🎙️ Podcast: Jane Technologies CEO, Socrates Rosenfeld
How the idea for Jane came together, Convincing his brother to be CTO/Co-Founder, Why the Company is HQed in Santa Cruz, Raising the Series A, and much more..
Socrates (Soc) Rosenfeld is Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies (Cannabis e-commerce). Soc flew Apache Helicopters for the U.S. Army after graduating from from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Afterwards, he got his MBA from MIT Sloan, joining McKinsey & Company after graduation. He came up with the idea for Jane while working at McKinsey and looking for something that was more play than work. Currently, the company partners with over 2,100 dispensaries and has raised ~$127M to date, with the most recent round being a $100M Series C in August 2021. Investors include Honor Ventures, Gotham Green Partners, Artemis Growth Partners, Delta Emerald Ventures, L2 Ventures, What If Ventures and Third Point Ventures.
💛 Falling in Love with the Idea. Soc fell in love with the idea behind Jane and it was something that kept him up at night with excitement. The personal connection to Cannabis, along with the market opportunity, was something that he thought he could pursue and find fulfillment in.
👨👨💻 Go Together. Soc’s brother and Co-Founder/CTO, Abe, was usually tough to pitch on startup ideas, rejecting many in the past, but Jane was the one that got Abe excited (reacting to the idea with a four-letter expletive) and one where he had expertise. Other Co-Founders include Howard Hong, whom Soc knew from his time at MIT Sloan, and Ben, who was a childhood friend.
🚁A Very Different Friends & Family Round. Unlike the stories you typically hear of startups raising friends & family funding from high-net-worth individuals, Soc raised from army friends and family. They were compelled to invest after seeing how much Cannabis had helped Soc and were betting on him more than anything.
⛰ Santa Cruz HQ. In addition to the the city being a great place to live, Santa Cruz provided a place for Soc and the team to unplug. The city also has a strong mix of Cannabis (Haze strains) and Technology (Google acquired Looker for $2.6B in 2020).
🇻🇳 Finding a Champion for the Series A. After Ly Tran (Co-Founder at AtHoc, which BlackBerry acquired for $250M in 2015) saw a story on Jane Technologies launching, a mutual friend put them in touch. Very quickly there was a strong connection between the kindred sprits (he flew from Boston to SF for 15 years for work because of family reasons). Ly committed to investing $1M out of the Company’s $6M Series A, while helping to leverage his network to secure the remaining amount.
And plenty of other highlights that you should listen for —
Remote culture, D2C, Cannabis industry serving as the incubator for digital retail.
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