SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Juicero, a Silicon Valley-backed startup known for its high-priced juicing machine, is shutting down after a report raised questions about the machine’s high price tag.
The company announced on its website Friday that it is immediately suspending the sale of the juicer and the proprietary packs of fruits and vegetables used to make juice. The company’s social media accounts were also shut down.
Juciero is offering full refunds for the press, which was originally priced at $700.
“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,” the company said.
Company founder Doug Evans claimed the juicer had enough force to “lift two Teslas” while he pitched it to investors. Major Silicon Valley venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, along with Google, invested over $100 million in the Juicero.
After the Juicero was introduced, investors were surprised that the juice packs could be squeezed out by hand and that the device was larger than what Evans had proposed. Evans was replaced as CEO and the price was reduced to $400.
The company faced another setback after a Bloomberg report revealed that hand squeezing the juice packs yielded nearly the same amount of juice compared to the machine, and in some cases in less time.
That report led to the company being bashed on social media.
While the company announced its closure, Evans was reportedly at Burning Man in the Nevada desert.
Customers will have until December 1st to receive a full refund for their purchase.
Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.