Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Natasha and Danny decided that it was time to talk about drugs. No, not like drugs for fun, but instead drugs that you might have considered fun, but are now being redirected to help bolster your health.

Yep, that’s our theme today. As it turns out, there are a number of startups and even nascently public companies that are pursing using drugs that we might consider recreational for serious health purposes. Which is neat, as our habit of decrying any drug that makes you feel better as immoral has likely held us back from learning quite a lot about them.

  • Venture capital investment in psychedelic start-ups, per CB Insights, rose from sub-$100 million results in 2018 and 2019 to $346 million last year.
  • Vice clauses, however, can pause a legitimate issue for investors who might want to cut a check in the space.
  • From the startup angle, NUE Life Health recently raised $3.3 million, and Osmind is up to some neat stuff regarding mental health.
  • From the public markets, Atai Life Sciences, Compass Pathways, and MindMed are the companies worth watching.

Frankly this was a fun one to record, even if the topic at hand is actually rather serious. Chat Friday morning!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

Originally published at techcrunch.com

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