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The e-cigarette company Juul reportedly is in talks with three big tobacco companies about its future.
The talks with giants like Philip Morris are aimed at securing a possible sale, strategic investment, or other deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Here’s a rundown of the company’s history, from its $38 billion valuation to legal settlements.
Juul is looking for a fresh start.
The e-cigarette maker is talking to some of the biggest names in the tobacco industry, including Altria, Philip Morris, and Japan Tobacco, about options for its future, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The talks were in early stages and covered a range of potential options, ranging from an outright sale to one of the larger companies to licensing deals, distribution deals, or a strategic investment, the Journal reported.
Juul did not immediately respond to a request from Insider for comment.
Over the last several years, Juul has gone from a darling of Silicon Valley to a company beset by legal challenges. It also fell from a valuation of $38 billion in 2018 to just $1 billion last October, according to the Journal.
Scroll down to see Juul’s rise and decline:
2004: At Stanford, the product-design grad students James Monsees and Adam Bowen create the idea for Ploom, Juul’s precursor.
Juul.com / YouTube
Monsees and Bowen have said they were smokers who met on smoke breaks while pursuing master’s degrees in product design at Stanford University. Their thesis presentation, now posted on Juul’s website, describes their product as “the rational future of smoking.”
2007: Monsees and Bowen found the vaporizer startup Ploom in San Francisco.
YouTube / Hyphy SF
By February 2008, Ploom raised $900,000 in venture funding, putting its valuation at roughly $3 million, according to PitchBook.
A 2011 description of the Ploom device, which sold for $75, described it as a heat-not-burn product that could be filled with single-serve refills called “Ploom Pods.” The pods could include tobacco or non-tobacco ingredients, it said.
Aug. 1, 2013: Ploom debuts the Pax with a launch party in San Francisco.Ploom at Robin Thicke’s album-release party in 2013 in New York.
Andrew Toth / Getty Images
After raising close to $5 million, Ploom launched a device called the Pax, a vaporizer for loose-leaf tobacco that could also be used for cannabis.
To debut the device, Ploom hosted a launch party in San Francisco’s trendy Mission District.
At this time, Ploom investors included Japan …read more
Source:: Business Insider