Pronghorn Invests in Three Black-Owned Spirits Brands


November 17, 2022

Tequila With Friends Pronghorn

Pronghorn is proud to announce its investment in three Black owned spirits companies: Tequila with Friends, Den of Thieves and Ego Tequila. 

Pronghorn’s capital investment in the three brands will be supplemented with access to Pronghorn’s supercharging program, which includes consulting services from Pronghorn’s team of industry experts, to accelerate the brands’ growth.  

Tequila with Friends (TWF): Tequila with Friends is an experiential spirits brand launched by a powerful collective of budding entrepreneurs, Brandon Scott, Curnelius Arnick, Roddrick West and Devin Woodson. The longtime friends-turned-founding-members launched TWF in 2018, turning what started as a blog for tequila lovers into a thriving brand rooted in friendship and fun. Since debuting in store in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, TWF Blanco and Reposado Tequila have won extensive liquid awards and the brand is now available in over 150 locations, with a retail footprint in TX, CA and the DMV area.

Den of Thieves: Founded by Jason Armstrong, Den of Thieves honors the spirit of old prohibition moonshiners’ ingenuity and camaraderie. Den of Thieves distributes its four core products, Straight Bourbon, 8-Year Barrel Select Bourbon, Ginger Vanilla Flavored Bourbon and Chocolate Flavored Bourbon, to six markets (NY, DMV, TX, FL, AZ & SC) across the U.S and is available on  

Ego Tequila: Founded in 2019 by Rikki Kelly, Ego Tequila is the first Black woman-owned tequila in the state of Texas, and the third in the country. With minimal experience in the category, the self-taught 23-year-old founder launched the brand’s Blanco and Reposado offerings in 2021 and is now distributed in Texas with 50 off-premises locations (DFW, Houston & SE Texas) and on  

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these leaders and their brands to the Pronghorn family,” said Pronghorn Portfolio Director Connor McKenna. “They are exactly the kind of visionary entrepreneurs we look for, individuals who will lead the way as together we build a more diverse and equitable spirits industry.”  

Pronghorn’s research has shown that while Black Americans represent 12% of alcohol consumers across categories, they make up just 7.8% of the sector’s labor force and 2% of executives in the industry. Further, there have been zero acquisitions of Black-owned spirits brands. 

To directly address these disparities, Pronghorn has outlined tangible goals to address both the employment gap and lack of access to resources for Black entrepreneurs within the space. Pronghorn’s goal is to fill 1,800 roles within the industry and make 57 Black-owned brand capital investments in the next 10 years. The company’s quantified and trackable approach sets a new cross-industry corporate standard by challenging brands and stakeholders to make their diversity and equity goals actionable.  

Since its launch this year, Pronghorn has already made four capital investments, one of which includes Ten To One – an award-winning Caribbean rum brand founded by CEO, Marc Farrell and co-owned by GRAMMY-winning artist, Ciara. The latest investment round points to Pronghorn’s rapid investment pace set to surpass its 10-year goal. The company launched its incubator and accelerator programs this year where Black entrepreneurs receive access to expert industry knowledge, a strong network, and best-in-class brand-building support.  

Pronghorn’s milestone achievements this year contribute to the company’s mission in creating a sustainable model that will produce lasting change in the category, community, and culture. The company aims to generate$2.4 billion in economic value for the Black community by 2032.  

To learn more about Pronghorn’s accelerator program for Black entrepreneurs in the spirits industry, visit