Bharat Vasan
Sep 21 · 3 min read

THE NEXT EPISODE

Well, it’s been an exciting week in my life. One chapter has ended and another one begins.

I can’t possibly get back quickly enough to all of the people who have reached out with messages of support (thank you!) so writing a Medium post seemed appropriate. Plus, there’s no good way to tweetstorm this.

As some of you may have heard, I’m no longer at PAX. My time in cannabis has been the most interesting learning experience of my life and I have nothing but gratitude for the ringside seat I’ve been afforded in one of the most dynamic and massive industries of our time. Leading PAX and driving its mission to establish cannabis as a force for good, has been the privilege of a lifetime.

Even by startup standards, we put up A TON of wins in a very short time. I joined in 2018 when the company was a very small team, after splitting from its sister company. We transformed the company by:

  • Building a strong ethos that aligned with the public interest
  • Scaling high-caliber management and hardware/software talent in one of the most competitive job markets in history
  • Expanding geographies and the brand
  • Developing new products and experiences
  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Creating a supportive culture with a 90%+ engagement score
  • Improving diversity across groups
  • Making the company a destination for top talent from all walks of life, and;
  • Raising over $400 million in capital from exceptional investors, including mainstream funds like T.Rowe, who believed in our vision

As a result, I believe PAX today is in an industry-leading position with the best brand, talent, balance sheet and prospects of any company in the cannabis space.

Leadership changes happen routinely for a variety of reasons and, in my case, a transition made sense for this latest stage of the company. The future for PAX remains bright and I’ll be cheering from the sidelines as an investor and shareholder. I have every confidence that the team will continue to lead innovation in the industry by putting health and safety first. A big thank you to the founders, Adam and James, for the opportunity and their support.

Speaking of the team, I shall definitely miss the people @ PAX — a collection of warm-hearted, exceptionally-talented people who left leading companies like Apple, IDEO, Google, Airbnb, Pandora, Uber, Tesla, Pepsi and Constellation, to choose a complex space that desperately needs innovation to take the guesswork out of cannabis. Because of them, the days flew by and the journey felt more like being on a mission, and less like a job. Seriously, they are THE BEST. If you get an opportunity to work with them, just do it.

As for me, this feels like the right transition as an operator and entrepreneur. Having been fortunate enough to have 3 consecutive successful consumer technology startups with multiple financings and exits, shipping complex hardware and software products, it’s time to pause and reflect. I’m going to take some time off to enjoy the company of friends, family and fantasy football. I know people are thumbs down on the Bay Area these days but it’s my home and I’m excited to get to know more of it. Finally, it’s always been a goal of mine to actually have the time to be more involved with public policy, and share my learnings with fellow entrepreneurs in the technology and cannabis space. So, here’s that chance.

Thanks again for all the kind, heartwarming texts and messages of support. Now, on to the next episode.

-Bharat


Written by

Entrepeneur, CEO and investor in consumer technology startups. Prev @PAX @AugustHome, @EA @mybasis.

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