South Africa’s Releaf Pharmaceuticals has raised funding for its cannabis wellness product Rethink from a venture capital firm and a liquor maker in a deal that opens doors for a strategic partnership.
The company has raised an undisclosed amount from South African wine, cider and spirits maker Distell and Invenfin, a venture investment arm of investment company Remgro.
The two investors picked up a 20% stake each in the company, which is based in the city of Paarl.
Rethink makes products like oils, capsules and teas made from cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is used for relaxation and skin care, and claims the users do not get addicted to these products.
The deal could also allow Distell, which has been struggling with restrictions on alcohol sale in the home market due to measures related to the coronavirus pandemic, to introduce CBD drinks.
The South African government had allowed use of CBD products in the country in 2019.
For Invenfin, which invests from its own balance sheet, this adds to its exposure to the food and beverages (F&B) segment where it has built a focused portfolio.
Other F&B firms it has backed include ready-to-drink ice tea label BOS Brands; bean-to-bar artisanal chocolate maker De Villiers Chocolate; Dynamic Commodities, a specialist producer of unique frozen fruit-based delicacies; and Joya Brands, a producer of soft-filled candy under the Amajoya brand.