NJOY Rakes in $70 Million in Capital From Private Investors
Electronic cigarettes are a hot topic these days, but even with FDA regulations looming, the industry is growing daily. This week, NJOY received a hefty new injection of $70 million from private investors at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Brookside Capital.
While NJOY debates what to do with the new funds, they are already enjoying the benefits of several major investors including PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Sean Parker from Napster. With the additional $70 million in funding, the New York Times estimates the brand to be worth a staggering $1 billion.
NJOY has a growing base of loyal customers with products sold at more than 90,000 stores in the United States and 40,000 outlets in Europe. The New York Times reported that NJOY is making major strides for continued growth, saying the brand has “marketed itself as a technology company that is trying to defeat a health epidemic rather than prolong its demise.”
President Craig Weiss said that NJOY is headed in a clear direction these days. “We believe that only an independent company can have as its corporate mission that extraordinary technological and important objective to make cigarettes obsolete.” While it was Weiss’ brother Mark that founded the company, he took over as president in 2010. He reflected on his brother’s incentives for starting the NJOY back in 2006, saying, “It seemed to him that this was the future of smoking.”
It certainly appears that Mark Weiss was correct in his original beliefs. In fact, Wells Fargo analysts have speculated that e-cigarettes will overtake and replace tobacco smoking within a decade. Financial experts suggest the current vaping industry is worth more than $2 billion.
Opponents of electronic cigarettes worry that vaping will only be a gateway to an increase in tobacco use, but so far, that is not the case. In fact, NJOY is going to great lengths to insure that e-cigarettes become an alternative for smokers so they can get rid of tobacco once and for all. So far, NJOY has assembled an amazing team of scientists, doctors, and old tobacco veterans to help them plan for the future of vaping. The most recent addition to the NJOY board is Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the former Surgeon General from the Bush administration.
The FDA plans to announce new regulations for electronic cigarettes this year, but until that time, NJOY is using every opportunity to advertise electronic cigarettes openly. Their most memorable campaign in 2012 challenged the tobacco industry with a tagline that said, “Cigarettes, you’ve met your match.”
Now that NJOY is worth an estimated $1 billion, the sky is the limit for future marketing campaigns and research projects. What kind of changes are you hoping to see from NJOY in 2014?