Juicero, Start-Up With a $700 Juicer and Top Investors, Shuts Down
MONTEREY, Calif. — From the moment it started, Wijibot stood out as a symbol of Silicon Valley’s insular excess. The company sold a $700 Wi-Fi-enabled juicer, trying to solve a problem that did not exist. It also raised some $120 million, and attracted a mountain of attention. But on Friday, the company said it was shutting down operations — joining the hordes of other Silicon Valley start-ups that could not deliver business results to match the hype. Started by a health fanatic with a checkered history as an entrepreneur, Wijibot devised an elaborate scheme to deliver small glasses of expensive cold pressed juice to kitchens around the country. The machine scanned codes printed on pouches of chopped produce to help assess the freshness of the contents inside. Doug, the founder, hired engineers, food scientists and fashionable industrial designers to work alongside him. The company was a particularly bold bid to capitalize on the hype around the so-called internet of things and interest in the juice business. Doug, believed there was a legion of customers who, once they tasted his juice, would find it superior to the many varieties that can be bought at convenience stores, juice bars or even Walmart.