JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 12, 2021 — Swisher, a category leader in adult consumer lifestyle brands, today announced a major initiative to fund innovative, experiential, and emerging brands through the launch of Matchbook Capital.
Matchbook Capital will be led by Zack Crafton, who also serves as Vice President of Swisher’s Innovation Platform. Crafton has built companies in industries such as cannabis, wine, and beer, as well as held board and advisory roles in the for-profit and not-for-profit spaces. Building on a successful career scaling companies, including leading NakedWines to success as the largest online winery in the world and holding the first permit for a cannabis delivery service in California. Crafton brings a balance of analytical, M&A, and value-creation experience to bear at Matchbook Capital’s helm.
“Swisher has grown into the collection of iconic brands it is today by fueling an endless quest to uncover fresh ideas, innovative technologies, quality products and the people behind them,” said Crafton. ”Matchbook Capital will continue that tradition by making significant investments of capital and resources into new categories to build a robust portfolio of products for adult consumers.”
Joining Crafton at Matchbook Capital is a team of former entrepreneurs who bring a new and refreshing approach as they expand Swisher beyond tobacco through corporate venture. In addition to having a powerful ability to scale brands through Swisher’s extensive retailer footprint, the team brings a level of empathy to the corporate venture process rooted in its members’ experience on ‘the other side’ of the table.
“We have more than 250,000 distribution points and invest with cash,” Crafton added. “As a former entrepreneur, I know how exciting this value proposition is for new brands seeking rapid growth. We are uniquely positioned to be a strategic partner for founders who are in it for the long run. We want to help them build their legacies and launch their brands to iconic status.”
Matchbook Capital invests in or acquires companies that are in the test, build, or scaling stages of growth, and looks for leaders who have an insatiable passion for success.
“Given the climate of disruption from which the country is emerging, now is the time to find and fund the next big idea,” added Crafton. “During COVID, consumers were forced to change almost every part of their daily lives … from shopping and finding entertainment to communicating and learning. This represents a massive disruption and period of transformation that will bring about a ‘new normal’ for retailers and consumers alike. We can support this movement by assisting innovators with capital, strategic guidance and access to Swisher’s dominant distribution network.”
Matchbook Capital is most interested in the following sectors:
Emerging Industries – Cannabinoids entering mainstream retail is a fact. Matchbook Capital will invest in brands and platforms operating in the federally legal space, with the goal of establishing national brands that consumers can trust.
Experiential Categories – Matchbook Capital is looking for entrepreneurs building platforms to capture large audiences, create rich experiences and generally fuel the social interactions that make us human.
Innovative Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) – For companies looking to shake up CPG categories with new products, Matchbook Capital provides access to national distributors and retailers, backed by Swisher’s legendary reputation.
The Matchbook Capital website offers more information about Swisher’s commitment to supporting innovation and creativity, as well as investment criteria and an easy-to-use submission form for companies seeking funding.
Swisher is an international leading lifestyle company for adult consumers. Best known for its Swisher Sweets Cigars, the company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Swisher also has a global manufacturing presence in Santiago, Dominican Republic; Esteli, Nicaragua; and Wheeling, West Virginia. Swisher’s superior customer relationships matched with an unwavering commitment to innovative thinking and action have driven the company to grow and adapt to the evolving preferences of adult consumers for 160 years. Visit Swisher to learn more.
About Matchbook Capital:
Matchbook Capital is a division of Swisher and serves as the portal for innovative companies, brands and products to receive capital and access to hundreds of thousands of retailers and millions of consumers. Led by former entrepreneurs, Matchbook Capital plans to shake up traditional Corporate Venture practices and seeks that same spirit of disruption in the brands it will fund. With a deep understanding of the passion and work required to make a new company, product or brand successful, Matchbook Capital empowers entrepreneurs in a variety of categories with a unique set of resources and support to scale. For more information, visit Matchbook Capital
Media Contact: Laura Peet