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Ratan Tata-backed Bombay Hemp Company raises $2 mn
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Mumbai-based cannabis-focused medical research startup Bombay Hemp Company Pvt. Ltd (BOHECO), on Tuesday, said it has raised $2 million (around Rs 14.8 crore) from the family offices of Achin Kochar of the Vi-John Group and Riteesh Mohan Bakshi, Raghav Mohan Bakshi of RRB Energy Ltd.    

Prior to this funding round, Bombay Hemp had concluded a pre-Series-A round of $ 750,000, with the participation of Arphi Electronics, AngelList Trust and Prakhar Agarwal of Adept Ventures. In the earlier rounds, BOHECO had raised $2.33 million (around Rs 17.4 crore).     

BOHECO said it will use the capital to bolster manufacturing/production, improve quality control, build omnichannel distribution capabilities, and customer acquisition. It also plans a rapid expansion of BOHECO Life, its direct-to-consumer health, wellness, and nutrition brand.     

Founded in 2013 by Sanvar Oberoi, Yash Kotak, Delzaad Deolaliwala, Avnish Pandya, Chirag Tekchandaney, Jahan Jamas, and Sumit Shah, the startup supplies premium hemp (cannabis/ marijuana) leaf extract and industrial hemp products.     

In 2018, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons backed the start-up with $1 million in a seed funding round.    

In 2017, the company partnered with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to study the medical uses of cannabis in the treatment of breast cancer and epilepsy.     

The company uses hemp’s potential in agriculture, technology and medicine. It assists local farmers in cultivating the crop by providing optimum seeds, best practices in cultivation techniques, and innovating agro-products.    Currently, BOHECO sells its products through its e-commerce website and channel partners.     

The global industrial hemp market is expected to grow annually at around 16% by 2027 to reach $15 billion, while the global medical hemp market is expected to touch $46 billion by then, clipping at annually around 23%, Tekchandaney pointed out, quoting industry data.      

Tekchandaney added that he wants to make BOHECO a leading global player in the health and wellness marketplace. “Throughout the world, consumer and regulatory attitudes regarding the medical use of hemp are shifting, and we see that shift daily as consumers purchase our arthritis, stress, and pain management products,” he said.  

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