Advantage Capital Invests $2M in GAXtracts, Bringing New Jobs and Economic Development to Rural Georgia

Staff Report

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Advantage Capital today announced a $2 million investment in Watkinsville-based GAXtracts, an active pharmaceutical ingredients company focusing on manufacturing and processing products from industrial hemp. The investment, which was made in connection with the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act (GARJA), will support the company with working capital and financing to purchase new equipment, as well as bring 30 new jobs to the local community as the company expands.

“We are excited about this investment. This partnership will allow us to advance our agricultural initiatives in the state of Georgia and provide much-needed jobs in the rural market,” said Don Barden, CEO of GAXtracts.

GAXtracts is Advantage Capital’s fifth investment in connection with the GARJA program. Advantage has now invested $15 million in small businesses across Georgia, which are helping to spur new job creation and economic growth in the state’s rural communities.

“GAXtracts has the type of growth potential that we seek out when partnering with businesses,” said Abhi Chandrasekhara of Advantage Capital. “We customized our investment to put GAXtracts in the best possible position to continue its sustained growth. I am excited to work with our portfolio companies statewide to help them grow, hit the next level, and create lasting economic impact in their local communities and beyond.”

The GARJA program provides growth capital for small businesses such as GAXtracts and stimulates economic expansion in rural parts of the state that have not seen the same kind of economic prosperity urban areas have in recent years.

“When the General Assembly passed GARJA in 2017, they did so with the intent of growing small, rural businesses. GAXtracts is a great example of the program at work,” said State Representative Marcus Wiedower.

As GAXtracts continues to grow with market demand it plans to expand into a new facility in Union Point, bringing jobs to another rural community in a distressed part of Georgia where nearly 1 in 3 people live in poverty.

The hemp market has grown tremendously since the passage of the Federal Farm Bill in 2018 and the Georgia General Assembly passed the industrial hemp protection bill in 2019. Both pieces of legislation lifted regulations, legalizing the crop for cultivation purposes. Over the last few years, the market has grown from a $600 million industry to a forecasted $4 billion industry by 2022.

While GAXtracts’ primary focus is the production of CBD and hemp-derived products, the company has been producing a medical grade hand sanitizer since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, helping to fill an urgent market need for hospitals, law enforcement, first responders, and assisted living and home health care businesses.

“I am proud to see small businesses like this growing here in our community,” said State Representative Houston Gaines. “This is exactly the kind of outcome the legislature looked for and will continue to look for—attracting capital to our great state to ensure Georgia small businesses continue to expand.”