The precarious path of e-cig startup Juul: From Silicon Valley darling to $38 billion behemoth under criminal investigation

  • E-cigarette company Juul, which won an investment from tobacco giant Altria at a $38 billion valuation, faces an uncertain future.
  • Analysts have credited Juul with single-handedly resurrecting the slumping e-cigarette market.
  • But Juul is confronting challenges that include warnings from national regulators, probes by members of congress, state- and country-wide bans, and questions about its products' long term health impacts.
  • Juul's roots are in Silicon Valley, where it started out as a tiny company called Ploom.
  • Over time, Juul has attracted the attention of an array of nontraditional investors, including a marijuana therapeutics company and several hedge funds. One investor quietly pulled out on an undisclosed date.
  • Read on to see the full timeline of the rise of Juul into the US's dominant e-cigarette company.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

E-cigarette company Juul faces an uncertain future. 

The $38 billion company has staked a precarious path into the limelight, starting out as glitzy gadget and eventually billing itself as something resembling a public health tool.

A decade after launching its original devices, called the Ploom, with a party in San Francisco's trendy Mission District, the company landed a $12.8 billion investment from Marlboro maker Altria.

In between, the company rebranded three times, hosted another launch party in New York City, sold some of its assets to Japan Tobacco International, and attracted a series of non-traditional backers that range from a marijuana therapeutics company to several hedge funds. One investor quietly sold its stake in the company to two other firms, according to PitchBook.

Now, Juul faces challenges that include a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration, probes by members of congress, and several state- and country-wide bans, as well as renewed questions about its products' long term health impacts.

Scroll down to see Juul's rise from Silicon Valley darling to $38 billion behemoth to facing dozens of bans and probes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *