Makers of e-cigarettes NJOY has announced that it has secured $75m of new funding and can now count notable tech investor Sean Parker among its backers.
The company announced the funding, which will be used for marketing, clinical trials, research and development, and international expansion, on Monday.
“As an entrepreneur and investor I’m drawn to disruptive companies in explosive new markets,” Parker said. “The common thread between these companies is a missionary desire to leverage technology to change the world. I’m optimistic that the clever application of technology might someday obsolete the combustion cigarette and all the harm it causes.”
Parker, the co-founder of Napster and first named president of Facebook, is no stranger to tech investment and has played a role in the formation and growth of several companies, including Causes which promotes online philanthropy, and the online music streaming service Spotify, which continues to count him as a director to this day.
Alongside Parker and other consortium investors, NJOY can also now count Douglas Teitelbaum, a former manager of the Bay Harbour Management hedge fund, among its backers.
“There are 46 million US smokers, most all of whom are, for a variety of reasons, interested in an alternative to cigarettes that will provide the same flavor and brand reliability. NJOY’s standards firmly establish their leadership role in guiding the smoker towards a better future. We are honored to put the capital behind this worthwhile effort,” Teitelbaum said.
NJOY offers a range of rechargeable and non-rechargeable cigarettes for adults, with its most popular model being the King.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, the e-cigarette industry is currently unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.
According to the Wall Street Journal, several states in the US are already starting to look at the regulatory issues surrounding e-cigarettes with some states having already banned their use in enclosed public spaces.
Regulatory appetite isn’t restricted to the US , though, as the EU recently said it would look at regulation of e-cigarettes alongside regular cigarettes. Several countries (including Mexico and Brazil) have already banned the sale of the electronic smoking devices, too.
Image Credit – Thinkstock/Getty Images