Can Peter Thiel Out-Innovate Big Tobacco?


There’s a lot to be said about Sean Parker and Peter Thiel. The two of them are among the best-known entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley with a track record that includes companies like Napster, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY). By and large, the companies they have founded or backed have been successful, and it’s hard to argue against their combined creative foresight.

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Because of this, projects that one, the other, or both get involved in attract an outsized amount of attention, and e-cigarettes are the latest thing. The two are investing nearly $15 million in an Arizona-based company called NJOY, which markets e-cigarettes, and is the largest player in the space with 36 percent of the market.