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News Article First kava company listed on a global stock exchange

Discussion in 'Kava News' started by verticity, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. verticity

    verticity I'm interested in things

    Fiji Kava, also known as Taki Mai, has been listed on the Australian stock exchange:

    Fiji Kava raises $US3.7 million in ASX listing

    Quote: "The first kava company to list on a global stock exchange has raised $US3.7 million in its debut on Australia's ASX
    Australian company Fiji Kava closed its public offering on Thursday ahead of a planned launch in Australia next year.
    Its chief executive, Zane Yoshida, said the listing was a huge milestone for the company.
    Fiji Kava, which operates in Fiji under the Taki Mai brand, plans to use some of the money to research other medicinal uses for the drink.
  2. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    Some people remain doubtful that it can succeed:
  3. kasa_balavu

    kasa_balavu Yaqona Dina

    Not a fan of aussies owning the brand "Fiji Kava". Note that they have to stick with "Taki Mai" in Fiji because after foreigners took control of "Fiji Water", govt made it very difficult to register a business in Fiji with the word "Fiji" in the name.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  4. verticity

    verticity I'm interested in things

    That guy does have some interesting opinions and seems to know a lot about the Aus stock market... Some of his points make sense: It may well be hard to turn a profit in the super competitive stock market with a product with a multi-year growth cycle that is notoriously tricky to grow. But he also makes some serious accusations and literally calls Fiji Kava a "scam," saying that their claim that their kava extract is water based is false (it's unclear what reference he is citing here.. possibly that the parent company made a solvent extract in the past?)

    whereas my general impression from others is that Taki Mai is generally a respected company... and the credibility of this "stock swami" person is ... unclear.

    So who knows? It will be interesting to see what happens...
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  5. verticity

    verticity I'm interested in things

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  6. kastom_lif

    kastom_lif Kava Enthusiast

    There's always a risk with publicly traded companies that the shareholders will focus on quick payoffs rather than sustainability. That's business, I guess.

    As for Fiji Water... the guy who owns that company also owns the entire island of Wakaya, where "eleven year" kava comes from. Though that place is privately owned. You can't buy shares in Wakaya island ;)

    I don't have a problem with Wakaya or with Taki Mai. Just two different ways to run a farm. To me, what's more important is how they treat their employees, how they treat the land, and of course -- how good their medium grind is. I am quite capable of supplying my own water to turn roots into grog.
  7. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    I've met Zane Yoshida on a few occasions. A nice guy. He understands the importance of choosing the right cultivars and maintaining 21st century standards of food processing.

    At the same time, I've always been puzzled by their business strategy and decisions. It seems that Taki Mai got a lot of aid money from Australia and potentially other donors. From what I remember, a number of Aussie and Asian investors also put big money into Taki Mai. I can't remember the exact figures, but we are probably talking about millions over the last 5-8 years. This info should be available somewhere as it's a public company now.

    Anyway, this is likely to be the best financed/capitalised kava company in the world. They own a state of the art processing facility, they run their own nurseries, control the whole process etc. And yet hardly anyone seems to be buying their kava outside of Fiji. And even within Fiji it is apparently only sold to tourists.
    They tried entering the NZ market a few years ago, but pulled out (possibly because some of their products were not exactly in full compliance with NZ's kava laws). I always had a feeling they didn't really want to engage with recreational kava users and yet their products were kind of aimed at this market and yet at the same time they've always been close with the pharmaceutical distributors. I don't know. Just seemed kind of confusing and disjointed.

    I honestly thought the company may have run into some financial troubles and then "boom", I see they've transformed into a new entity and have entered the Aussie stock market. But nothing seems to have changed with the process, strategy or product. So, I guess, it's not surprising that some people might be a bit perplexed or even skeptical.

    But who knows. I wish them all the best. The good thing about this thing is that they help to bring kava mainstream. That's very important, especially in Aussie.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  8. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    As for the pills and the question of extracts. I assume it's because of the NZ/Australia Food Standard that strictly prohibits selling kava products made from kava obtained via extraction with anything other than water. The "trick" some companies might be doing is to do "water extraction" of the root, dehydrate it and then extract lactones with solvents. In theory, the material from which the end product is made is kava "obtained via water based extraction", which makes it legal. And I guess there is some scientific rationale to it.
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  9. Go Krunk Yourself

    Go Krunk Yourself Kava Enthusiast

    Yeah where's this kava going to? Good questions.
  10. Alia

    Alia Kava Enthusiast

    If you find a person with good kava/'awa growing experience, to do the work, the plant is actually not that difficult to grow to 3-5 years even longer.
    As an understory in agro-forestry or a row crop it can be done with only a bit more care than some other crops.
    Staying on top of potential disaster is key and knowing your plants -- even if there are thousands.
    By that I mean looking out for problems and dealing with them straight-away.
    A lot of pest and disease can be dealt with, even prevented, by WP Sulphur and Light Oil sprays both legal to use on kava.
    Good fertilizer practice can allow the plant to grow out and past a potential disease.
    True that storms, earthquakes, etc. can happen but this is so with any other crops.
    Maybe the biggest stumbling is the multi-year issue, but if a person can hold out (say grow other crops within your 'awa)
    to that magic 3-5 years and have staggered planting and harvesting then this is a very good, long term crop.
    PS-- multi-cultivar farms are best (with Noble only).
    Yes, as for Zane, it will be interesting to see what happens.
  11. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    Here's a pic of their medium grind but I can't find it for sale anywhere.


