Please welcome prima, a consumer CBD brand built on trust and transparency

Meet prima, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Santa Monica

Cofounders: Christopher Gavigan, Jessica Assaf, and Laurel Angelica Myers

The problem: Take a walk on any given street in New York City or Santa Monica and chances are you’ll encounter storefronts advertising CBD. Their offerings: CBD lattes, gummies, creams, oils, tablets, etc. From this increasingly familiar sight, it’s clear to see that awareness of and demand for CBD products is growing. But, while there’s no question that CBD products are more accessible than ever, there remains one major area of uncertainty. Simply said, consumers don’t know where their CBD is coming from, and if it contains harmful materials. The opacity in the CBD market means consumers don’t really know what they’re putting on and into their bodies.

prima’s solution: prima is a new consumer wellness company focused on hemp-based cannabinoids (CBD). Combining a line of body products with clean ingredients and a platform for discovering educational content, prima is building the first credible and transparent CBD brand for consumers. Right now, the market lacks a foundational brand. prima seeks to fill that void and bring CBD into the mainstream.

Origin story: Christopher, who cofounded The Honest Company, spent the last eight years building the natural products business into a trusted brand and household name. He believed in the therapeutic power of CBD and wanted to build a category-leading brand consumers could trust. He teamed up with Jessica Assaf, a repeat entrepreneur in the natural products space and cannabis advocate, to launch a new company that would become the go-to brand for early adopters and CBD converts. Laurel came on as the third cofounder, a long-time product specialist at The Honest Company who led development and innovation.

Why we’re betting on it: We’ve seen a number of CBD startups trying to innovate around niche products or new delivery mechanisms, but prima really captured our attention with the vision for building a wellness platform and a trusted brand that would stand out in a confusing and noisy category. We had been tracking the market for a while, but placed our bet on prima because of the teams’ DNA and our confidence in their ability to build a durable wellness brand that is synonymous with best in class products and science-based educational content.

Christopher has built a large company in the past with the Honest Company and, paired with Jessica and Laurel, the founding team are proven, purpose-driven CBD advocates with the experience and expertise to build a new wellness brand in this category. While CBD is popping up everywhere, we saw an opportunity for a new brand to educate and capture this moment in time. We believe that brand is prima.

Our take: The ongoing decoupling of hemp from its psychoactive counterpart marijuana, and the landmark win for hemp growers with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill combine to create a unique market opportunity for hemp and CBD in particular. The CBD-hemp market alone is predicted to reach $22 billion by 2022, in additional to the larger cannabis industry which has seen growing support through state legalization.

As early backers of B2C and B2B companies in the cannabis space, including LeafLink, Vangst, and Herb, we’re strong believers in the growing sector. prima is the right company, with the right team, launching at the right time to take advantage of a substantial market opportunity. As regulators become more aware of what’s actually in CBD products, prima is poised to become a trusted CBD brand for early users while educating the broader population about the therapeutic potential of CBD.

Further reading: Honest Company cofounder Christopher Gavigan has a new, and newly funded, CBD startup called Prima” via TechCrunch

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