Juul ($PRIVATE:JUUL) may be going up in smoke.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the company is planning to slash hundreds of jobs, coming amid a decline in social media engagement and a steep drop-off in job postings that call into question the startup's growth trajectory.
From late summer to our latest tally, Juul job postings plummeted more than 90%, and show little signs of springing back to life anytime soon.
It's the latest step in the saga for the tobacco vaping accessories maker that has taken its valuation from the $40 billion range to half that at the end of 2019, and the latest round of job cuts seem to indicate that big-name investors from Tiger Global to Altria are likely to have to mark Juul down once more in their portfolios.
Further, Juul has been shedding hundreds of Twitter Followers, based on our chart above.
The Wall Street Journal report said the coming job cuts were not due to Coronavirus - however, it has been called into question just how much vapers and smokers are at additional exposure because of their fix.
Finally, we're seeing Facebook data reflect both a near-total drop-off in new followers (not shown) plus a falling Talking About Count - or, how often people are engaging with the brand on social media.
There has been no shortage of startups that fell on hard times and plummeting valuations, leading up to the global pandemic - and how they can rebound (or, if) remains to be seen, in part dictated by how quickly the economy can return to full productivity. But for a company depending on new vapers, and at a time where the world is facing a global pandemic, it's difficult to see when, or how, Juul pods become fashionable again any time soon.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.