Electronic cigarette maker NJOY gets $70M in private funding round

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 01, 2014 01:35 PM EST

NJOY, a manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, got $70 million in financing this week in a private funding round, The New York Times The Dealbook reported.

The investors in the round included Brookside Capital and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. They join other illustrious backers like Sean Parker and Peter Thiel who have supported the e-cig maker. According to a source with knowledge about the matter, the recent round puts the value of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company at $1 billion, the report said.

According to a TechCrunch report, NJOY was able to secure $75 million in a funding round held in June last year. NJOY's e-cigs, which are available in more than 90,000 retail locations in the US, are sold in packs of three. They also offer users an incentive: They can send back to the company eight empty cigarettes and will get one e-cig in return, the report said.

The Dealbook reported that investors are already making their bets in the nascent industry even as European and US regulators are still starting to set their eyes on it. It was only this week when the European Parliament gave its approval for e-cig regulations that could serve as an example for other countries to follow.

E-cig companies introduce their products as an alternative to smokers. Unlike real cigarettes that have to be literally lit, e-cigs run on batteries and imitate the feeling given by real tobacco cigarettes by using a liquid solution to give nicotine and/or some other flavoring to the smoker, the report said.

Although marketed as a better alternative to traditional cigarettes that have been shown to have detrimental effects to the body, not all health officials are not totally convinced. Some say that its safety has still not been proven. Others, meanwhile, point out that e-cigs will only revive the public's interest in cigarettes, the report said.

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