Juicero is a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2013. Its value proposition was that they had invented the first cold-pressed juicing system to be used at home with the touch of a button. The company founded by the former CEO and founder of Organic Avenue (another company that was in the juicing business and shutdown following bankruptcy), Doug Evans, manged to raise over 118 million dollars from 17 investors including Alphabet’s GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and KPCB.
The shutdown of Juicero is a done deal and is on the lookout for buyers after 16 months of operations.
The pricing of products and the inability to form a comprehensive enough distribution network appears to be the reason for their demise. The Juicero juicing machine was retailing at $700 but prices were steadily slashed from $399 to $199. The packets of vegetable and fruit juice concoctions which the juicer would squeeze out into a glass are also planned for price revision according to the Juicero website.
Team Juicero said in a statement that, “it became clear that creating an effective manufacturing and distribution system for a nationwide customer base requires infrastructure that we cannot achieve on our own as a standalone business. We are confident that to truly have the long-term impact we want to make, we need to focus on finding an acquirer with an existing national fresh food supply chain who can carry forward the Juicero mission.”
Juicero became the unfortunate subject of online ridicule, referred to as the ‘’most absurd logical progression of overfunded tech nonsense!’’ by @mikerugnetta on Twitter.
Similarly another startup called Bodega which aims to set up vending machines of non perishable goods as a solution to actually having to visit your neighbourhood small grocery stores raised $2.5 million and received just as much outrage from social media.
According to a report in Recode, “In March, a Bloomberg article and video detailed how some of the juice and vegetable packs could be squeezed by hand — rendering the actual press unnecessary.”
Let that quote digest against this line from Juicero’s Crunchbase description: “[T]he Juicero system represents three years of hard work to bring cold-pressing technology…”
However Recode further reports, “Supporters of Juicero would say that most of the packet mixes did not allow for as easy a hand-pressing as the one chosen for the Bloomberg article, but the damage was already done. Several investors told Bloomberg they were not aware of the fact some packs could be pressed by hand.
Earlier this year, the company’s chief product officer Malachy Moynihan — the same exec who oversaw hardware development of the Amazon Echo — quietly left the company for a senior executive role at Flex, the electronics manufacturer, sources told Recode.’’