Shenzhen-based vape brand VFOLK recently had an internal conflict on August 22. It led to the wastage of their CEO and a number of senior executives.
Founded in 2016, VFOLK defines itself as a “California native brand that is popular on the west coast of the United States”, and has been invested by IMO, Boxin Capital and Walnut, and jointly sponsored by a number of senior Silicon Valley Internet executives and senior research and development teams in the electronic cigarette industry. It announced its entry into China in April 2019.
The first batch of VFOLK products cooperated with Smoore, carrying FEELM black pottery film-coated atomizing core. Its China Operating Company is Shenzhen Anmu Tianchuang Technology Co., Ltd.
The internal strife was triggered by disputes over the company’s business development between the management, major shareholders and the management team.
The CEO of VFOLK China, Sunny Lee, was announced to leave the company in this incident. In addition, the source revealed that the sales director in charge of both domestic and foreign business also left the company. At present, some agents have begun to look for other brands to cooperate.
Although the national standard for electronic cigarettes in China has not yet been officially issued and the market regulation is not clear, the industry is still full of fierce competition. Every day, new brands join. In the last two days, KMOSE has announced that it’s financed, and the LAMI, which is endorsed by the Japanese mechanical dance star World Order, will be officially released on the 26th.
There are many brands, but their popularity is not necessarily widespread. In addition to the limited budget of the start-up companies, most e-cigarette brands do not have a mature marketing and branding system.
VFOLK responsible person has issued a full email informing Sunny Lee’s resignation at present. And he has succeeded Sunny as the new CEO.
VFOLK’s sales amount release by itself in April is about 10 million yuan.
But the good news inside is that VFOLK has received millions of dollars by external financing.
Unfortunately, four months after entering China, the team, including the CEO, will leave, which means that VFOLK will start a new operation system, and their agency system may face a reshuffle.
As for why this startup e-cigarette brand experiences the pain of “overthrow and re-emergence” in just four months, it may be caused by fierce competition in the industry, the lack of experience in promotion of new brands, or some internal management problems, or even it may be not comfortable with China after coming from USA.
The success of big brands is similar, while the misfortunes of small brands are different.