Published: August 15 2015 by Vaper USA – http://www.vprusa.com/#!News-VAPORHUB-INTL-INC-VHub/cmbz/55ce5d9d0cf250230898c8f8
Back in June we visited Vapor Hub’s headquarters in Simi Valley, California. We were interested in meeting the folks responsible for the Limitless Mod which had become a sensation almost overnight. Vaper USA had reviewed the Limitless Mod back in April and we came away impressed with the build quality, innovative machining, its USA origins and, of course, the number and variety of creative sleeves. Suddenly, it seemed, we begin seeing vapers posting frequent hand checks and velfies with their Limitless Mods everywhere on social media.
If ever there was a hit in the vape market in 2015, the Limitless Mod was one and we wanted to meet the people behind it. The entry price point to a Limitless Mod is compelling — a quality product, made in the USA, that encompasses the entire consumer demographic spectrum. The base aluminum Limitless Mod and basic sleeve can be had for about a $100 and change and fits the demographic that is stepping up to it’s first mechanical mod. A brass Limitless Mod with a basic sleeve can be picked up by price-conscious, ‘mid-class’ vapers for approximately $145. At the extreme end are advanced vapers and collectors who want the entire works in either, or both, a copper, or gold-plated body, with a specialty sleeve for as little as $200 or more, depending on the sleeve(s).
And that’s not the whole of it, independent vapor shops can have their own brands imprinted on the mod’s sleeves and serve their customer base and regulars with a ‘custom’ Limitless Mod look. And that’s on top of the nearly fifty different variety of sleeves available to instantly change the look of your mod. Pretty ingenious.
In light of the success and impact that Vapor Hub’s products are having on the e-cig market, we were, in retrospect, not too surprised to learn that Vapor Hub, Intl. was a publicly traded entity. Of course, not knowing a lick about what it means to be a company with stocks being traded publicly, we sat down with Vapor Hub’s Chief-Executive-Officer, Kyle Winther, to find out the whats, whys, and hows.
Vaper USA(VPRUSA): You were in early on the vape scene, did you have an inkling that it would be as big a market as it is now?
Vapor Hub (VHUB): We always knew the electronic cigarette industry would be big when we first started in 2008. We were able to adapt to the biggest changes, devices and e-liquids rapidly in part because we’re in the epicenter of the vaping industry right here in Southern California. During those tumultuous times we decided amongst ourselves to be trend setters rather than followers.
VPRUSA: At some point, you decided VHub would go public, what was the impetus?
VHUB: We were approached by some investors who suggested the possibility. We contemplated it for a while and the consensus was that this was a good opportunity to be the first true vaping company that would be publicly traded.
VPRUSA: By going public, you also opened your company to more scrutiny, correct?
VHUB: Yes. We know that we have to follow all the rules and regulations that are becoming standards within the vaping industry. We also have positioned Vapor Hub to become a leader and a model in the industry that others can now follow regarding compliance with current and future regulations.
VPRUSA: Why is being a model so important?
VHUB: It means that whatever regulations loom ahead, more companies can be ahead of the game and keep the industry viable and as professional. In other words, we police ourselves before others do.
VPRUSA: We have reviewed some of your e-liquids in the past, Binary being one that left a big impression on our team as being a top-shelf contender. How does regulatory buy-in for other e-liquid producers benefit vaping?
VHUB: It ensures that proper standard operating procedures for e-liquid manufacturing will be at or above governmental expectations. The e-liquid community as a whole needs to be sure that all e-liquids are manufactured in a GMP certified, iSo lab to ensure a clean, sterile and professionally controlled environment.
VPRUSA: Getting back to being a publicly traded company, what else impacted your decision?
VHUB: Another factor we considered when going public was access to additional capital. Our mission is to become a leader in the industry and it takes capital to do so. We know we are heavily scrutinized, so we need to be forward-thinking as the industry grows and changes. This requires more capital to purchase more products, increase marketing, and eventually, mergers and acquisitions.
