‘This firm has large ambitions’ – Rob Kearney invests in CBD skincare model forward of rugby retirement

Former Irish rugby star Rob Kearney has expanded his business interests after investing in Irish CBD skin care brand Poko.

Founded in 2019 by Louth entrepreneurs Justine O’Hanlon and David Hughes, oko sells its products through Irish retailers such as Arnotts.

Kearney said he was excited about his investment in Poko.

“The company has great ambitions,” he said. “Every company that starts out and brings a product to market and the consumer has great ambitions.

“You never know exactly how successful the success will be – but the guys did a lot of hard work in the background and tested a lot.

“We’re pretty sure it is now in a good place to get it to market and hopefully the consumer feedback will be really strong.”

Poko also signed a partnership deal with Kearney that will make him a brand ambassador. Regarding the role, he said he hoped to reduce the stigma associated with skin care for men.

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Rob Kearney in a barbarian shirt

Rob Kearney in a barbarian shirt

Last week, 35-year-old Kearney confirmed he will be retiring from rugby after joining the barbarian squad for yesterday’s game in Twickenham against Samoa. He said quitting rugby would be a little emotional, but he looks forward to seeing what the future holds in business.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I was lucky. I’ve been playing for 16 years now, so the time definitely feels right to get out and jump into something new. “

Kearney has already amassed several investments and business interests. He is co-founder of the recruiting company Mason Alexander and an investor in Oslo Beauty and various Dublin pubs, including Lemon & Duke. He is also an investor in the London startup Bua Fit.

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Rob Kearney celebrates after Ireland beat the All Blacks in November 2018

Rob Kearney celebrates after Ireland beat the All Blacks in November 2018

Speaking of future investments, Kearney said he was “always on the lookout”.

“I don’t like the term angel investor, but you get different things on your desk from time to time. With startups, it’s always a game of chance. Sometimes it comes down to supporting the right horse and you win some and you lose some.

“You just have to make sure you get the most trained punt you can.”