PRØHBTD Media helps cannabis companies build their businesses and connect with consumers through a suite of branding, product development, video production and marketing solutions. Founded in 2015, by Drake Sutton-Shearer, Joshua Otten, Kieve Huffman,PRØHBTD owns and operates an original content studio and a multi-platform video network in the cannabis industry.
PROHBTD’s video content is available not only on the PRØHBTD website but also can be viewed on Roku and Apple TV. In May 2018, they received 21 million views, with an average view time of 3 minutes and 45 seconds. In February, PRØHBTD announces the launch of 5 new web series;
#AFK – Away from the Keyboard: follows internet celebrity Harley Morenstein (Epic Meal Time) as he, and the world’s biggest influencers, explore and compete in some of the most bizarre video games ever created.
Joint Venture: Comedian and viral video star Michael Glazer (Buzzfeed’s “High Guys”) follows in the footsteps of the bizarre, true story of how a man took one red paperclip and traded it up to a house.
High with Ty: Epic Meal Time’s Tyler Lemco set out to find the most bizarre videos on the internet and then did what anyone else would do; he made his friends watch them.
The Nest: Missy Modell hosts this raw and insightful look into the lives of millennial women.
Pot Pie: Pot Pie is back for season 2 with a fresh, new host and exciting, new guests guaranteed to leave even more smoke in the kitchen.
Bud Box: Adrienne Airhart hosts this weekly Livestream that dives into the science, history, technology, and brands of the cannabis marketplace.
Wellness: Journey into the world of health and wellness with host Heather Hoffman.
HighTech: High Tech shows off the latest innovations in cannabis smoking technology from revolutionary brands.
Investing in PRØHBTD
This round was led by Serruya Private Equity, The Delavaco Group, and Cresco Capital. Prøhbtd had previously raised $4 million in seed funding from investors including actor/musician Donald Glover.
Who is Drake Sutton-Shearer?
Drake Sutton-Shearer is the CEO and Founder of PRØHBTD who create, build and market cannabis brands to global audiences. He has worked full time in the cannabis industry for the past four years.
As a serial entrepreneur, Drake previously founded a Grammy-winning talent management firm with multi-platinum creative clients and a lifestyle branding and design consultancy that serviced premier entertainment companies including Warner Bros, Sony, and Universal. Additionally, Drake has founded, led and sold a music publishing company, a social virtual gifting company (#1 on Facebook) and an interactive social research company incubated at the Wharton School. He is also the inventor and holder of multiple patents with social and technology applications.
Drake has been featured on CNN, Advertising Week, Variety, HuffPost, Techcrunch, Billboard, Digiday, Wall Street Journal and on the cover of leading Cannabis B2B publication MG Magazine. He is also a featured speaker at events including YPO, CWCBE, ICBC, OMBC, Green Table Global, O’Cannabiz and New West Summit.
Drake Sutton-Shearer, CEO of PRØHBTD Media and I had the opportunity to discuss more on this round, where the funds would be used and even gained a bit of advice and insight on raising capital to share with the DCN community.
DCN: First off, congratulations on the round, can you give us any insight into what the funds will be allocated towards?
Drake: Thank you. We’ll be using the funds to accelerate our content slate, deepen the capabilities that support our brand partners, make some key new hires and strategic investments/acquisitions.
DCN: Can you share with us your elevator pitch for PRØHBTD Media?
Drake: PRØHBTD is a leading brand and lifestyle media platform that creates, builds and markets cannabis brands to global audiences.
DCN: Let’s do a deep dive into PRØHBTD, for our viewers.
PRØHBTD has built a first of its kind cannabis ecosystem that includes a brand creation and product development platform complemented by a content studio and expansive multi-platform video distribution network reaching an available audience of 100+ million people. The company produces scripted and unscripted original content and maintains a popular lifestyle and culture website at www.prohbtd.com featuring cannabis, art, fashion, food, and entertainment.
Through the company’s in-house creative agency, cannabis companies access a suite of premium solutions including video production (storytelling), brand development (design, packaging) and digital marketing programs that help cannabis brands build their businesses and connect with consumers.
The company is also recognized as the exclusive worldwide cannabis partner of Entrepreneur Magazine and Advertising Week, the leader of the NYC based event in advertising, media, marketing, and technology.
DCN: Serruya Private Equity, The Delavaco Group and Cresco Capital, led this round, can you provide some insight into how these relationship evolved?
Drake: I was introduced through mutual friends and business colleagues.
DCN: PRØHBTD has built its voice by bringing together the cannabis industry and mainstream culture, why did you feel that was a critical need?
Drake: If we don’t include the mainstream in our consumer and business conversations then it’s just our industry talking to ourselves, and that doesn’t change the perception of who we are, what we do and why it matters.
DCN: PRØHBTD offers not only branded videos and sponsorships, but also product development, design, and marketing, for those who may be interested in working with PRØHBTD, can you walk us through a bit more about these services?
Drake: In an online universe littered with throw-away social videos and outdated cannabis narratives, we have quietly produced and built the world’s largest cannabis lifestyle original video library of more than 155 original videos. We have also executed more than 100 content and marketing campaigns and helped to design and produce more than 30 new brands and products. Cannabis companies and entrepreneurs trust us to help them build their businesses because we have the capabilities, experience, and knowledge to do so.
DCN: It was stated that PRØHBTD would soon have a public offering in Canada, can you provide any insider knowledge to the DCN community on this route for PRØHBTD?
Drake: We are currently preparing the company for this and don’t have anything new to offer, but we’ll be sure to let you know.
DCN: For new entrepreneurs raising capital, can you share one thing you learned when going through the due diligence process?
Drake: Have your shit together. I’ve been through this process a few times, and it never gets easier. If you don’t understand your business and you can’t articulate how it makes money and how your investors will make money, then you need to figure that out. At the very least just be hyper-organized or hire someone who is.
DCN: Any tips or advice to offer to other entrepreneurs who are going or will begin the fundraising process?
Drake: See above + make sure you can show how your business is defensible, how you intend to scale it and what your vision is. Investors don’t like to place bets on small outcomes so think beyond your objective today and find something that will excite them enough to invest in your vision. Then just making sure you have a plan to execute it.
DCN: What is in store for PRØHBTD in 2018?
Drake: We have a ton of new content in production and also working on some really exciting new brand and product initiatives with world-class partners. Later this month we’re taking a few companies down to Australia for Advertising Week APAC and then in October we’ll be highlighting select companies for Advertising Week in NYC which will include a 5,000SF cannabis activation at the Loews Cineplex in Manhattan. Additionally, we will soon be announcing the Entrepreneur Magazine Top 100 Cannabis Entrepreneurs which received more than 8,000 nominations.
Thank you, Drake, for taking the time to give us some insight into PRØHBTD. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for you, the team and for the companies you are helping along the way. Any final thoughts or advice for the DCN community?
Drake: The cannabis community has a responsibility to pay homage to those who came before us and to pay it forward in any responsible way, shape or form. To that end, we are currently building a program that is intended to help those less fortunate than ourselves, and it will be announced soon.
To learn more about PRØHBTD, visit www.prohbtd.com
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