Swisher has announced a major new initiative that will fund innovative, experiential and emerging brands. This new initiative, called Matchbook Capital, will be led by Zack Crafton, who also serves as vice president of Swisher’s Innovation Platform.
Crafton has experiencing building companies in industries such as cannabis, wine, and beer and has held board and advisory roles in the for-profit and not-for-profit spaces. His experience with building and scaling companies like NakedWines, which has become one of the largest online wineries in the world, and having the first permit for a cannabis delivery service in California, gives Crafton the experience needed to lead this new venture. Crafton brings a balance of analytical, and value-creation experience needed to steer Matchbook Capital in a new direction.
“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.”
Crafton will be joined by a team of former entrepreneurs who each bring a new and refreshing approach to the table as Swisher works to expand beyond tobacco through corporate venture. In addition to having the 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 what the company considers to be “the other side 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 will invest in or acquire companies that are in the test, build, or scaling stages of growth, and will look 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.”