Vaping might be in society’s crosshairs, but that hasn’t seemed to get in the way of Juul Labs Inc., which just opened a new facility in Mountain View, California. Perhaps this move is a direct response to the negative response the company has faced in its San Francisco home.
But it’s more likely it has to do with the exponential growth of Juul Labs, which is currently received a $38 BILLION valuation – much of which came from selling a 35% equity stake to Altria for $12.8 billion, the largest equity investment in the nation’s history.
For the record, this valuation currently makes Juul Labs Inc. more valued than Airbnb, Uber and other prominent unicorn companies.
In a confident move, Juul’s new office and research facility is 30,000 square feet, able to accommodate 200 employees. This is likely in addition to the staggering 1,700 person workforce – up from just 200 employees just a year ago.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s unclear how many of Juul’s workers from the San Francisco office would be making the short trip to San Bernardino. But the five-year lease it signed through 2023 makes it clear – this isn’t a temporary response to the recent vaping scrutiny happening in San Francisco.
Spinfuel’s Take on Juul Labs Inc.’s New Offices
Regardless of intention, a move down the road might make permanent sense for Juul, which – despite its position as the top-selling vape device company in the United States – is subject to the same crossfire as the rest of the industry. From regular protests from anti-vaping activists who claim vaping is targeting children, to increased pressure from the city about “hazardous materials” violations, Juul Labs hasn’t had it much easier than their peers.
To their credit, Juul hasn’t wavered in its commitment to grow beyond its current core brand competencies, actively hiring new chemists, researchers and product representatives to its development teams. To outsiders, this might seem like a short-sighted move, considering how each day brings about new headlines about vaping’s supposed harm to teenagers, its addictive properties and other damaging claims.
But those of us in the industry should feel somewhat reassured that Juul Labs Inc. is willing to invest so much in its future, even though vaping’s future remains very cloudy at the moment – pun fully intended. Though each day sees another ordinance against public use, online sales or even FLAVORING – in a world that just saw a Super Bowl sponsored by alcoholic beverages and pharmaceuticals – Juul remains steadfast in its mission.
While we at Spinfuel VAPE haven’t alwaysbeen fans of the company’s products, we stand behind Juul Labs Inc. for making bold, unwavering moves during turbulent times for our industry. Juul maintains that its products are meant to help adult smokers wean off of cigarettes and that it is taking steps to make it harder for underage customers to buy its products.
Fans or not, we wholeheartedly support these company’s goals, and the way in which it has gracefully endured a growing number of obstacles on its way to achieving them.