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Here are 9 CBD startups – including one planning to go public – that are trying to cash in on the industry's 400% boom in Europe

Apr 29, 2021
Molecule Molecule is a CBD retailer, founded by entrepreneur Daniel Zemmour in January 2020, with a flagship store in London's Westbourne Grove. The store – currently closed amid the UK's coronavirus lockdown – features an organic coffee and adaptogen bar, as well as a yoga an

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Molecule is a CBD retailer, founded by entrepreneur Daniel Zemmour in January 2020, with a flagship store in London's Westbourne Grove. The store – currently closed amid the UK's coronavirus lockdown – features an organic coffee and adaptogen bar, as well as a yoga and meditation studio.

The retailer sells beauty products such as CBD face cream and bath bombs to lifestyle products including "mind-calming" CBD gummies and candles.

The self-funded company, into which Zemmour invested £500,000 ($696,000), has amassed £485,000 ($675,000) in sales since its launch last year, despite temporary closures due to COVID-19.

Molecule also has an importer and distribution arm, focusing primarily on European department stores.

SEE ALSO: How did CBD oil become a $1 billion industry?


Alphagreen is Europe's largest platform for CBD and alternative healthcare, listing more than 150 brands and more than 2,000 products.

Founded in 2019, it expects to generate £1.5 million ($2.1 million) of sales in 2021. Alphagreen was founded by entrepreneurs Alexej Pikovsky and Viktor Khliupko, it aims to simplify the experience of buying CBD products, with a "comprehensive" marketplace for both consumers and brands.

Brains Bioceutical

Brains Bioceutical is one of the few companies producing natural CBD as an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) for pharmaceutical applications, research and development and clinical trials.

CEO Rick Brar began his career as a sole owner of a seed-to-farm herb and nutraceutical supplier for grocers and pharmaceuticals before moving into the burgeoning CBD market in 2019.

Brains Bioceutical continues to take part in clinical trials worldwide. Its CBD API is being used in late-stage Phase III clinical trials for refractory epilepsy by the largest generic drug manufacturer in Brazil.

The company manages a R&D programme and focuses on regulatory issues, such as market authorization. 

Honest Hemp

A British importer and manufacturer, Honest Hemp was founded by solo entrepreneur Christian Sanderson in Brighton, England in 2014 and has grown to have 52 employees.

A self-funded company with a £5 million ($6.9 million) turnover, Honest Hemp grows organic industrial hemp and an importer, producer, and manufacturer.

It sources only organic ingredients from ethical suppliers. The company operates right across the supply chain, "from seed to shelf."


OTO, which means "sound" in Japanese, is a UK luxury lifestyle CBD brand, spanning beverages, beauty, wellness and spa. Having launched in mid 2019, OTO's products have been listed in premium London stores such as Harrods, Selfridges, and Liberty.

Since March 2020, OTO has grown the team to almost 30 people with offices in the UK, Hong Kong and Japan.

It ships to more than 80 countries. Its products include several world-firsts for CBD, including its CBD Bitters, Pillow Mist, and Advent Calendar.


TRIP specialises in CBD-infused premium drinks and CBD oils. Launched by husband and wife Olivia Ferdi and Dan Khoury in 2019, TRIP's sleek design has led to it being hailed the 'Glossier' of the CBD world by Dazed.

In March 2020, the first month of the UK's first coronavirus lockdown, TRIP partnered with Deliveroo. Its direct-to-consumer revenue has grown by a factor of 15 since then, with around a third of customers returning monthly.

The company now sells to consumers in 16 countries in Europe as well as the United States.

Pure Sport CBD

Pure Sport CBD was founded by Grayson Hart and Adam Ashe, two Glasgow Rugby players who struggled with recovery from the strains and injuries suffered during the high-contact sport. They created their own brand to help athletes suffering similar issues.

Its product is Olympic Standard Certified as safe for drug-tested athletes and professionals worldwide, free from THC and other contaminants.

Their product is one of few CBD brands to be Banned Substance Control Group certified, meaning it's safe for those who undergo drug tests.

The brand saw a 400% sales increase in 2020 after it was endorsed by sports stars such as former New Zealand Rugby players Jerome Kaino and Liam Messan.


Pain specialist Dr Benjamin Thomas, palliative medicine expert Dr Emily Collis and pharmacist Simon Tallett are among those who sit on the scientific advisory board of UK startup Cannaray: the only UK based CBD brand with a board of specialists within medical cannabis.

Former JPMorgan managing director Stanton McLean is on the company's non-executive board and joined as an executive advisor in April as the company prepares for a public listing later this year.

In September 2019, Cannaray closed a £7.8 million ($10.8 million) Series A funding round. Its turnover that year was £9 million ($12.5 million) in 2019 and £29 million ($40.3 million) in 2020.

Common Water

Common Water infuses a patented formula into spring water with added B vitamins to create a dosage of CBD.

The product is flavor-free and has zero sugar, zero calories and no preservatives, and recently was a finalist for the Zenith Global Drinks Award 'Best CBD Water' category.

Having launched into Planet Organic, Daylesford and independent stores in London, the brand raised a significant seed round from an investment fund with extensive distribution links, whose previous investments include a popular meat alternative brand, which has been spent on R&D.

In the past few months, they have secured further distribution in the UK, along with a distributor and have plans to test the US market.