In 2013, Google invested $120 million in a startup called Juicero, which aimed to revolutionize the juice industry with a high-tech juice machine and special bags of chopped fruit. But problems started to arise when the $700 machine only worked with the pricey Juicero bags, and customers found they could easily squeeze the juice out of the bags themselves. Refund requests flooded in and Juicero went bankrupt just over a year later, leaving Google with a significant loss on their investment.
From $120 Million Investment to Bankruptcy: The Juicero Debacle
Did you know that Google lost $120 million investing in a product that turned out to be a huge failure? Back in 2013, Juicero was founded with the aim of revolutionizing the juice industry with its high-tech juice machine and special bags full of chopped fruit. However, things quickly went downhill and the company ended up bankrupt. Here’s what happened.
The Juicero Product
Juicero’s product was simple: a high-tech juice machine along with special bags containing healthy chopped fruit that could be put into the machine on-the-go. However, the machine itself was an eye-watering $700 per piece, and each bag cost $8. At the time, there was a healthy juice craze going on, and Google wanted to join in the game. They invested $120 million into the company.
Things started to go wrong quickly. The first problem was that the $700 machine only worked with specific Juicero bags. This meant that if you owned the machine, you were forced to buy an $8 bag every time you wanted to use it. The second problem was that the machine was pretty much useless. It turned out that customers were even able to squeeze the juice out of the $8 bags with their bare hands, making the $700 machine unnecessary.
With refund requests piling up, Juicero stopped production just over a year after it started. The company went bankrupt, with Google and other investors losing their $120 million investment.
The Juicero debacle is a classic example of tech hype that goes wrong. It’s a valuable lesson on the importance of thoroughly researching a product’s viability before investing large sums of money into it. Companies that prioritize design and hype over function and value are bound to fail. In the end, it’s the consumers who decide which products succeed and which fall by the wayside.