Entrepreneurship · Silicon Valley

Are Silicon Valley investors investing too heavily in products that they, and not most consumers, would use?

Junard Quijano Freelance Contractor/Virtual Assistant at Upwork

April 21st, 2017

Yesterday, Bloomberg published a story about Juicero, a hot Silicon Valley startup adored by VCs. Juicero, which some tech blogs call the Keurig for juice, is a $400 Internet-connected machine that turns chopped fruits and vegetables into packets of juice. The company has about $120m in funding. Sounds promising? Well hold on a second. Some investors and the public have figured out that you can create the juice by simply squeezing the bags of chopped food — no $400 machine required. This smacks of investors not doing their due diligence. Is this a problem of investors feeling that if they would use a product, then everyone else will as well?

Ar Mani Cofounder of Tuition Guild, Freelance Designer and Wordpress developer

April 22nd, 2017

I think it's about the thinking of Investors. Maybe the man that come up with this idea manipulate investors mind on some points ?

Mike Robinson

April 22nd, 2017

On the other hand... Juicero's business model is probably not based on selling the $400 machine. This looks like a classic razor and razor-blade business. All the profit is in the razor-blades (in this case packets of chopped produce, in keurig's case the K-cups). If someone wants to skip the $400 machine and just buy case after case of produce packets, I bet Juicero would be fine with that.


My question is whether perishable produce can really be chopped, packed, and shipped in packets that won't spoil quickly? Strawberries and roasted coffee beans are two very different things.

Mike Robinson

April 21st, 2017

Hmmm. this reminds me a little of http://somabar.com/

Maxine Pierson INTERIM CEO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/ VP Investor

April 22nd, 2017

If they want to waste their money that is their business- the gizm inventor is the smart guy- VC is survival of the most clever

Maxine Pierson INTERIM CEO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/ VP Investor

April 21st, 2017

There is no problem here- the startup raised million on a worthless item- they sold the Emperor's new Clothes- and the had willing buyers, They did a cursory DD -but they LIKED that space - emotion trumps logic every time.

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

April 21st, 2017

Not necessarily, but it has been known to happen. Without any actual knowledge, however, I can guess that the VCs saw this as a deal featuring "convenience" and "portion control". After all, it wasn't that hard to make coffee in the traditional way before Keurig came along.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

April 21st, 2017

Maybe, but this is an outlier. The motive for many VCs was that Alphabet was an early investor. If Google likes it, how can that be a bad thing. Well, like this.

Valeriia Timokhina Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development

April 22nd, 2017

I think it's not about how much consumers would buy it. Investors invest in products that are most likely to bring a ROI. So, when these guys show that there are people who would like to use their juicer - it gets funded.

And it's a lot like many startups today - not something really necessary, just expensive toys. They don't solve some big problem of many people (in cost-effective manner), however someone buys it because of marketing and adds.

By the way, investors can make mistakes too, being impressed by a good product pitch and marketing.

To succeed getting funded you should better focus on solving a someone's real problem, effectively and on budget. Investors look for a ROI prospect, so show it to them. (To learn more on funding for a mobile startup check out this article)