Hound Labs, Inc. Secures Series B Financing from Benchmark
Begins Clinical Studies of the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
OAKLAND, Calif. – MAY 23, 2017 – Hound Labs, Inc., creators of the patent-pending HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, announced today that Benchmark invested $8.1 million in the company. Mitch Lasky, general partner at Benchmark, and Dick Wolf, an early investor in Hound Labs and acclaimed television writer and producer will join CEO, Dr. Mike Lynn, on the board of directors. Hound Labs also announced the start of clinical studies to verify the efficacy of its field-tested solution.
The groundbreaking HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER is expected to be an essential tool for law enforcement and employers, as it will measure the amount of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) in breath, which can indicate if someone recently used marijuana.
Presently, more than 50 million adults regularly use marijuana in the United States¹. Law enforcement and employers have a pressing need to understand who recently used marijuana versus those who merely test positive from having used marijuana the day before or even weeks earlier.
Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, a test for marijuana is more complicated. Relying on legacy tests for THC in saliva, blood, and urine risks wrongful prosecution or job termination because THC remains in those body fluids for days or even weeks. The best way to determine recent use of marijuana is to measure it in breath, where THC remains for only a few hours before disappearing.
“Cannabis legalization has created a new global market for employee and law enforcement testing.”
– Mitch Lasky, General Partner at Benchmark
“Cannabis legalization has created a new global market for employee and law enforcement testing,” stated Lasky. “In the past, employers and law enforcement professionals focused on possession and use; after legalization, impairment – whether behind the wheel or on the job – becomes the new enforcement paradigm. Groundbreaking science is necessary to make an accurate measurement of recently used cannabis, and Hound Labs is uniquely positioned to deliver a solution to the market that respects the needs of the enforcement community as well as the rights of legitimate cannabis users.”
The HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER uses a completely new scientific approach designed specifically to overcome the nearly impossible challenges of measuring THC in breath. The underlying technology in the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER does not work like the technologies used in alcohol breathalyzers which are only sensitive enough to measure alcohol molecules in parts per thousand (1,000). Hound Labs’ unique invention measures THC molecules in breath in parts per trillion (1,000,000,000,000).
“We are eager to demonstrate the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER’s capabilities and to take the final steps toward commercial availability.”
– Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs
“Over the past two and a half years, we have extensively tested our solution with marijuana users and routinely correlated our results with state-of-the-art forensic laboratory equipment. We are eager to demonstrate the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER’s capabilities and to take the final steps toward commercial availability,” said Dr. Lynn. “These clinical studies are important not only for our company but also for our country as they are the first to measure recent THC use in breath with a highly accurate portable solution that can be easily used at the roadside or in the workplace.”
The first clinical studies began earlier this month at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). Kara Lynch, PhD, Co-director of the Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory at SFGH, and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF, is leading the research. “It is very exciting to participate in this pioneering research,” commented Lynch. “The availability of a cannabis breathalyzer, such as the one developed by Hound Labs, will open new frontiers of research for scientists around the world.”
In addition to clinical studies, Hound Labs will continue to conduct field studies with law enforcement agencies in multiple cities across the country.
About Hound LabsHound Labs, Inc. develops advanced breath testing technologies to address leading public health and safety issues. The Company’s flagship product is the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, an ultra-sensitive, analytical test that identifies active THC molecules in breath. Breath testing introduces the drug testing industry’s shortest cannabis detection window, giving employers a practical and objective solution to detect and deter recent use. By limiting cannabis detection to use occurring before or during the workday, test results empower employers to maintain safe workplaces, improve hiring and retention efforts, and maintain fairness in the workforce. Founded in 2014, Hound Labs is headquartered in Fremont, California. Benchmark, EEC, Icon Ventures, Intrinsic Capital Partners, NFP Ventures, Tuatara Capital, and individual investors have funded the Company. Learn more at HoundLabs.com and follow us on LinkedIn @HoundLabs, Inc.
Benchmark’s mission is to back great entrepreneurs who are changing the world. The venture capital partnership is privileged to work alongside men and women who are taking big ideas and transforming them into successful companies. Benchmark focuses on early-stage ventures and is comprised of six equal general partners who take a hands-on approach to every business decision. Benchmark’s current portfolio includes companies such as Docker, Nextdoor, Stitch Fix, Tinder, Uber, and WeWork as well as recent IPOs and acquisitions such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, OpenTable, New Relic, Hortonworks, GrubHub, Zendesk, and Zillow. Benchmark has offices in Woodside and San Francisco.
Media Release updated in May 2022 to reflect naming changes from “trial” to “study”