Kikoko Raises $8 Million
Kikoko, a leader in cannabis wellness for women, announced that it has closed an $8 million round of Series A funding led by Bengal Capital. FlowKana, Kikoko’s distributor and supply chain partner, also participated in the round, which brings Kikoko’s total funding to $14 million to date. The funding follows a breakout year in which the company’s signature tea products propelled Kikoko to the No. 1 position in California cannabis beverage sales (BDS Analytics).
“When we started Kikoko, there was no momentum in the cannabis industry around women, beverages or wellness,” said Jennifer Chapin, co-founder and co-CEO of Kikoko. “We saw an opening for innovation and leadership, and an opportunity to own the women’s market and create our own category. We chose tea as our anchor product; we knew that if we could succeed with tea, we could succeed with other products.”
Established in 2015, Kikoko has set the standard for cannabis botanical wellness products. A women-founded, women-centric company, Kikoko’s cannabis-infused herbal teas and HoneyShots, and other, soon-to-be-released cannabis-infused botanical products, offer consumers sensibly dosed alternatives to pharmaceuticals and alcohol. Formulated to address issues with sleep, stress, pain, anxiety, libido, mood and focus, Kikoko’s products are made with organically sun-grown cannabis, organic adaptogenic herbs, and pure New Zealand Manuka honey.
“Kikoko is built on the premise of staying true to our beliefs and doing business the women’s way,” said Amanda Jones, the other co-founder and co-CEO of Kikoko. “As a women-led company, Kikoko is uniquely positioned to create efficacious products that address women’s wellness, and design and package products in a beautiful way for women to notice, listen and give themselves permission to try.”
Glilot Capital Partners
Nofar Amikam joined Glilot Capital Partners 18 months ago to create and head the Value Creation department, which provides support and business development services for portfolio companies, as part of Glilot’s entrepreneur-centric philosophy. Amikam is joining the two founding partners, Kobi Sambeoursky and Arik Kleinstein, and she will continue to lead the expansion of the Value Creation department.
Glilot has been positioned as one of Israel’s most successful VCs in recent years, and has been ranked as one of the five best performing VCs in the world by Preqin for three years in a row. Since its earliest day, Glilot has adopted an “entrepreneurs first” policy. One prominent example is the fact that the firm was one of the first in the world to share revenues with its entrepreneurs.
“We’ve had opportunities to appoint new partners before, including some key members in the industry, but it never felt right,” says Kobi Samboursky, one of Glilot’s two founders. “Nofar brings to the table plenty of experience and has done amazing work with our companies so far. We are thrilled at what the future holds.” Amikam has headed several key developments since joining Glilot, including creating and managing the Cybersecurity Innovators community, which connects Israeli cyber companies with some of the largest corporations in the world.
The SunTrust Foundation recently announced it has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW) for a state-of-the-art makerspace in what is North Carolina’s only single-gender public charter school. With tools, equipment and trained faculty, GLOW Academy’s SunTrust Foundation Makerspace combines a 21st-century science lab, woodshop, computer lab and art room in a vibrant creative area where students in grades six through 12 are given the tools and guidance to investigate, experiment, create and invent.
The SunTrust Foundation Makerspace is on GLOW Academy’s new 31-acre campus that is dedicated to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income families. The school opened in August 2016 with its inaugural class of 100 sixth graders and will reach full enrollment of 725 students in the 2022/23 academic year.
“GLOW Academy is an outstanding institution,” said Sandra Spiers, Wilmington city president for SunTrust Bank. “We’re committed to improving the well-being of others in our communities, and this partnership will help position GLOW students for a more financially confident future as they gain a holistic education to prepare them for demanding careers.”