The secretive New York investment fund Tiger Global Management will invest $600 million in red-hot e-cigarette company Juul. That’s according to a report from The Information on Monday, citing people familiar with the situation.
Tiger will be leading a big funding round that’s said (by Bloomberg) to total out at more than $1 billion. That puts Juul at a valuation of about $16 billion.
With a firm like Tiger leading the round, it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s fire somewhere underneath the smoke from Juul’s e-cig. A spin-off from Pax Labs, another vaping company, Juul is different than other e-cigs in both form and function. “It’s black and flat with sharp edges, like half a pack of Darth Vader’s chewing gum,” wrote Joel Johnson for CoDesign.
“And it’s designed to be held in ways that don’t look *quite* as douchey as normal e-cigarettes,” Johnson added. “Cupped in the hand, with the business end barely protruding from the thumb and index finger, using a Juul looks almost demure.”
You insert a replaceable pod into Juul that uses a proprietary nicotine salt mixture. And it apparently packs a nicotine wallop that the kids love. While typical e-cigs deliver a nicotine strength between 1% and 2.5%, Juul delivers a 5% strength.
This e-cig might be less addictive than conventional cigarettes, but it’s probably addictive enough to produce a solid return on Tiger’s investment. The fund has recently profited from big exits by Glassdoor and Flipkart.