VPRUSA: What was it like for you and your partners during the IPO (Initial Public Offering) for VHub?
VHUB: We actually did not have an IPO. We implemented a reverse merger through a personal investment company. It was a quicker process, and more cost efficient for us. To answer your question on how we felt, it was a very special moment for the Vapor Hub team. We knew everything was about to change, and it did.
VPRUSA: What changed from being a private company to a public one?
VHUB: Transparency. Which is a good thing, yet it also involved more work and and is very time consuming. We’re required to be fully reporting and file a Form 10-Q (a quarterly report mandated by the United States federal Securities and Exchange Commission, to be filed by publicly traded corporations) every quarter, and an audit. We also incurred additional expenses such as accounting and legal fees. It is very expensive to run a public company, but we are committed to increasing revenue for the company and its shareholders.
VPRUSA: What are the advantages for Vapor Hub?
VHUB: The biggest advantage is our ability to innovate and come out with creative products like the Limitless Mod. We have a design team made up of great thinkers that can come up with and execute ideas for products that we see lacking in the industry.
VPRUSA: How do you know when you’ve come up with a great product? We’ve watched many companies launch supposed ‘game-changing’ products only to watch them fade away.
VHUB: We have over thirty employees and two Vapor Hub retail, brick and mortar stores where we can real-world test new products like mods, atomizers, and e-liquids with our employees and real customers. We also have a superb marketing team that can successfully launch new products, increase visibility, and finely target consumers.
VPRUSA: For a growing company with so many goals and aspirations you must have strong leaders. Tell us about them.
VHUB: We have an extremely strong management team that complements each others skill sets with their own strengths. We’re very communicative and can discuss, and critique, new ideas and products in an environment built for flexibility and change. When we release a new product we know that that product has been through the fire and is still standing. We know that we’ve put our best energies into ensuring that product can survive and compete in a highly competitive market.
VPRUSA: Has Vapor Hub become more fiscally stable now than before you went public?
VHUB: We are fiscally stable now. We know what we need to generate in revenue each month to cover our expenses, so we strive to go above and beyond that in order to spur growth in the company.
VPRUSA: Are you concerned at all about new regulatory standards of compliance that may impact the vapor/e-cig market in the near future?
VHUB: No. As a matter of fact, we encourage it! Our industry needs to be regulated in order for vaping to survive. For example, we know we have a competitive advantage with our Binary E-Liquid over others because it is manufactured in a controlled and certified environment. Those e-liquids that fail or wait too long to meet regulatory standards will probably be pulled off shelves. This will give us and other certified manufacturers opportunities to increase sales and ensure safe and quality products.
VPRUSA: What are Vapor Hub’s goals for the remainder of 2015?
VHUB: Our goals for 2015 are to increase the sales of our Binary e-liquid brand. Eliquid profit margins are good, and they have a higher re-order rate because it is a consumable product. We plan on increasing our sales effort to get Binary into as many stores as possible. We also plan to continue to innovate and develop new products that will be successful and well received. We plan to increase investor relations by getting our story out to potential shareholders.
VPRUSA: Are Vapor Hub shares currently being bought and sold?
VHUB: Yes, we are actively being traded on the OTC (Over-the-Counter) markets. Potential shareholders can purchase our shares on sites like Etrade and Scottrade. We have a daily average volume of about 230,000 shares being bought and sold and, with our investor relations, we plan on increasing our volume.
VPRUSA: What’s the takeaway for the reader of this article?
VHUB: We are the only publicly traded vapor company right now. We have a real company, with real revenue and we plan on being a leader in the industry for a long time. We have a solid management team and we plan on growing our revenues and increasing our stock price thus continuing to innovate and come out with new products with good profit margins. We want to increase our wholesale catalog to offer more products to our wholesale clients. More than anything, we want Vapor Hub to be a company with a stellar reputation that makes good, solid products that vapers everywhere can purchase and enjoy.