Pax Labs, Juul Labs and MYST Labs are the three major public laboratories in the field of electronic cigarettes.
The stories behind them are not only interesting, but also shows their certain relationship with the same origin.
1. Pax Labs
In 2005, two Stanford students, Adam Bowen and James Monsees, introduced their design of an electronic cigarette product, Ploom, in front of their paper instructors, which heats solid tobacco to the point of atomization through a heat not burn technology to reduce the harm of traditional tobacco combustion caused by arcinogenic gases.
In 2007, they started a company with this technology, Ploom.
In 2015, they sold their company’s name (Ploom) to the Japanese Tobacco Company and renamed it Pax Labs. It is understood that Japan Tobacco International Company acquired Ploom’s Model Two products, and then the popular IQOS was based on Ploom technology platform. In June of the same year, Pax Labs introduced an electronic cigarette in the shape of a U-disk called JUUL.
In 2015, Pax Labs launched several tobacco atomizers that went popular in the market, and the company raised nearly $50 million that year.
In 2019, Pax Labs launched a new round of financing, which exceeded $400 million and was valued at $1.3 billion.
2. Juul Labs
In 2015, the founders James Monsees and Adam Bowen were not satisfied with what they had achieved at Pax Labs. They secretly created a unit called Juul labs that year, and tried to develop a new electronic cigarette technology to improve users’ sensory stimulation experience.
The technology proposed by Juul Labs is called nicotine salt. Simply put, the nicotine salt nicotine is mixed into salts. Even after the liquid evaporates, the nicotine molecule is still embedded in the salt molecule, which can stay and absorb in human lungs for a longer time, and the user sensory experience is more intense.
In 2015, Juul Labs patented the technology and launched a new electronic cigarette product, JUUL, in the same year. After entering the market, Juul was quickly sought after by young people.
Juul’s sales soared by 641% in the year 2016 to 2017, ranking first in the U.S. e-cigarette sales, accounting for nearly 60% of the U.S. market share.
In July 2017, Monsees and Bowen took Juul Labs with them and broke away from the Pax Labs they had founded and became an independent company.
Juul’s market share in the United States reached 72% in 2018. In the same year, Altria, Marlboro’s parent company and one of the world’s largest tobacco groups, announced a 35% stake in Juul’s e-cigarettes for $12.8 billion, making the company valued at $38 billion, far more than Space X, a space exploration technology company owned by Musk, and Airbnb, a short-rent platform. As part of the agreement, JUUL Labs’1,500 employees received a $2 billion bonus from Altria Group, averaging about $1.3 million per person. The bonus will be paid in the form of a special dividend.
Nevertheless, Juul was not satisfied with his achievements in the United States and began to expand overseas actively in the past two years. Recently, there are rumors that Juul will enter China from September to October 2019. Wang Huainan, the founder of Baby Tree, may become its CEO, and it plans to invest $100 million in brand building and marketing.
3. MYST Labs
In 2013, Xing Chenyue joined Pax Laboratory as one of the first scientists. At that time, there were only 20 people in the laboratory. In the nearly three years before Juul became the largest vape company in the United States, she has succeeded in inventing nicotine salts that are revolutionary to the electronic cigarette industry and helped invent nicotine salts, a compound that made Juul famous.
In 2016, when Juul entered the field of cannabis distillation purifier, Xing Chenyue chose to leave Juul.
In 2017, Xing Chenyue co-founded MYST Labs with venture capitalist Thomas Yao, who met her at Fudan University in Shanghai more than a decade ago.
In March 2019, Xing Chenyue returned home to formally establish Shenzhen Wuling Technology Co., Ltd. and incubated its electronic cigarette brand Myst Labs. In July of the same year, Myst Electronic Cigarette Brand released its first flagship product, P1, which is known as the world’s first electronic cigarette with push-pull hidden mouthpiece design.