RIP Juicero, the $400 venture-backed juice machine

Gadgets



It sounds like America’s favorite $400 juice machine will be no longer.

“After selling over a million Produce Packs, we must let you know that we are suspending the sale of the Juicero Press and Produce Packs immediately,” reads the company blog post.

Juicero will also be giving people money back. “For the next 90 days, we are offering refunds for your purchase of the Juicero Press,” according to the note.

Founded by Doug Evans, San Francisco-based Juicero had raised more than $118 million in funding from prominent VCs like Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. Carmelo Anthony also invested through his Melo7 Tech venture fund. Even The Campbell Soup Company threw money at it. Juicero started raising funding in 2013 and launched 16 months ago.

The company was subject to mockery, particularly after a Bloomberg piece showed that the juice packets could be squeezed by hand and did not require a fancy machine.

After that, Juicero promised to lower prices, but apparently found that to be too difficult. Now the startup is hoping to find a buyer.

“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,” reads the blog post.

Inspired by the popularity of Keurig coffee cups, some venture investors have been looking for other kitchen appliances that could gain significant traction. “Juicing” is very popular in some parts of the United States, and the idea was that this would make it easier for people to make juice at home. But the upfront cost of the machine was high and people had to pay an added cost for the refillable packets.

Unfortunately, the machine, which was once priced at $700, was met with derision from the get-go. It became symbolic of Silicon Valley’s out-of-touch elites.

I tried the juices and can confirm they were tasty. RIP.



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