Achari Cannabis SPAC Wants To Raise $100 Million

New Jersey-based Achari Ventures Holdings Corp. I is a newly organized blank check company or SPAC. The company said its initial focus will be on identifying acquisition opportunities in the cannabis industry. It will not invest in or consummate a business combination with a target business that we determine has been operating in violation of U.S. federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act. The initial goal is to raise $100 million, but it could go as high as $115 million. The proposed NASDAQ symbol is AVHIU.

The SPAC has identified four verticals it will focus on for investment: equipment, hardware, technology, and hydroponics. Achari Ventures, whose predecessor was founded in 2018, is an investment firm focused on the rapidly growing cannabis industry, is an affiliate of our sponsor. Achari Ventures has a cannabis advisory network, consisting of entrepreneurs and CEOs with proven track records of successful operations in the highly regulated cannabis space. During the past three years, Achari Ventures has evaluated more than 1,500 companies related to the cannabis industry, built a vast network of business contacts and invested in more than 15 companies.

This is an initial public offering and each unit has an offering price of $10.00 and consists of one share of common stock and one redeemable warrant. Each warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one-half of one share of common stock at a price of $11.50 per share, subject to adjustment as described herein. The underwriters have a 45-day option from the date of this prospectus to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 units to cover over-allotments if any. We will provide our public stockholders with the opportunity to redeem all or a portion of their public shares upon the completion of our initial business combination, subject to the limitations described herein. If we are unable to complete our initial business combination within 18 months from the closing of this offering, we will redeem 100% of the public shares for cash, subject to applicable law and certain conditions as further described herein.

Management Team

The all-male board consists of Vikas Desai, who has been a member of the board of directors and the Chief Executive Officer since its inception. In early 2018, he founded Welcan Capital, or Welcan, a predecessor of Achari Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the cannabis industry. Achari Ventures invests in high-impact, foundational companies across early-stage plant-touching and ancillary businesses and currently has a portfolio of 21 companies within the platform. Merrick Friedman has served as the Chief Investment Officer and Corporate Secretary since February 2021. He will also serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Friedman joined Welcan Capital in June 2019. Prior to joining Welcan (now Achari Ventures), Mr. Friedman spent over four years at Long Pond Capital, from January 2015 to early 2019, an approximately $3 billion long/short equity hedge fund focused on fundamental and value-oriented investing.

Mitchell Hara will serve as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following the completion of this offering. Mr. Hara is an accomplished corporate executive, investment banker, and investor with over 30 years of experience operating in dynamic and disruptive environments in the cannabis, consumer products, and retail industries. Seth Farbman will serve as one of the directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Farbman is an Executive Fellow at Yale University, primarily within the School of Management. In addition to lecturing, he provides real-world insights on business, marketing, and technology to students, faculty, and administration.

Kevin K. Albert will serve as one of the directors following the completion of this offering. He is currently managing a portfolio of private investments, the majority of which are in the legal cannabis industry. He serves on the boards of directors of Harborside Inc. (CSE:HBOR) since October 2020, and Octavius Group Holdings Inc., (doing business as “Flow Kana”) January 2020, a private company in the cannabis industry. Harry DeMott, will serve as one of the directors following the completion of this offering and is a seasoned investor, operator, and board director. He is the founder and CEO of Temerity Media Inc. (d/b/a Proper), a cannabis data business connecting customers, brands, and retailers. Mark A. Pelson, will serve as one of the directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Pelson is a business manager, entrepreneur, and investor with over 30 years of experience.

Timothy J. Seymour will serve as one of the directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Seymour is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Seymour Asset Management, a registered investment advisor for both asset and wealth management, since January 2014. He brings 25 years of investment experience as a portfolio manager, allocator, and capital markets professional across multiple asset classes.

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