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WeWork's former finance chief joins marijuana startup – Crain's New York Business

Minson was WeWork’s “numbers man,” and he helped win over investors on the real estate startup, which peaked with a private valuation near $50 billion. He took over as co-CEO in fall 2019, after the company’s attempt at an initial public offering collapsed and founder Adam Neumann resigned. He left the company shortly after the current CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, was named to the job.

Before WeWork, Minson was chief financial officer of Time Warner Cable and AOL.

Ryan Smith, LeafLink CEO and co-founder, described to Minson how startups have an opportunity to help shape the cannabis industry.

“You don’t get that many opportunities to help shape an entire industry,” Minson said. “There is no one who you are really disrupting here. You are defining the entire industry, as Ryan [Smith] says.”

LeafLink has raised $130 million in venture-capital investments, as well as $250 million in debt financing over its seven years in business. Backers include the Founders Fund, Thrive Capital and Lerer Hippeau.

The company’s online sales platform is active in 30 states. LeafLink also provides financial and product tracking tools for cannabis retailers.

Minson’s hire comes as LeafLink is preparing for the launch of lucrative markets in New York and New Jersey. Recreational cannabis sales could begin this year in New Jersey. New York is planning to authorize its first cannabis retail licenses by the end of the year. A majority of LeafLink’s 300 employees are based out of an office at 80 Broad St.—which the company expanded in the summer.

“We are ready to help the state get the industry on its feet as soon as possible, however we can,” Smith said.

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