Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Ventures Joins Canopy Rivers' Strategic Advisory Board
This marks star-backed venture firm's first exposure to the Canadian cannabis sector
Thirty Five Ventures, Co-founded by 2x NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant and sports executive and businessman Rich Kleiman is joining Canopy Rivers' Strategic Advisory Board.
Thirty Five Ventures will collaborate with Canopy Rivers as it continues to strengthen its global portfolio of leading cannabis companies and pursue its global growth strategy. Canopy Rivers will also look to co-invest with Thirty-Five Ventures on cannabis-related deals, leveraging the group's experience in brand development, marketing, and the sports and entertainment industry.
Since its inception, Thirty Five Ventures has invested in a number of exciting tech companies, including Silicon Valley success stories Lime, Ember, Postmates, Coinbase, and Robinhood. Additionally, Thirty Five Ventures' media arm produces The Boardroom, an ESPN+ show leveraging Durant and Kleiman's knowledge of the business of sports.
“We’ve recognized that Canopy Rivers has taken a data-backed approach to map out forward-looking opportunities in the industry.”
Rich Kleiman also noted they look forward to working with “some of the most disruptive founders in the space.”
Narbé Alexandrian, president and CEO of Canopy Rivers, said in an exclusive conversation with Forbes. While “many companies are focusing on being everything to everyone,” Canopy Rivers has been collecting data on consumer behavior and has concluded that cannabis is becoming an industry of niche segments, including sleep, recovery, sports, and wellness.
“We wanted to partner with a company that shares this vision for the cannabis sector and that’s how we landed on Thirty Five Ventures,” Alexandrian explicated. “Their experience in venture capital, particularly investing in specialized companies that are the best at one or two things, knowledge of sports and entertainment, and success in CPG investments were all big factors. We believe that by working together we can achieve more.”
"We're thrilled to have Thirty Five Ventures join the Canopy Rivers team," said Narbé Alexandrian, President & CEO, Canopy Rivers. "Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman have built an incredible brand worldwide, investing in and growing some of the cannabis and tech industry's hottest companies. We're excited to combine our venture capital knowledge and cannabis domain expertise, and we believe that this partnership will drive success for our portfolio as we continue to grow it in the years ahead."
“On top of their venture capital success, Kevin Durant’s career in professional sports, and Rich Kleiman’s expertise in the sector, are absolutely things we hope our portfolio benefits from.”
The Thirty Five team joins Canadian Council of Innovators’ John Ruffolo, who also founded OMERS Ventures; Imperial Brands’ former co-head of M&A Meg Lovell; Campbell Canada’s former president Philip Donne; and Breakthru Beverage Canada’s regional president Julian Burzynski, on Canopy Rivers’ board. Thirty Five will not have one specific representative on Canopy Rivers’ board, but will rather leverage its team’s collective experience – the team includes investors, marketing and PR professionals, and sports and entertainment experts.