US Vaping Startup Juul Now Worth $15 Billion With UK Expansion


It's no secret that while the cigarette market has taken a beating over the last decade, the e-cigarette market has been on fire. And no company has grown faster or succeeded more than US vaping startup Juul Labs. The Silicon Valley crown jewel of the vaping industry, Juul is now worth a whopping $15 billion as it announces an expansion into the UK. And that's real money, not just a smoke and mirrors valuation like some tech companies. They have a commanding 70 percent share of the US market!

The Silicon Valley darling recently raised $650 million in equity financing as part of an investment round aimed at raising $1.25 billion, securities filings showed last week. Industry experts have estimated that the round would be completed by the end of July and that it would value Juul at more than $15 billion.

Juul products are projected to be available in 250 vape shops across the United Kingdom by the end of this month. A Juul starter pack, including the device and four nicotine pods, will cost about 30 pounds. The UK will be Juul’s third market after the United States and Israel, partly because of their legislative laxity when it comes to encouraging smokers to vape. They are also planning to launch soon in France, Germany and Italy for similar reasons and market potential. 

Juul has said multiple times that they are not interested in being acquired or partnered with the leading big tobacco companies out there like Altria, Philip Morris International or British American Tobacco. While they've had many meetings together, Juul feels that their mission statements conflict and that a partnership is unlikely in the near future. Big Tobacco still wants to push cigarettes and cigars while Juul wants people to quit regular tobacco use with their products.

Another consideration for Juul is the potential tariffs on its pods that are made in China. That could significantly raise costs, which would cut deep into their profit margins. Juul has made strides to shift more production work back to the states, and they may be transitioning some manufacturing processes back to the US. They don't want to be caught off guard by any impending legislation or market changes. 

Juul Labs is not without its vocal critics though. Juul (and other e-cigarette or vaping companies) have been harshly criticized for marketing towards children and teenagers. The variety of flavors make them a bigger target to the FDA and other watch groups, just like the big tobacco companies that produced certain types of cigarettes and flavored cigars in the past. Juul claims that it provides a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, but the jury is still out on that issue. And while they admit that a significant number of teens use their products, Juul insists that their marketing is intended for adults only. 

Will Juul replicate its US success in the UK? Will they expand across Europe and start taking over the world, putting traditional tobacco companies out of business in the process? Only time will tell until the smoke clears and the sales numbers are in!

If you're looking for Juul products, you can find them at a vape store, tobacco shop, or Seasons Corner Market convenience store if you're in New England! 


I hope you enjoyed this article about how the US vaping startup Juul is now worth $15 billion after the announcement to expand into the United Kingdom and additional European nations.

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