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Report: Tiger Global Mgt. is betting $600M on vaping phenom Juul

While typical e-cigs deliver a nicotine strength between 1% and 2.5%, Juul delivers a 5% strength.

Report: Tiger Global Mgt. is betting $600M on vaping phenom Juul
[Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay]
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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.

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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.”

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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.

About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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