Synthesis Institute, known for its wellness retreats and psychedelic practitioner training, has closed a $7.25 million Series A funding round, becoming the first psychedelic startup to adopt
and raise funds as a Steward-Ownership organization.
The new self-governance structure instills safeguards to ensure that company profits primarily serve a defined purpose, rather than accruing to the founders and investors. The structure also means that Synthesis founders, investors and team members (stewards) are held accountable to the company’s mission and social impact.
Like conventional startup owners, stewards hold control over the company's direction. However, unlike traditional ownership models, stewards also commit to a higher standard of mission-driven decision-making and accountability. Stewards’ control of the company can never be sold; it can only be passed on to the next generation of mission-driven leaders.
“It’s more apparent than ever that the psychedelic renaissance will fundamentally change mental health. At Synthesis, we believe how we do it matters. We’re emerging from COVID-19 with a solid resolve to prove that it’s possible to integrate these substances into modern systems ethically and with respect for the deeply-rooted wisdom traditions,” says Rachel Aidan, CEO of Synthesis. “We’re honored to have investment partners who trust our alternative approach, and we hope our journey as a successful for-profit stewardship organization will encourage other psychedelic businesses to consider alternative models of financing and growth.”
With its wellness retreats reopened in the Netherlands, Synthesis will leverage the new funds to further its development of best practices for safe, professional and group-based psychedelic retreats, as well as scale its Psychedelic Practitioner Training and build out its newly acquired North American location.
Synthesis' flagship Psychedelic Practitioner Training will open for 2022 enrollment in December 2021.
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