Swedish Billionaire Invests in Sting Free

    Erik Selin (Photo courtesy of Sting Free)

    Swedish billionaire Erik Selin has invested SEK4.4 million ($434,247) in the Swedish nicotine pouch innovation company Sting Free. He has thus become the second largest shareholder in the company, which is now valued at just under SEK31 million. Sting Free’s other shareholders include Curt Enzell, inventor of the original snus pouch and Meg Tivéus, a former board member of Swedish Match.

    Sting Free has developed and patented a pouch for modern oral nicotine products and snus, where one side has an integrated protective shield for the gums ((also see “Patching the Pouch,” Tobacco Reporter, July 2017). The shield effectively reduces the burning sensation and gum irritation that is normally caused by these products.

    This is the third time Selin has invested in companies in the snus industry. He is already the largest Swedish shareholder in the snus giant Swedish Match and is also a major shareholder in Haypp Group, which is the largest e-trader of snus and modern oral nicotine pouches in Europe.

    “We welcome Erik with open arms and could not have found a better partner,” said Sting Free founder and Chairman Bengt Wiberg.

    “We are a tobacco harm reduction company whose technology has already received much media attention and an international award for removing the stinging sensation. The stinging sensation is often considered as being a deterrent for smokers and other nicotine users who have never tried smokefree oral nicotine products,” said Wiberg.

    Sting Free AB recently conducted a survey with more than 1,000 snus and nicotine pouch using men and women in Sweden. The results show that the patented technology is in demand, especially among women and those who have, or are concerned about, oral health problems linked to their use of these types of products. The survey results shows that 59 percent of users dislike the familiar burning sensation and 56 percent have worried about their oral health in connection with their use of the products presently on the market.

    The market for snus and tobacco-free nicotine pouches is presently worth approximately SEK9 billion per year in Scandinavia alone.

    Before the end of 2022, Sting Free AB will launch its first tobacco-free nicotine pouch with the unique integrated Stingfree shield. “In the future our goal is to license the technology and thereby create a new standard in the industry that is as familiar to consumers as light products are for soft drinks or Gore-Tex is for clothes and shoes,” says Sting Free CEO Daniel Wiberg.