Juul Raises $650 Million in Funding That Values E-Cig Startup at $15 Billion

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E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. has raised $650 million as a part of a fundraising spherical that values the fast-growing however controversial startup at about $15 billion, in response to individuals conversant in the matter.

The funding is a part of a financing spherical that seeks to lift $1.25 billion for the San Francisco firm, in response to a submitting Tuesday with the Securities & Trade Commision. Hedge-fund supervisor and funding agency Tiger World Administration is investing $600 million, the individuals stated.

Even for fast-moving Silicon Valley, Juul has grown at an astounding tempo to turn into the sixth most precious U.S. startup behind corporations like Uber Applied sciences Inc. and Airbnb Inc., in response to Dow Jones VentureSource. Its value per share within the present fundraising spherical is 56 instances the 2015 value, in response to a Juul submitting in Delaware supplied by Lagniappe Labs, a analysis firm. That means Juul’s valuation was lower than $300 million in 2015.

At $15 billion, Juul would rival the inventory market valuations of public corporations corresponding to Molson Coors Brewing Co. and

Restaurant Manufacturers Worldwide
Inc.,

the proprietor of Burger King and Tim Hortons.

Juul’s vaporizers, launched in 2015, have turn into a teen standing image and a rising downside in U.S. faculties. Juul Labs has captured 68% of the $1.9 billion U.S. e-cigarette market, in response to a Wells Fargo evaluation of Nielsen gross sales knowledge. That determine doesn’t embody web gross sales.

The corporate’s fast progress has attracted scrutiny from regulators. In April, the Meals and Drug Administration requested details about its merchandise and advertising because the company opinions its rules round tobacco merchandise. Juul says its merchandise are supposed for grownup people who smoke, and it restricts gross sales on its web site to prospects over 21.

The Juul gadget, which resembles a USB flash drive, delivers a robust dose of nicotine in a salt answer that people who smoke say carefully mimics the sensation of inhaling cigarettes. The Juul liquid’s 5% nicotine focus is increased than most different commercially obtainable e-cigarettes. Juul flavors embody “Creme Brulee” and “Fruit Medley,” which critics have stated make it extra enticing to minors.

In December, the corporate employed

Kevin Burns,

former president of yogurt maker Chobani, to take over as CEO. The corporate has been quickly increasing its ranks. Its web site lists dozens of jobs it’s trying to fill in cities throughout the U.S. in addition to in places of work in Singapore, London and Paris.

The corporate, which was spun off from a vaping startup known as Pax Labs in 2017, had beforehand raised greater than $100 million in enterprise capital, in response to PitchBook. Previous buyers embody Constancy Investments and Tao Capital, a enterprise agency co-founded by

Nick Pritzker,

who’s a Juul director.

Information of Juul’s newest funding was beforehand reported by Bloomberg and The Info, a know-how information web site.

Write to Jennifer Maloney at jennifer.maloney@wsj.com

Appeared within the July 11, 2018, print version as ‘E-Cigarette Maker Juul Valued at $15 Billion.’



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