Chinese e-cigarette maker SSSO raises USD 25 million in angel round

The firm hired Chiang Kai-shek’s grandson as chief branding consultant.

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Chinese e-cigarette maker SSSO raises USD 25 million in angel round

Hangzhou-based e-cigarette maker SSSO has raised USD 25 million in its angel round, 36Kr reported Tuesday.

The new funds will be used for expansion in both domestic and overseas markets, said the company, without revealing who the investors were in this round.

SSSO has also teamed up with the design company of Demos Yu-bou Chiang, a great-grandson of Chiang Kai-shek, who was the head of the Nationalist Government in China from 1928 to 1949.

Chiang, who now serves as SSSO’s chief strategic branding consultant, said the company aims to appeal to adults who want to reduce damages from traditional tobacco consumption and that it will draw upon classical tobacco brands such as Marlboro to define SSSO’s own culture.

The company has sold more than 10,000 e-cigarette devices via various sales channels such as its WeChat mini program.

US e-cigarette brand Juul is teaming up with JD, a major e-commerce platform in China, to make a foray into the Chinese market, KrAsia reported last week.

China has filed its e-cigarette standards with the World Trade Organization but has not yet enforced these with manufacturers.

E-cigarette companies recently have seen a spike in interest from venture capital investors who believe this consumer-facing sector has potential as it offers an alternative to China’s smoking population, which is huge.

Shenzhen-based e-cigarette producer Uzo completed its Series A equity financing round with RMB 36 million (USD 5.2 million), KrAsia reported in June.

Another Shenzhen-based e-cigarette maker YouMe raised RMB 73 million (USD 10.65 million) in its Series A financing round in May.

36Kr is KrAsia’s parent company.