Who would have thought a college experiment by two Stanford students would lead to a $15 billion vaporizer business?
San Francisco based startup, Pax Labs Inc., has raised $20 million in a special round of funding, and rumor has it their valuation has ballooned to over $15 billion.
In an effort to keep themselves lean on VC money, existing shareholders were asked to come up with the funds, and Pax was able to avoid giving away a large stake of equity. According to CEO Bharat Vasan "This is a deliberately small round, to avoid becoming overly dependent on venture capital."
In 2007, a small company named Ploom Inc. was formed by James Monsees and Adam Bowen. The goal was to make a sleek, and technologically advanced loose leaf vaporizer. At the time, it was described as for tobacco use only, even though it was clearly made for cannabis in its flower form (clearly a lot has changed in the last 11 years). The Pax was finally released and has been revised twice since then.
In 2016, the Pax 3 was released. On that same day, their newest device, called the Pax Era was released and Ploom Inc. became Pax Labs. The Era was designed specifically for use with cannabis concentrates. This device is almost an exact replica of the Juul, another massively popular nicotine vaporizer, also developed by Monsees and Bowen.
Pax labs has got a winner with the Era, which is used with pre filled pods that are available in dispensaries in select states out west. Users are able to control the vaporizer wirelessly through an app on any mobile phone. The app allows you to connect to the Era and set it a specific temperature. You can also monitor the battery life and change the LED lights to different colors when the device is in use.
Pax does not sell any marijuana or cannabis oil, but sells the empty pods to companies that fill them with their own oils.