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Report: Investors Not Happy With Much-Hyped Silicon Valley Juicer
Juicero Inc., a Silicon Valley startup with a considerable amount of buzz, sells a $400 wifi-connecting machine that squeezes its own single-serving packets of chopped vegetables and fruit into a juice.
There’s only one problem: As Bloomberg reports, investors are learning that they can actually squeeze the Juicero bags with their own hands to make a glass of juice, without needing the $400 machine. In fact, Bloomberg conducted its own “press test” with the Juicero bags and found that the juice could sometimes be extracted quicker by hand than with the machine.
Although Juicero declined to comment to Bloomberg, a “person close to the company said Juicero is aware the packs can be squeezed by hand but that most people would prefer to use the machine because the process is more consistent and less messy.”
However, Doug Evans, the 50-year-old founder of Juicero, had promised in fundraising meetings “a revolutionary machine capable of squeezing large chunks of fruits and vegetables, said two people who agreed to invest in the company,” Bloomberg reports. “Evans secured funding in 2014 by showing 3D-printed renderings of the product without a working prototype, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they signed nondisclosure agreements.”
But after the product’s introduction last year, at least two Juicero investors were taken aback after finding the packs could be squeezed by hand. They also said the machine was much bigger than what Evans had proposed. One of the investors said they were frustrated with how the company didn’t deliver on the original pitch and that their venture firm wouldn’t have met with Evans if he were hawking bags of juice that didn’t require high-priced hardware. Juicero didn’t broadly disclose to investors or employees that packs can be hand squeezed, said four people with knowledge of the matter.
Evans was able to secure $125 million in funding from investors, Bloomberg reports, including Google’s venture capital arm.
Photo: Juicero Inc.'s Twitter