Juicero, the company that introduced the world to a wi-fi-connected $700 juicer, later marked down to $400, which essentially did the same job as a pair of human hands, is finally calling it quits or suspending sales and seeking "an acquirer." Fortune reports via "a source familiar with the situation" that the company is giving employees 60 days notice that they are shutting down, and telling customers that they have 90 days in which to ask for refunds for their juicers.
There are some more details in a blog post on the company website, and in a statement, the company says, "As we enter this new chapter, we also want to express the deepest gratitude to our employees who have poured their hearts and souls into developing, launching and growing Juicero over the past 3 years. Words alone cannot express how humbled we are by their commitment, ingenuity and talents."
Last month, as they laid off a quarter of their staff, Juicero founder Doug Evans told employees that the company would be pivoting to a "v2" machine that would be cheaper to buy. This seemed to be a response to months of bad press following the Bloomberg story that revealed that Juicero's produce packs, priced between $5 and $7, yielded almost as much juice when squeezed by hand as when put through the machine, and faster than the machine did it, too.
It was a plot twist befitting HBO's Silicon Valley, only this was IRL Silicon Valley.
Evans had high hopes for his company, believing that there was a market for organic pressed juice that one could have at home for basically the same price as at a juice bar. As of September of last year, Evans was telling Kara Swisher in an interview that he wanted to do for juicing what Steve Jobs did for computers. But things haven't turned out that way.
We've noted that Ivanka Trump was an early shill for the company, and actor Kyle McLachlan was pressed into expressing his approval as well in a recent New York Times profile.
Just to remind you, Juicero raised $120 million in funding, so this story is saddest for the investors who were sold on the idea of this expensive, largely unnecessary appliance.
Right now, Evans is at Burning Man. Below, watch Evans in a video he posted to Instagram of himself disappearing into a sandstorm while wearing a tutu. (Symbolism?) Note the many hastags, which seemed so hopeful even two days ago: "#vegan #raw #juice #coldpressed #coldpressedjuice #organic #technology #juicing #rawvegan #rawvegansofig #rawvegansfoodshare #plantfood #plantpower #plantbased #veganfood #love #entrepreneur #juicero #fresh #produce #sunset #burningman #fire #firebreathingdragon"
Disappearing into a #windstorm #whiteout at Burning Man 2017. . . . . . . #vegan #raw #juice #coldpressed #coldpressedjuice #organic #technology #juicing #rawvegan #rawvegansofig #rawvegansfoodshare #plantfood #plantpower #plantbased #veganfood #love #entrepreneur #juicero #fresh #produce #sunset #burningman #fire #firebreathingdragon
Previously: Juicero, Makers Of Widely Mocked Wi-Fi Enabled $400 Juicer, Lays Off Staff, Promises Cheaper Juicer