Founded in 2014, Philter Labs, a San Diego-based startup aims to mitigate the effects of secondhand smoke through its patented technology solution. The company recently announced that it has secured an additional $1 million in funding from various investors, including an undisclosed private equity fund specializing in cannabis-related companies, Bravos Capital, and Explorer Equity. The newly acquired capital will be channelled towards supporting Philter Labs’ growth initiatives, further research and development efforts, and expanding their pipeline of filtration products.
Christos Nicolaidis, the CEO and co-founder of Philter Labs, expressed the company’s mission to serve as a catalyst for social and environmental change in the industry. By leveraging aerodynamic principles and engineering innovation, Philter Labs enables adults to make a conscious decision to filter their emissions, preserving clean air for those around them while upholding their right to vape.
Philter Labs has made significant progress in developing its filtration technology, with several patents filed and three recently approved for upcoming products. John Grimm, the chief technology officer, highlighted their invention of the groundbreaking zero-5 technology—a scientific process that induces molecular changes to eliminate smoke and vape. Through extensive laboratory testing, Philter Labs has demonstrated that their patented process can reduce emissions by up to 95 percent.
The vaping industry continues to experience substantial growth, with recent studies indicating that 1 in 20 adults regularly vape or use e-cigarettes. Nicolaidis projected a year-over-year growth rate of approximately 25 percent, estimating that the industry could reach a value of $45 billion by 2024. Recognizing this upward trajectory, Philter Labs aims to position itself at the forefront of this evolving market.
Over the course of two years, Philter Labs dedicated extensive efforts to research and development, resulting in the refinement of their product. Through their pioneering work, they discovered a layered filtration technique capable of effectively addressing both smoke and vapor. This cutting-edge nano-filtration process not only filters secondhand smoke and vapor but also neutralizes pollutants and free radicals, as confirmed by the company.
Philter Labs currently offers two products: the Phlip, priced at $30, and the Pocket, priced at $15. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has experienced a doubling in sales within recent months. Additionally, they have witnessed a surge in brand awareness and an exponential growth in their audience. Their Instagram following, for instance, rapidly expanded from zero to over 110,000 followers in just four months—an impressive feat. The company’s email list and short message service (SMS) subscriber base have also been steadily increasing, demonstrating the enthusiasm and demand for their products.
While Philter Labs initially targeted the millennial market, they have discovered that their customer base extends beyond this demographic, encompassing individuals ranging from millennials to baby boomers to Generation Z. The company’s primary demographic has typically consisted of individuals between the ages of 25 and 50.
To further enhance their expertise and industry knowledge, Philter Labs has recently appointed several industry executives to its scientific advisory board (SSAB). This esteemed board includes toxicologists who have previously worked with major tobacco companies, as well as those from Dosist, Curaleaf, and Juul.
Philter Labs is confident in its ability to achieve profitability within the next 18 months. Currently, the company employs seven staff members at its downtown headquarters, with plans for expansion in the near future.