After poaching the CEO of the Chobani yogurt company, Juul, a vape manufacturer spun off from the company that makes the Pax line of portable herbal vaporizers, is in the process of raising some $150 million in financing, according to an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing showing the numbers from their latest financing round.
Early in December 2017, the company hired Kevin Burns, formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Chobani. While formerly the COO of Chobani, Burns is now the CEO of Juul. Before Burns’ hiring, Tyler Goldman was at the company’s helm in the position of CEO, a position that he simultaneously held at Pax Labs. Goldman has left his CEO positions at both companies and according to a statement from Juul Labs reported by CNBC, the former CEO “intends to pursue new entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Goldman is not the only major player who has left Pax in recent times, as both of the companies co-founders, Stanford Design School graduates James Monsees and Adam Bowen, both left the company last year. They’re now on the boards at Juul Labs, where the two also now hold top executive positions. Other members of their clearly prestigious board include Global Asset Capital’s Riaz Valani, health-care investor Hoyoung Huh, and S.F.-based billionaire investor Nicholas Pritzker.
Juul Labs, backed by Japan Tobacco International (JTI), is based in San Francisco, California. The company was spun off from Pax Labs, the S.F.-based vaporizer manufacturing company formerly known as Ploom.
According to SEC filings, the company had already raised over $110 million from more than 20 investors.
Last we checked, Nielsen numbers showed Juul Labs at the #1 spot in the U.S. e-cig market, controlling over 30% of the market. The company’s USB-stick looking vape pens hit the market in the middle of 2015, quickly rising in the years passed to dwarf most of their competitors in the space.
According to the company’s self-proclaimed mission, they’re on a quest to eliminate cigarette smoking across the planet by providing what the company calls a “better alternative” to smoking cigarettes.
In this regard, Goldman was quoted by CNBC as having said that in order to achieve the company’s mission, they’ll “need to make sure” that “enough pods per device” are on the market, otherwise it means that the company just isn’t “giving people the option to switch to Juul.”
“To achieve our mission, we really need to make sure that we have enough pods per device (…) If we’re not getting enough devices out into the marketplace, it means we’re not giving people the option to switch to Juul.”
What do you think of Juul’s vaporizers and their meteoric rise to the top of the e-cig market?