Bitburger Ventures, the investment arm of family-owned Th. Simon GmbH & Co. KG , the owner of leading German brewing group Bitburger Braugruppe is investing a mid-single-digit million sum in the Berlin cannabis start-up Sanity Group, according to information from deutsche-startups.de.
Bitburger Ventures joins other investors like Holtzbrinck Ventures, Cherry Ventures, TQ Ventures and Calyx, which invested a total of 20 million euros in the company. Sanity Group, founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Fabian Friede and Finn Hänsel is “unlocking the health benefits of cannabinoids” by developing innovative cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals and wellbeing products, according to their website. The company aspires to become a market leader in the fast-growing German and European cannabis markets. It is currently operational with two business units, Sanatio Pharma, a medical cannabis company devoted to the development of new therapies and pharmaceuticals, and wellness brand, VAAY.
“Sanity Group is not only investing in the wholesale of medical cannabis but also in research, internationalization, drug approval, alternative dosage forms and the use of cannabinoids for wellness products, including cosmetics,” says Managing Director Finn Hänsel. “Our aim is to become number one in Europe, a market that some believe could surpass North America in size and volume, depending on the progress of legalization across the European continent.”
With the investment in a cannabis company, Bitburger follows other leading German brewing groups like Oettinger that entered in a cooperation with Canadian cannabis specialist XPhyto Therapeutics (inside.beer, 13.5.2020) and Krombacher, whose owners expanded their share in the Berlin-based cannabis startup Demecan from 10.9% to nearly 15% earlier this year (inside.beer, 27.05.2020).
Bitburger Ventures was founded two years ago to invest in business areas outside of the core business of beer. “The aim is to combine the growth potential of young, innovative companies with the financial strength and access to different expertise along the value chain of the Bitburger Group,” according to the company’s website. Bitburger hopes to diversify its business for a sustainable and profitable development of the group of companies. So far, Bitburger Ventures has mainly invested in companies from the food and beverage sector.