Juice startup raises $120 million to get you to start squeezing juice out of a bag

San Francisco-based Juicero, Inc. clearly knew Bloomberg was about to expose its namesake hardware as a con. They did, after all, decline to comment for the publication’s looming story. But that’s not to say they weren’t out in front of it, having posted this new spot for their produce-pressing gizmo online hours before Bloomberg’s reporting went live.

Juicero, which was founded by vegan entrepreneur and investor whisper Doug Evans, boasts that it is following “Earth’s original recipe” by mashing up fruits and veggies inside pouches and airmailing them to customers, who then churn the contents through a $400 machine until they’re ready to drink. Only snag is that Bloomberg and others have caught onto the fact that you can actually just hand-squeeze the pouches and generate the same liquid goodness with nearly identical consistency, and virtually as quick. Yet, purchasers can only acquire said individual packs if they own the machine, which in light of recent revelations, feels like a caveat implemented for precisely this moment of exposure.

The best part is that big-name backers including Google’s parent company Alphabet, Inc. contributed to Juicero’s $400 million kitty after seeing a 3-D printer rendering of the machine, rather than a fully formed prototype. Nor did Juicero make plain their knowledge that the packs were potentially an all-in-one DIY juicing kit.

It’s unclear how this will affect the fledgling company’s standing with early adopters, among them many restaurants and hotels, or whether the packs will ever be sold truly independently. But the lesson, as always, is that there’s nothing more organic than greed.

[Bloomberg | photo: Juicero]