It is just one of the biggest names in CBD: Verma Farms– the country-wide acclaimed ‘hempire’ that was just recently bought for an (undisclosed) eight-figure amount. Among the most well-appreciated e-commerce M&A advisors, FE International agented the bargain. And the name behind that name? AJ Agrawal, the 31-year-old business owner who expanded Verma from the ground up in simply two years.
While that might sound like a breakneck rate, Agrawal has a history of expensive success, simply put. Cofounding a service in 2012 and becoming a CEO of an additional one by 2013– all before graduating from the University of San Diego’s service school– was just the start of Agrawal’s business success.
His method, skillset, and understanding have set him apart from early. Barely out of college, he was 24 when the world first began noting his out-of-the-box leadership style– that repaid.
He established (and also still presently owns) the marketing firm Verma Media– a company Forbes called “unique” and also “San Francisco’s largest blockchain marketing firm.” Reducing his chops in branding, associate, and digital marketing, he shares that he got his beginning at Verma Media, collaborating with brands like AmEx, Shopify, Juul, and Expedia. “This allowed me to have experience scaling and building brand names, which provided me a massive benefit when starting my very own DTC [direct-to-consumer] brand name,” he claims. “As well as besides Verma Farms, I have built four other direct-to-consumer brands that do over $1M in income yearly,” he claims.
However, his following venture wasn’t something he planned on; the idea concerned him on vacation.
Claiming Aloha to CBD
On vacation to one of Agrawal’s preferred locations– the lush, laidback islands of Hawaii– Agrawal bumped into an unanticipated treasure that would certainly alter the trajectory of his career and tradition: CBD.
“The first time I attempted CBD, I remained in Hawaii,” he claims. “Spending time in Hawaii is already a surreal experience– including an added component of leisure with CBD made it so clear to me that I wished to capture the experience, container it up, as well as share it with the globe.”
A brand was born in that minute: the sensation of harmony and peace lots of look for on vacation, easily accessible anywhere. “It aided that I already had a big focus on health in my individual life,” claims Agrawal. “I was a D1 collegiate athlete, which was where I was first subjected to taking my health seriously– however, in my late twenties, I experienced what many young adults do as we begin to age: a battle to loosen up, recoup well after exercises, as well as sleep.”
” As a means to give thanks to the state for presenting me to CBD, I based the whole Verma Farms brand off it– the culture, the elegance, the way of life, the colors, the flavors,” he says. “Hawaii has such a unique area in my heart.”
Verma Farms Is Born
Agrawal saw possibilities in the hemp sector, as well as shortly after his journey, the 2018 Ranch Bill passed. Countless new brands exploded right into the once-fledgling market.
“I understood it was sink or swim,” he claims. “This assault of brand names surged into this area, the hemp and CBD area, and I recognized if we didn’t separate ourselves from the beginning, we would certainly never ever make it,” says Agrawal.
The good news is for Agrawal; branding was his support. “Since there were so many counterfeit, faux-brands from abroad that didn’t even place CBD in their items, we certainly started the differentiation process by highlighting high quality and also security; we were supplying a premium item. Top-quality, regulated and tested products making use of US-grown hemp.”
With exceptional branding experience, creative methods, and a real story to inform, a way of life brand name was swiftly created. “I decided to lean right into the Hawaiian narration,” states Agrawal. “In our packaging, branding, selection of flavors, and items– however additionally in our method to the business, the farming, the entire thing. Hawaii is all about purity, keeping the natural environment immaculate– it feels so pure, untapped. We utilized a socially and eco-conscious focus.”
CBD gummies with flavors like Blueberry Wave, Maui Melon, as well as Beary Beach were offered together with dried-out fruit-plus-CBD offerings– pineapple, mango, and papaya. “We were giving people a literal preference of the island way of life,” he claims.
The assurance of the aloha spirit– and some leisure– in a container or jar worked; Verma Farms was building a large following. “We had regular 20% mama development,” he claims (which, deserves noting, mostly took place throughout a pandemic as well as a recession). “We did $1 Million in revenue in the initial year alone.”
At once, when Americans could not see Hawaii, Agrawal used them a taste of it in the house– an escape from the truth around them. He rode the typical green wave of hemp’s national development; the CBD gummy market alone is expected to reach $14B by 2028.
Development as well as Sale of a CBD Empire
Verma Farms was completely bootstrapped, says Agrawal, which made the most of success as he took no outdoors investments. He points out autonomy and performance as tactical guideposts that enabled his service to survive the pandemic and flourish sufficient to acquire a 2nd company: Penguin CBD.
The purchase of another company in 2021 enabled Verma Farms’ appraisal to increase; a lot to ensure that six months later, mergers and purchases large FE International led to an amazing deal, marketing business (that as soon as had only $200) for eight-figures.
“I could not be more thankful for the past two years– as an entrepreneur and individual,” says Agrawal. “From the first time trying CBD on the coastline in Maui to item testing as well as tasting the Verma Farms gummies we made, to maintaining a business alive in 2020, to obtaining Penguin CBD, to the sale now, it’s been such an extensive trip. I can not wait to share what’s next with the world.”
Agrawal continues to own and also run Verma Media and has multiple DTC projects in the works.