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CAIA and CFACO Present: Private Equity Investing in the Flourishing Cannabis Industry

January 19, 2021
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Please join us for a roundtable discussion with KEY Investment Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm focused exclusively on the cannabis industry, and executives from Front Range Biosciences and BDSA, two market-leading cannabis related businesses. BDSA offers industry-leading retail sales tracking data, cutting-edge cannabis consumer measurement and analytics, and an unrivaled source of cannabis industry financial and economic analyses. Front Range Biosciences is a market leading agricultural biotechnology firm that specializes in the breeding and production of new plant varieties in the hemp, coffee and regulated cannabis industries.

In this roundtable, we will discuss the current landscape of the industry, opportunities for growth and investment, and how to identify and establish a symbiotic relationship between private equity, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.


Roy Bingham
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder

Roy Bingham is a Harvard MBA and former McKinsey consultant, a serial entrepreneur and founder of BDSA. He grew up in the UK, was a banker/financier in London, then moved to the USA in 1993.

Bingham started BDSA after recognizing that the emerging cannabis industry lacked the kind of sophisticated, sales-based data that is both commonplace and essential in other, more established industries. In those industries, market research – and consumer behavior – drive everything from new product development to inventory and branding decisions.

Among his prior businesses, Bingham had been both an early investor in SPINS – a very successful data analytics company for the Natural Products Industry and later an expert user of their data as a senior marketing executive in natural products.

Pete Karabas
Founding Partner
Key Investment Partners

At KEY Investment Partners, Pete is responsible for origination, due diligence, and execution of investment opportunities in addition to developing strategic partnerships and fundraising initiatives for the firm. Pete currently sits on the Board of Directors of BDSA and Front Range Biosciences, two of KEY’s portfolio companies. Prior to founding KEY, Pete spent four years as a member of Partners Group’s (SIX: PGHN) Private Real Estate Group where he was responsible for originating opportunities, conducting due diligence, and executing portfolio transactions valued between $300mn and $1.5bn in gross asset value. While at Partners Group, Pete closed 12 portfolio acquisitions, deploying ~$700mn in equity ($2.5bn gross asset value). Prior to Partners Group, Pete spent three years at Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) where he focused on the acquisition and asset management of Class A multifamily properties. Pete holds a BBA in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Originally a Chicago native, he moved to Denver in 2016 to help build out Partners Group’s U.S. real estate team. After seeing the growth in the cannabis industry first-hand, Pete pivoted his career to focus on connecting investors with early-stage cannabis companies.

Jonathan Vaught, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Front Range Biosciences

Dr. Vaught co-founded Front Range Biosciences with a deep belief in the importance of sustainable agriculture to improve human health and nutrition. An innovative problem solver with 15 years of experience developing and commercializing technologies for human diagnostics, food safety and agriculture, Dr. Vaught brings a diverse background with a strong scientific and practical business acumen. As CEO Dr. Vaught has built a team committed to bringing the best of modern agriculture to high-value crops to improve reliability, efficiency and safety for farmers and consumers.

Prior to starting Front Range, Dr. Vaught served as the Director of Assay Development for Velocity Sciences, and Senior Scientist for Beacon Biotechnology and SomaLogic. He is an inventor of two patents and an author on 7 publications in peer reviewed journals. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Vaught also operates a small farm at his residence in Colorado and is founder of Mountain Flower Dairy, a 501c3 non-profit in Boulder CO, focused on providing educational opportunities for the local community to learn about animal husbandry and where their food is sourced.

Presented by 

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association (2019 CCMC)  | ASIFMA