SEATTLE & OTTAWA – Canadian private equity firm Nesta Holding Co. Ltd. announced its acquisition May 3 of Wikileaf, a leading price-comparison website for licensed recreational and medicinal marijuana consumers. Terms of the deal weren’t announced.
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.
“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,” Nelson said. “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.
“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, Nesta chairman/CEO. “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.”
Nesta was founded in 2015 by Rifici, co-founder and former CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. (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.