SEATTLE, WA and OTTAWA, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Nesta Holding Co. Ltd., a private equity firm targeting the US cannabis industry, today announced its acquisition of Wikileaf, the leading price comparison website for licensed recreational and medicinal marijuana consumers. This first landmark acquisition catapults Nesta into this lucrative US market. It will enable the company to readily identify and catalyze the growth of high potential firms in this industry, and capitalize on the budding legalized cannabis market which could inject up to $44 billion into the US economy by the end of the decade1.
"Online advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook are constrained from providing digital advertising services to cannabis dispensaries that seek to promote their inventory and pricing," said Chuck Rifici, Chairman and CEO of Nesta. "This inhibits market access, product discovery and customer engagement. Wikileaf solves this problem masterfully with a simple tool that puts customized information directly in the hands of consumers. It is an invaluable resource for cannabis dispensaries and the many clients they serve – and for Nesta's growing portfolio."
Wikileaf was founded in 2014 by Seattle native Daniel Nelson as a way to bring price transparency to the cannabis industry. Since its inception, the organization has created 176 marketplaces across 11 states, with new dispensaries signing up daily. To date, 24 US states have legalized use of the marijuana for medical purposes, creating a wealth of market opportunity for Wikileaf.
"Just as travelers tour price comparison websites to find the cheapest flights and hotels, cannabis consumers use Wikileaf to find the right marijuana strain at the best price, and dispensaries and delivery services within their geographic region," said Dan Nelson, CEO of Wikileaf. "It is the only website of its kind that facilitates rapid and effective access to legalized recreational and medical marijuana."
Leveraging its strong growth trajectory and traction, Wikileaf is already hiring additional mobile developers and community outreach teams that target key states, new marketplaces and untapped opportunity. With Nesta's investment and management support, the Wikileaf platform will continue to improve and expand at an accelerated pace, enabling the company to penetrate new markets and add greater value to cannabis dispensaries and their customers.
Nesta Holding Co. Ltd. is a private equity firm that builds partnerships and brands within the U.S. cannabis space. Nesta was founded in 2015 by Chuck Rifici, co-founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation (formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.). Nesta's mission is to acquire, cultivate and monetize consumer cannabis opportunities that could achieve long-term benefit from the changing U.S. regulatory environment. The firm aims to be the premiere partner for companies aspiring to create and shape the budding legalized cannabis industry. For more information, please visit: www.nesta.co.
Wikileaf is a price comparison website for recreational and medicinal cannabis users. Wikileaf provides consumers with instant price comparison among dispensaries in their immediate vicinity. For more information, please visit: www.wikileaf.com.