The tech start-up that made a $700 juicing machine has shut down

Key Points
  • Juicero shut down on Friday after raising over $100 million from investors including Google Ventures and Campbell Soup's venture arm.
  • The company's juice presses debuted at $700 before the price was slashed.
  • Reviewers found the juice packets could be squeezed manually to make juice.

Source: Juicero | Business Wire

Juicero, the start-up that raised over $100 million in venture funding to create a juicing machine that originally sold for $700, said on Friday that it's closing up shop.

Inspired by brands like Keurig and Sodastream, Juicero presses required the use of squeezable fruit pouches that were shipped to customers' doors and had to be refrigerated. The machine was designed by Yves Behar's studio, Fuse Project.

The company twice dropped the price of the machine, first to $400 and then even lower, according to a Fortune story in July. (A company representative said in an email that the second planned price drop never happened.) Juicero's troubles were initially exposed in April by Bloomberg, which reported that the fruit pouches could be squeezed by hand with similar results.

Investors in the company included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), and Campbell Soup's venture arm.

Juicero announced the shutdown in a blog post and cited the challenges of creating a nationwide distribution system. Juicero also offered refunds for the next 90 days to customers who had ordered its presses.

"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," the company wrote.

Juicero founder Doug Evans previously started a juice bar business, Organic Avenue, which went bankrupt in 2015. The Juicero story has already become a cautionary tale for hardware and food tech investors.

Updates with statement from the company that a second planned price drop never happened.