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This $15B E-Cigarette Startup Is The Fastest Growing In History

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The global startup space continues to attract investments. Venture Capitalists are pouring in big money into companies that have a huge total available market (or TAM). The latest to join the growing list is e-cigarette startup Juul.

Back in July, e-cigarette startup Juul closed a $650M funding round, bringing its valuation to a whopping $15B, making it the fastest startup to reach the “decacorn” milestone.

And here’s what’s cool: Juul hit its valuation 4x faster than Facebook [FB], 5x faster than Snap [SNAP] and 11x faster than Dropbox [DBX].

What is Juul all about?

The nicotine sector has always generated demand for products and Juul is banking on the same. Juul has manufactured a product where it delivers nicotine like a cigarette. You need to “vape in” the nicotine that comes in a rectangular-shaped product and has a discreet size.

Juul will be using the $1.2B for international expansion. According to this Bloomberg report, Juul enjoys a 68% share of the US e-cigarette market. Its products are currently available in the United States and Israel.

Juul wants to provide an alternative to tar-burning cigarettes with its products. The company’s trailing 12-month sales amounted to $1.47B indicating a 10x valuation (in terms of revenue) for Juul.

ENTREPRENEURS

Trufan, Vancouver Tech Startup For Influencers And Brands, Raises $500k In Funding

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Trufan, a Vancouver-based tech startup, founded by Canadian serial entrepreneur Swish Goswami and Aanikh Kler, a Canada 20 under 20 alum, has raised $500k from multiple celebrity investors.

Trufan is a social media platform for fans to reward their top followers, and also capitalize on data that can be downloaded to micro-target their audience while running campaigns.

The tool will also allow fans to vote, comment and share live sports feed. This comes at a time when when bigger media corporations are scaling back on their sports coverage due to financial pressures.

The company aims to provide private beta access to users on Nov. 15, and eventually cover over 400 influencers and 250 brands by the end of the year.

The list includes influencers such as Kevin Hart, Gucci Mane, Ludacris, Cody Ko, and Cameron Dallas, alongside brands like McDonald’s Canada, Western Union, and UFC. The new capital infusion will help the company expand into newer markets across the United States and Canada, the company said.

“We’re excited to bring partners from various backgrounds on board,” Swish told WealthLAB.

“We have a very humble approach when it comes to the company and the product we are building. That being said, we’re hoping to end 2018 on a strong note and get all our major private beta users onto a payment plan,” he said.

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Amazon’s HQ2: NYC Features As Top Contender

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NYC’s Long Island City is garnering much attention now that it’s pitched to be one of the two cities Amazon will pick as its second headquarters, popularly labelled as HQ2.

With Seattle faring as the main hub for the tech giant, the company announced plans to split its second headquarters into two different cities, with 25,000 employees each. Home to international brands such as Estée Lauder, Ralph Lauren and J.Crew, Long Island City is now becoming a top spot for companies.

Despite critics citing the move to be one for publicity and media attention (plus government incentives), Amazon has pledged to invest over $5B for its HQ2 and create nearly 50,000 jobs. Bringing the headquarters to newer and upcoming neighborhoods could also build greater infrastructure and employment numbers for the cities.

Amazon’s perks for splitting their headquarters? Billions of dollars worth of contracts could potentially play into the company’s kitty from splitting their main business center.

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INTERVIEW: Founder of $310M Clothing Line Bonobos On The Best Way To Raise Money (And No, It’s Not VC)

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When Andy Dunn graduated from Stanford, the aspiring entrepreneur kickstarted a menswear company from his small apartment in New York. The clothing line, Bonobos, started off with a simple idea — selling chino pants.

Ten years later, the company was acquired by Walmart for $310M. According to Dunn, the key to raising funds does not always hinge on money. Here’s how he did it.

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