This article was originally published by Psychedelic Invest.
Although there are already over 50 publicly traded
psychedelics companies, there are dozens of privately funded companies that continue to advance the psychedelics industry.
These companies have collectively raised more than $700 million from investors according to CB Insights
, with the bulk primarily invested in atai Life Sciences.
Investors in these companies have good reason to believe they will see a significant return due to three primary factors:
- The recent success of psychedelics companies in the public markets
- The overwhelming rise in mental health issues related to COVID-19
- The continuing decriminalization and legalization efforts around the world
The space is so rife with investment dollars that many companies are actually having to turn down money as rounds are being massively oversubscribed
These investors will be looking for a return through some sort of liquidity event such as an acquisition or a public offering.
Psychedelic Company Exits
Not all companies will go public, but in the investing world, an Initial Public Offering (IPO) is often the event that provides liquidity and returns to early investors.
Although some companies will be acquired before an IPO, many will never make it to any type of liquidity event.
In the psychedelics market, going public is especially important as the event allows the company to raise significantly more capital from investors. Furthermore, the company can use its public shares as currency to acquire new companies, incentivize top paid executives, and issue new shares to raise even more capital.
With extremely expensive research costs and even more costly testing and clinical trial expenses, going public allows a psychedelic company to move forward and compete with major biotech giants.
While still technically private, atai Life Sciences
is scheduled to hit the public markets within the next couple of weeks. This event will not only allow new public investors to own shares in one of the highest valued psychedelics companies, but will also give enormous returns to early investors.
These massive returns are what private investors are in search of, as a single early stage investment can generate profits in multiples of 10x or higher.
Private Psychedelics Companies Investors Should Keep Their Eye On
As the market matures, there will be multiple routes for private psychedelics companies to raise money. This includes a traditional IPO process, M&A, continued Venture Capital, or even potentially through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) such as the one The Conscious Fund has launched
Each of these options is great for the venture fund’s existing investors, but for investors that have yet to put money to work in the psychedelics market, below we have listed some of the most promising private companies, in addition to who their reported major investors are.
Our goal is to help investors find potential funds that may be investing in companies that fit their portfolio style. Furthermore, we’d like to acknowledge the incredible progress that is taking place within private companies.
Table of Contents (a list of private companies discussed):
Note: The list of investors/funds behind each private company below is based on data pulled from Neuly and other publicly available data sources. In some cases, each and every investor may not be disclosed.
is a mental health science focused, preclinical biotechnology company that has a “disciplined focus on developing innovative new chemical entities (NCE’s) leveraging a unique combination of medicinal chemistry, intellectual property strategy, neuroscience & neurobiology, and drug development expertise.”
The company founders have an impressive track record of multiple exits already in the psychedelic industry. Jonathan Sporn, MD, founded and sold Perception Neuroscience to atai Life Sciences. Dalibor Sames, PhD, and Andrew Kruegel, PhD, co-founded Kures, which was also sold to atai Life Sciences. Co-founders Jeff Witkin, PhD, and Mike Cunningham, PhD, have deep experience in chemistry and pharmacology.
The company’s pipeline of medicines includes Arylcyclohexylamine (a “Better Ketamine”), Serotonergic Micro-Dose (for ADHD and MDD with Cognitive Impairment), and Novel Ibogaine Analogue (for Opioid Use Disorder).
Gilgamesh has raised capital through several different financing events.
- Y Combinator
- JLS Fund
- Palo Santo
- Noetic Fund
- What If Ventures
- Seven Hound Ventures
- The Conscious Fund
Based in London and New York, Eleusis
was founded in 2013 and is “the first privately held, clinical-stage life science company dedicated to unlocking the full therapeutic potential of psychedelics, guided by science, and enabled by drug discovery, clinical development, and care delivery design.”
The company’s comprehensive discovery, development, and delivery capabilities enable it to target a broad spectrum of unmet needs within psychiatry, and beyond psychiatry.
CEO and founder, Shlomi Raz, is joined by nearly two dozen other industry leading team members who are all working on at least five unique drug programs. Indications being addressed include Major Depressive Disorder, Ocular Inflammation, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Eleusis is also “developing a novel care delivery platform to enhance safety, enable personalization, and ensure accessibility.”
- the UK Government
- San Diego State University Research Foundation
Based in the San Francisco Bay area, Tactogen
is a public benefit corporation that is focused on developing next generation mental wellness medicines. Founded by Matthew Baggott, PhD, and Luke Pustejovsky, Tactogen has filed over 10 provisional patent applications on groups of novel chemical entities as of late 2020.
