NJOY is at it again, pulling in over $70 million of investment cash in their latest round of private fundraising. The e-cigarette maker boasted this development earlier this month, announcing that a deal was struck with Brookside Capital along with Morgan Stanley Investment Management to inject capital into the largely offline brand.
In a press release distributed by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based electronic cigarette maker, CEO Craig Weiss framed the e-cig market as “robust and competitive” while summing up an approach he believes sets NJOY apart from the pack.
Specifically, Weiss pointed to the company’s efforts in developing a strong product line pipeline as well as establishing themselves as a thought leader on key scientific and research issues.
This latest influx in cash comes less than a year after NJOY secured private funding to the tune of $75 million dollars from a group of investors, headlined by former Napster founder Sean Parker. It also comes on the heels of Green Smoke being purchased by Altria. The deals seem to be coming fast and furious and these days! Money is just pouring into the electronic cigarette industry, further giving credence to all of us making great efforts to get out the word about these phenomenally life-changing devices. But what does this mean about NJOY specifically and what it intends to do with this round of funding cash?
While it is difficult to tell what exact course NJOY is charting, you have to think big things are in the works.
That’s $145 million in funding in less than a year, nothing to sneeze at that’s for sure! It’s more than Altria paid for Green Smoke and more than Lorillard paid for Blu or SKYCIG.
Seeking to be a replacement
We took particular note of CEO Craig Weiss calling NJOY the “only electronic cigarette brand whose corporate mission is to obsolete cigarettes.”
We’ve seen most e-cigarette companies, especially the big ones, skate around the issue of being a replacement for cigarettes.
Careful not to lock horns with the FDA, e-cig brands market their products in a really specific way and are very selective with their wording. Here we see NJOY striking out full bore with a statement that they have a bull’s-eye on analog cigarettes. Essentially, they are telling us that they would like to replace cigarettes with their own product.
Most products that have come out with the intent of replacing cigarettes have done it in a way where they label themselves as a nicotine replacement therapy. This is the category where you would find nicotine gum or the patch. The difference being that both of those products had to endure years of costly testing to become FDA approved in order to market themselves that way.
We have to wonder if NJOY is up to something with their own product testing to try and put themselves in the same category. Are investors lining up to throw money at NJOY because they believe in the product or do they think they’ll be able to market themselves in a way that other e-cig companies haven’t been able to?
All of this is, of course, pure speculation on our part. NJOY is a big brand with a shelf presence and, especially with the big push that Lorillard gave Blu, it does make sense that they are now in a position where the extra capital becomes crucial to stay in the game.That being said, this news does make us here at ECCR rather curious as to what NJOY has up their sleeve and how that could affect the industry as a whole.
How long are e-cigarettes going to remain in this gray area of being legal but not FDA approved? Are there companies out there looking to cross over into the realm of FDA approved products and could these hints from NJOY mean they are looking to be the first to do it? Those are the big questions on our mind.
We’ll be following any and all developments closely so we can help track the industry for the entire e-cigarette community. Stay tuned to ECCR for all the latest ecig news and insights!