    The powder here looks like instant. And the stuff they sell for $125/kg + $47 flat fee shipping is micro. If this is good micro, that could be a good deal. Any guinea pigs out there? Also, the shipping doesn't look as bad with larger quantities. Yes it's $47 for 1kg, but shipping is only $124 for 6 kilograms, aka $20/kg instead of $47/kg, huge diff. Then again, do you want 6 kg of micro for $811.50 all told? They recommend a 2g serving, so there's 500 servings or shells per kg, so even at full price of $172 for a single kg, you are looking at about 35 cents per shell. I typically pay 40 cents per shell of medium grind, so this could be a very good deal, indeed.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  12. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    Thats one of their main problems: it's not a great product.

    I tried it a couple of years ago. Back then it had, if I remember correctly, just 5% kl and it was just a very. simple micro. They didnt remove ant of the hard fibres, didnt seem to peel the roots. Just pulverised the whole thing. So it was quite harsh on the stomach without being effective enough to justify the pain, so to speak. I couldnt imagine drinking that stuff on a regular basis or prefering it to any decent traditional grind.

    I asked them to consider making traditional grind and maybe actual instant, or even improving tgeir micro. But they were not interested in this kind of feedback.

    I also asked them to come to the kavaforums to engage with the actual kava drinkers, but they didnt seem interested in doing it either.

    So, it is all quite weird. A very wealthy company full of very expensive, fancy equipment and a seemingly large and well-paid team, but actually no decent or unique product. Just some weak micro and kava pills.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  13. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    I forgot. They also make these kava "shots" which is probably their micro mixed with water, sugar and flavourings. I think they had high hopes for this stuff but then it was probably deemed illegal by the FSANZ.
  14. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    The prices seem utterly unrealistic though. I think it's $125 nz dollars, not USD (and this likely includes our 15% sales tax!) Thats under $100 usd per kg of micronised kava. @kasa_balavu knows more about local prices in Fiji but for a middle man with huge overheads to be able to offer kava at such prices, it must be either subsidised or mixed with things other producers dont use, in my opinion. I may be wrong though.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  15. kasa_balavu

    kasa_balavu Yaqona Dina

    David Gilmour founded Fiji Water 2 or 3 decades after he bought Wakaya and built a resort on it. However, he later sold the company to an American billionaire couple, the Resnicks, of Pom Wonderful fame.

    He also recently sold 80% of Wakaya island to a sex cult. I'm not sure if the "11 year" waka is now grown on cult land, or on the small portion of the island still owned by Gilmour and others.

    They actually used instant kava, not micro, in the shots. The shots contained only medicinal quantities of kava (only enough to calm the nerves a bit) and being a beverage, were expensive to ship. They'd have done better putting the instant in sachets and letting people add them to whatever juice they wanted.

    It's gotta be in USD, because otherwise you're correct... it isn't feasible for him to sell at that price.
    Alia likes this.
  16. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    Don't meant to throw discussion off course, but are cults just an accepted part of life in Fiji? That's quite a strange diversion in facts related to Kava, for sure.

    Edit: 100 million dollar bail. It's not accepted at all and I think I answered my own question :)
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  17. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    I actually asked him if he could consider selling instant, but he said "absolutely not" because it would be "too strong".

    It seems their real goal is the aussie pharma market which means that each serving can have max 100mg kl or something similar. But in this case i have no idea why they even bother with micro
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    NAMBATU Kava Enthusiast

    This reads like one of those tech startups where some kid with half an app loses a hundred million a year while building an office ball pit and somehow becomes a billionaire.
    Henry likes this.
  19. kasa_balavu

    kasa_balavu Yaqona Dina

    Well it's really an American cult :p.
    The first American cult showed up 30 years ago and bought an island here. They were peaceful and never recruited locally and since they did their own thing on their isolated island, were mostly left alone.
    There's also a Korean cult that showed up a few years ago, invested heavily, and now owns businesses all over the country.

    It's a relatively stable country, the weather is good, and the govt is just corruptible enough that you can buy your way out of trouble, but not so corrupt that they'll squeeze you too hard.
    Alia likes this.
  20. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    lol, figures it’s an American cult. We do like exporting “crazy”.
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