New funding: Seattle-based Shield Compliance raised $5 million in Series A funding to build out its platform that helps pot companies and banks get along.
Lead investor: The round was led by Copia Investments, which backs financial technology startups.
Company background: Shield’s software lets banks and credit unions manage risk and comply with the ever-changing regulatory environment around marijuana. The startup has 19 employees and currently works with 11 financial institutions across weed-legal states including Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Washington. Total funding to date is $11.3 million at a valuation of $20 million, according to the company.
Market opportunity: An estimated 70 percent of cannabis companies lack access to banks due to regulatory uncertainty. Congressional lawmakers are hoping the move the needle on this problem with the SAFE Banking Act, but companies like Shield can help banks navigate that uncertainty in the meantime.
CEO Perspective: “We are pleased to see the confidence Copia Investments and a growing set of customers across the country have in our product,” Shield CEO Noah Carey said in a statement. “It reflects our core belief that the cannabis industry must have access to banking services, and that our purpose-built solution meets the compliance requirements of this industry while enabling financial institutions to operate efficiently and effectively.”RELATED CONTENT: Check out GeekWire's list of recent Seattle and Pacific Northwest startup funding deals.