Their IP includes molecules, drug combinations, treatment methods, and pharmaceutical preparations. Tactogen takes a holistic approach that “seeks to improve individual and community health, primarily by developing new medicines and secondarily by encouraging healthy, humane, and sustainable ecosystems that can support effective psychedelic medicine.”
- Noetic Fund
- PsyMed Syndicate
is “developing safe, FDA, EMA and Health Canada approved therapies for neuropsychiatric conditions, starting with sub-perceptual psilocybin-based medicines that have the potential to deliver greater impact than current first-line treatments.”
Judy Blumstock, MBA, serves as the CEO and board member. Other management team members include: Jeffrey Sprouse, PhD, Kevin Canning, PhD, MBA, Rhea Mehta, PhD, Sam Kerr, and Rebecca Brown.
On February 2, the company signed a letter of intent to be acquired by GHP Noetic Science-Psychedelic Pharma Inc. (TSXV:PSYF.P), a capital pool company.
- The Conscious Fund
- Palo Santo
- JLS Fund
- Negev Capital
- Noetic Fund
Coming from Oxford, UK, Beckley Psytech
is “dedicated to helping patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders by developing a pipeline of psychedelic compounds into licensed pharmaceutical medicines.”
Founded by Lady Amanda Feilding and her son, Cosmo Feilding Mellen, the company is building upon the Beckley Foundation’s world-famous reputation as a pioneer in psychedelic research. Amanda has been featured on the Guardian’s list of the Bravest Men and Women in the History of Science, and has personally co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications on the subject, many with ground-breaking results.
Although Beckley Psytech is a brand new company, the team are no stranger to leading a medical based startup. Cosmo’s roots run deep in the Beckley Foundation, the non-profit organization that has pioneered some of the most important psychedelic research to date.
While at the Beckley Foundation, Cosmo helped create and direct a partnership with cannabis producer, Canopy Growth Corporation, to research and develop clinically validated cannabis-based medicines. The partnership, aptly named Beckley Canopy Therapeutics, was a success and ultimately resulted in a total acquisition of Canopy Growth for a 3.3x return for investors in only 13 months.
- Noetic Fund
- Neo Kuma
- Leafy Tunnel
- Berti Investments
- JamJar Investments
is a Canadian manufacturer of pharmaceutical-grade psychedelic drug products for clinical research and therapeutic application. Located in Calgary, Alberta, the executive team consists of Danny Motyka, BSc, Peter Van Der Heyden, PhD, and Paul Mesburis, CFA.
Psygen is committed to donating up to 10% of all profits to our charitable foundation to provide access to therapy for low-income populations, and to fund non-profit research programs and environmental programs.
On March 24, 2021, Psygen announced a reverse take over agreement in partnership with Larose Ventures. The transaction is contingent on a strategic reorganization, after which, Psygen intends to conduct a drug development program, studying the application of lysergic acid diethylamide (“LSD”).
is pursuing FDA approval of psychedelic therapies to heal individual mental health and strengthen communities. The company is building a portfolio of plant-identical compounds, with their first focus on mescaline. In addition to drug development, the company plans to “to partner with therapists to build and support locally-owned centers that can best serve their communities.”
Journey Colab’s executive team includes Dr. Jeeshan Chowdhury, Jennifer Pisansky, Sutton King, MPH, Daniel Claussen, and Rebecca Lee, JD. The company has outlined their values
through the Journey Reciprocity Trust, commitment to synthetic molecules, and institution of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) laws and the Nagoya Protocol.
As a Public Benefit Corporation, “Osmind
is the leading software solution for practitioners of legal psychedelic-assisted therapy.” Headquartered in Mountain View, California, the company’s technology “streamlines the unique clinical and administrative workflows while strengthening the bond between practitioner and client.”
Co-founders Lucia Huang, MBA, and Jimmy Qian, MS, “started as a pair of Stanford University graduate students who realized a shared interest in alleviating the worldwide mental health crisis.”
- Y Combinator
- General Catalyst
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Delix Therapeutics
is “applying modern tools of pharmaceutical development to some of nature’s most ancient therapies, psychedelics.”
Co-founded by renowned chemical neuroscientist, David Olson, Delix is also run by Mark Rus, Retsina Meyer, PhD, Noel Powell, and Milan Chytil. The team is developing “small molecules that are non-hallucinogenic analogues of known psychedelics, capable of rapidly promoting structural and functional plasticity in specific neural circuits, and are being developed as potential treatments for unmet needs across a range of psychiatric and neurological conditions.”
