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The CBD market is now on track to reach over £390 million in value in the UK alone. 

Known for its healing benefits for anxiety, stress and more, CBD can now be found in more household products than you can think of, including serums, bath bombs, gummies, soft drinks and more. Companies like KLORIS are making high quality CBD more accessible than ever, and with regulation slowly but surely turning in its favour at global scale, CBD is about to go mainstream.

We sat down with KLORIS co-founder Matt McNeill to discuss innovation in CBD and what we can expect from the brand in the future.

CBD is all the rage right now, what made you want to enter the industry?

Myself and my two co-founders Kim and Pedram have had a long-term interest in the science of health and wellbeing – notably the benefits of cannabis, and in particular CBD. The two of them had been using it for some time and were effusive about it’s benefits and gave me some to try. I found it really helpful for dealing with stress. The decisive moment for me though, was when I gave samples of our very first products – our CBD oil and CBD balm – to my father, who has suffered pain from chronic nerve damage in his legs for years. A couple of days later, he called me and said it had changed his life. That was when I knew this was something we had to do.

What was your experience prior to founding KLORIS and how did it help you navigate the CBD market?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. In 2003 I founded a SaaS marketing platform in London which I built up and then sold to what is now GoDaddy in 2014. After a couple of years there, I moved to Australia and co-founded an agency called Andzen, which is now one of the largest e-commerce customer journey specialists in APAC. 

Both of these gave me a lot of experience in building and scaling global businesses, dealing with changing regulatory environments and creating successful direct-to-consumer ecommerce businesses.

What is KLORIS’ product offering and how does it stand out from other brands? 

CBD is a very new area, and so building customer trust is key. From the beginning, we set out to build KLORIS as a premium wellness brand that pays attention to every aspect of the product and the customer experience, stays true to its values, and pays respect to natural ingredients and the planet. 

We offer both ingestible and topical products based on CBD and plant-based ingredients. Our range of premium skincare and bathing products is particularly unique as it uses natural ingredients to bring out the best aspects of CBD’s properties for the skin. It’s been amazing to see this recognised by world-class brands like BVLGARI, who we’ve partnered with to curate a signature massage experience for their London spa.

What are some of the benefits to incorporating premium CBD products into your everyday routine?

The amazing thing about CBD is that it helps achieve balance (homeostasis) by triggering production of the specific endocannabinoids that the body is deficient in. Endocannabinoid deficiency has proven to cause a range of conditions, from stress and anxiety through to inflammation and pain, which means that CBD can have different effects in different people. Many people report benefits from daily supplementation with CBD oil. 

CBD also works differently depending on whether it’s ingested or applied topically as we have different receptors throughout the brain and body. When applied to the skin, it’s thought to aid with inflammation and pain, as well as be a potent antioxidant. 

What did your product development process look like from a scientific perspective?

Our development process always begins with efficacy – what do we want the product to do? From there, we look to the natural ingredients that will help us achieve the desired result and what doses they need to be present in. At each stage, we work with scientists who are experts in their fields to help us reach the optimum formulation. 

There are a lot of gimmick products on the market that contain either tiny amounts of CBD, or mix CBD with other substances, meaning they won’t be taken up by the body. We make sure every ingredient in our products has a purpose. Our award-winning face oil for example has only 4 ingredients, all of them plant-based.

Are there any new products or applications of CBD you’re currently looking into? 

Always! We’ve developed four new products already, the first of which we’ll be launching in June. Novel Foods regulations in the UK mean that no new ingestible products can come on the market without a fully approved application (a process which can take over a year), so our current pipeline is focussed on topical products and natural ingredients that complement CBD.

You saw 350% revenue growth in FY 2020, which is incredible. What was the driver of that growth?

There are a lot of factors to our growth – but at the end of the day the quality of our products and the benefits customers realised from them is the key, as a result of this we’ve received a lot of press coverage and word-of-mouth recommendations. 

What do you think the future of CBD looks like given the regulatory environment? 

The global regulatory environment is becoming increasingly favourable to CBD, especially in the UK, EU and USA. We’re beginning to see the UK position itself as a leader in this space, as the regulation becomes more well-defined. If farming hemp for CBD extraction becomes legalised in the UK – this is more a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ – then that position will be cemented. 

What would you tell someone on the fence about using CBD?

Firstly, it’s not going to get you high! It’s derived from hemp, which isn’t intoxicating and has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. Secondly, CBD is quite unique in the way that it helps the body to help itself – our bodies naturally produce their own cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids) and CBD can help us get levels of these back in balance.

What’s your favourite KLORIS product and why?

Having damaged both of my knees through exercise, I swear by our high strength CBD balm and use it daily. 

Why do you think now’s the right time to invest in CBD?

We’re only just beginning to see the impact and benefits of CBD let alone cannabis, on the world. The brands like ours that are putting in the hard work now, have the potential to become giants over the next decade.

Coming from a tech background I see a lot of similarities to the way that industry developed – we’ve already seen an initial bubble come and go, now we have much needed regulation coming in and paving the way for mass adoption and stable business growth.

To find out more about KLORIS, visit the pitch now