Cannabis research startup Bombay Hemp Company (Boheco), which counts Ratan Tata and Google India managing director Rajan Anandan as its major investors, has raised a fresh round of funding.
The Mumbai-based firm has bagged around Rs 3 crore from Hong Kong-based textile company Ginni International Limited and existing investor, Mukhtar Tejani of Gits Food.
Claimed to be India’s first startup studying the medical use of cannabis, Boheco along with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), grows cannabis and study its medicinal properties for use in the treatment of epilepsy and breast cancer, as well as for palliative care.
Launched in January 2013, Bombay Hemp Company is also using the industrial (non-drug) hemp to manufacture a range of products, from clothes to foodstuff and building material.
Boheco first began exploring the market through varied hemp products, beginning with clothing and now has both business and retail consumers. The company works with textile businesses, fabric suppliers, and designers who source hemp fabric.
It also sells its own clothing products online and in niche boutiques across different parts of India, including Jaipur, Goa, and Rishikesh. The startup has seen active interest from the state governments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh among other states for cannabis cultivation permit.
In December last year, the company had raised Rs 6.25 crore in seed round from Ratan Tata and Rajan Anandan.
Globally, the cannabis market is expected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, with the US currently driving 90% of the sales, according to a recent report from cannabis market research firm, the Brightfield Group. In recent years, China has also increased its focus on hemp cultivation, with the China Hemp Research Centre being set up in Beijing.
The development was reported by Paper.vc.