- Vertical Venture Partners
- Craig Asher
has spearheaded the development of “a program that targets a diverse range of neurological and psychiatric health concerns and allows multiple opportunities to transform the standard of care and improve quality of life.” They are doing this by advancing a diversified portfolio that includes a late-stage clinical therapeutic and several libraries of pre-clinical assets with multiple leads.
Samuel Clark, MD, PhD, and Dustin Tetzl, MD, run Terran’s management team, while a board of nine scientific advisors round out the company’s entire team.
mission is to “empower psychedelic practitioners with the technology and insight they need to scale psychedelic healthcare safely and effectively.” Based in Denver, Colorado, Maya is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), which means [the] team members, advisors, investors, and supporters are aligned to prioritize purpose over profit.
Co-founded by David Champion and Akoni Anthony, Maya currently has a team of over a dozen individuals that are working hard to develop an industry leading “HIPAA-compliant platform that helps psychedelic practitioners provide a harmonious healing journey from intake, preparation to facilitation, integration, and beyond.”
Based in Tampa, Florida, Psilera Bioscience
is “reimagining psychoactive natural products as building blocks for the next generation of neurological therapeutics.”
Co-founded by Jackie von Salm, PhD, and Chris Witowski, PhD, they are also joined by eight others on their scientific advisory board. The team has four main projects which consist of: Innovative Synthesis, Unique Formulations, Computational Models, and Clinical Development. Psilera is currently focused on tryptamines, and more specifically, DMT, psilocin, and synthetic DMT derivatives to treat substance abuse, neurodegenerative diseases and mood disorders.
- Tampa Bay Technology Incubator
Awakn Life Sciences
Based in Toronto, with offices in Bristol, UK, Awakn Life Sciences
is a biotechnology company with “clinical operations researching, developing, and delivering psychedelic new chemical entity drugs and therapies to treat Addiction.”
Awakn’s notable psychedelic researchers, Dr. Ben Sessa and Professor David Nutt are joined by their leadership team which includes Anthony Tennyson, Jonathan Held, James Collins, Dr. Laurie Higbed, Professor Celia Morgan, and Dr. Shaun McNulty.
Based in Issaquah, Washington, CaaMTech
is a “drug discovery and lead optimization company focused on engineering psychedelic drugs that meet the standards of modern medicine.” The company is “improving the health and happiness of humankind by creating and optimizing psychedelic compounds and formulations through rigorous science and continuous innovation.”
Dr. Andrew Chadeayne is the Founder and CEO of CaaMTech. He is joined by Davis Wuolle and Jon Cooper. Prior to CaaMTech, Chadeayne and Cooper were instrumental in the cannabis company ebbu, which was acquired by Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) in 2018 – a deal worth C$429 million.
is a synthetic biology company developing superior cannabinoid and psilocybin derivatives, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Octarine has “developed proprietary enzyme platform technologies to efficiently modify molecules, and fermentation platforms to effectively scale-up production.”
Co-founded by Nathaji Gallage and Nick Milne, the company also includes Maria Jesus, PhD, Victor Forman, MSc, Harald Erici, and Camilla Knudsen Baden, PhD.
is “advancing a pipeline of high potential therapeutics designed to meaningfully improve neuropsychiatric care.’ The company’s value-creating pipeline consists of compelling risk-balanced programs which address significant unmet needs in the CNS arena. Each program applies tailored, cutting-edge technologies to enhance R&D productivity and deliver potentially first-in-class or best-in-class therapies.”
With a large Scientific Advisory Board, Psy Therapeutics was co-founded by Jerry Rosenbaum, MD, Maurizio Fava, MD, Brant Binder, and Roy Perlis, MD, MS.
The team is currently working on a variety of programs to address PTSD, Anxious Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- The most well-funded psychedelics company is Berlin-based atai Life Sciences with $415 million in disclosed equity funding
- The most active psychedelic investment firm is Noetic Fund with more than 20 disclosed investments
- There are more than 450 privately held psychedelics companies according to Neuly’s database
How Investors Can Get Access to Private Psychedelics Companies
As previously reported
by Psychedelic Invest, there are more than 75 funds and individuals that have put money to work in the private psychedelic ecosystem.
The above list of private psychedelics companies is just a small preview of the hundreds of organizations currently conducting research and developing medicines within the psychedelic ecosystem.
As the market continues to mature, investors will continue to see private companies raising more and larger rounds of funding.
In addition to private companies, many non-profits, government agencies, educational institutions, and public companies are also contributing important value to the broader psychedelics world.
major depressive disorder
the conscious fund
what if ventures
atai life sciences
awakn life sciences