"Landed $150,000 seed funding for an agro-tech startup, set their brand identity, and developed GTM strategies."

See how WHS helped a team of engineers land funding for their cannabis and agriculture startup.

Ikkyu Inc is a sustainability-driven agro-tech company based out of Murrieta, California. The company was founded on the principles of advancing regenerative agricultural practices in combination with high precision farming technology. 

Founded in 2018, the startup was looking to land its first round of funding and develop a marketing and product launch roadmap to propel their cannabis and mushroom farming divisions.

The collaboration

Working with a startup is always a great way to test our creative gumption! We are thrown into the depths of building ecosystems from scratch. Every time we take on a project of these proportions, we are tasked to come up with a way to make the brand genuinely novel and stand out while also keeping in mind the expectations of the founders and investors. 

Our work with Ikkyu started with an essential requirement for an investment pitch deck. It slowly morphed into this long-standing relationship with the core team. We helped carve out the corporate branding, product packaging, and the overall go to market strategy for the organization. 

Throughout our continued relationship with the startup, we helped them pitch to investors, land funding of USD 150,000, and build and deploy its first product launch. As of March 2020, Ikkyu was running a fully functional urban farm in Southern California and had collaborated with local farm-to-table restaurants for their organic nutritionally boosted gourmet fungi. 

Project Rollout

The entire project relied on four essential phases being rolled out in the first two quarters of 2018. They were - 

  • Primary brand identity - Logo, visual identity manual, corporate branding 
  • Business plan development and funding pitch deck creation 
  • Product GTM strategy - user research, distribution strategy, and sales funnel development
  • Product branding and packaging 

To effectively address all aspects of the brief, we decided to divide and conquer. Our core team immersed itself with the startup's engineering department to better understand the product roadmap. We then held detailed discovery sprints to gain a more concrete understanding of the sector we were dealing with and the growth potential that could be unlocked for the business over its lifespan. This discovery phase laid the foundation for conversations that would shape the business plan and pitch deck. 

Our design team was bolstered with additional input from illustrators and cannabis historians who guided us towards thinking about the brand as a startup that could evolve over time while sticking to their principles of sustainability and environmentally conscious consumption. We incorporated these elements into the brand's packaging, in-store displays, and communication manuals. 

“Developed GTM strategy and helped land USD 150,000 in seed funding.”

Further Projects

The lockdown in March 2020 put an all too abrupt halt to the brand's expansion plans. Over the next two quarters, we will be pushing for further aggressive conquests of retail and F&B deals for the farm's gourmet produce as the firm sees an increase in demand of fresh produce. 

The following stage includes an online portal where consumers can directly place orders in LA and Riverside Counties.