Juicero Inc., which makes a $400 internet-enabled juice machine, is offering customers refunds after Bloomberg reported that some of the startup’s investors were surprised to learn its produce packs could be squeezed by hand. Jeff Dunn, who joined as chief executive officer late last year, said anyone who owns a Juicero machine can send it to the company and get their money back for the next 30 days. Juicero initially sold the product for $700 before reducing the price in January.
Juicero has raised about $120 million in venture funding from Alphabet Inc.’s GV, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and other backers on the promise of a high-powered machine that could turn cut-up fruits and vegetables into juice. But two investors told Bloomberg that after the machine was released last year, they were surprised to find that the packs could be hand squeezed, yielding almost the same amount of juice in a shorter period of time. The San Francisco startup limits sales of its packs to owners of the machine.
Dunn wrote in a blog post Thursday that the Juicero device provides quality control, consistency and data to the juice-squeezing process that hands cannot. “While it is never easy to face some of this week’s headlines and critiques, we’re still learning, listening, and improving, and we confidently stand behind our promise to help people on their journey to health,” he wrote.