PAX Labs Lays Off 25% Of Workforce, Says 2020 IPO Planning Was ‘Premature’ 

PAX Labs, a cannabis-focused vaping company with over $541.7 million in venture-backed funding has laid off 25 percent of its workforce, months after losing its long time CEO, Bharat Vasan

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In a statement provided to Crunchbase News, Dianne Gleason, the San Francisco company’s head of communications, explained the layoff was after a “significant” July “revenue miss.” 

“In light of this fact, coupled with evolving business priorities and industry dynamics, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 65 members of our team, or 25 percent of the organization, effective today,” the statement reads.

Gleason additionally said that the layoffs were “not confined to specific teams.”

About Pax

Started in June 2017 by Adam Bowen and James Monsees, PAX Labs quickly rose to unicorn status – valued at $1 billion or more – through investment dollars from firms like Tiger Global Management, Fidelity, Tao Capital Partners and more. The startup’s most recent investment was announced this April, a $420 million round at a valuation of $1.7 billion

The late stage startup let go of its executive, Bharat Vasan, in September. Additionally, Juul, another popular yet controversial vaping company, which PAX spun out of, lost its chief executive, Kevin Burns, in the same month. Juul reportedly is eyeing layoffs, as well.  

It’s worth noting that before PAX’s Vasan left, he said that the company was aiming to go public in 2020, according to multiple sources. In regards to whether or not these plans have changed, PAX said  in an e-mail that “any talk of an IPO timeline was premature. We are focused on running the business, launching new products, and continue our mission to advance the responsible, legal adult use of cannabis.”

As vaping comes under international scrutiny, PAX Labs is down a CEO, and now a portion of its staff. We’ll see how that slim down amid pressure impacts its market strength.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias



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