investors.

The 36-person company resembles a Shopify for the marijuana industry, working with 450 dispensaries across 18 states. Dutchie, which is named for the famous reggae song, is also seeing roughly $140 million in gross merchandise volume.

Leading the Series A round was Gron Ventures, a new cannabis-focused venture fund. Other participants in the round include previous backers in Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital, NBA Star Kevin Durant’s fund Thirty Five Ventures, Sinai Ventures and several individual investors, including Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer and the founders of food delivery company DoorDash.

The marijuana tech startup scene is getting crowded as more states legalize and decriminalize it. In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Ross Lipson distinguished Dutchie from other well-known startups in the industry, including Seattle-based Leafly and San Francisco-based Eaze.

Eaze is more focused on delivery where we’re more focused on pickup. It’s also only available in California and Oregon, whereas we’re in 18 states. They educate the consumer about online ordering, which is great, but they also own the consumer experience, where we’re really powering the dispensary.

Leafly and Weedmaps are really different types of platforms; they’re mostly known for their dispensary and strain reviews, where we’re strictly an online ordering service.

Dutchie works with about 15 percent of registered dispensaries across the U.S., Lipson said.

The company was founded two years ago by Ross Lipson and his brother Zach. Ross co-founded a Canadian food delivery startup GrubCanada, which was acquired by Just Eat in 2011. Zach, Dutchie’s chief product officer, founded several startups, mostly recently a software solution called RepPro that allows financial advisors and their staff to store client information and fill out financial applications that was later acquired by RetireUp.

“I’m energy, I’m sales and business development,” Ross Lipson told TechCrunch. “I’m fast-moving by nature and the guy who wants to drive the car as fast as possible. Zach is the one who wants to make sure that we’re doing everything right. He’s the methodical one.”

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