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Throwback Thursday: Ah, Juicero – Squeezegate

Derek Watson
Derek Watson

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Throwback Thursday: Ah, Juicero – Squeezegate

Throwback Thursday: Dive into the Juicero chronicle—a Silicon Valley fable of ambition, innovation, and a reality check. #TBT to when a high-tech juicer promised a health revolution, only to be squeezed by its own narrative. Let’s revisit the story that had everyone questioning the true value of “smart” technology.

Doug Evans

Founder and CEO

Doug Evans: At the helm of Juicero stood Doug Evans, a wellness enthusiast with a proven track record in the health industry, having previously nurtured Organic Avenue. His latest venture, Juicero, was born from a vision to democratize health, making fresh, nutritious juice an easy, accessible option for everyone.


The inception of Juicero is a classic Silicon Valley story—fueled by ambition and the desire to disrupt. In the mid-2010s, Evans identified a gap in the market: the need for a convenient, fresh juice option that didn’t compromise on nutrition. Juicero was to be this solution, offering a high-tech juicer that promised to deliver freshness and health with the push of a button. Timeline of Events:

What problem did it set out to solve:

Juicero set out to solve the problem of providing a convenient, clean, and efficient way to consume fresh, organic juice. Their high-tech juicer was designed to press pre-packaged, chopped fruits and vegetables, sold in proprietary pouches, aiming to offer a no-prep, no-cleanup method to get cold-pressed juice at home, which traditionally required a messy and time-consuming process. The company aimed to bring the health benefits of fresh juice to consumers with the ease of single-button technology.

Timeline of events:

2014: Juicero takes root with a promise to revolutionize juicing.
2016: Investors buy into the vision, funneling $120 million into the company.
2017: Bloomberg challenges the necessity of Juicero’s product, showing that the juice packets could be squeezed by hand.
2017: Confronted by this revelation, Juicero ceases machine sales.
2017: The company starts seeking a buyer for its technology in a bid to salvage the brand. Funding:


The venture’s financial journey was nothing short of a rollercoaster.

Early-stage Seed funding soon blossomed into more substantial Series A and B rounds. By the end, Juicero had raised an astounding $120 million, reaching a valuation that towered over $400 million. Its investor ensemble was illustrious, boasting names like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Artis Ventures, Campbell Soup Company, Western Technology Investment, First Beverage Group, and DBL Partners. Each investor brought more than just capital—they brought credibility and a network, fueling Juicero’s rapid ascent.

What worked and what didn't:

What Worked:
Juicero was a masterclass in attracting capital. With a compelling pitch and sleek product design, the company quickly won over the health and wellness market, building a brand that resonated with consumer desires for convenience and nutrition.

What Didn’t Work:

Despite its early successes, Juicero’s narrative took a turn for the worse. The discovery that the juice packs could be hand-squeezed bypassed the need for a complex, expensive juicer. This revelation not only undermined the product’s value but also questioned the entire premise of the company’s existence.

The "Squeezegate" Saga:

The downfall of Juicero was swift following the “Squeezegate” exposé. It revealed a fundamental flaw in the company’s business model: the high-tech juicer was redundant when the juice packs themselves could be squeezed by hand. This simple act effectively unraveled Juicero’s complex value proposition. The market responded with ridicule and disbelief, putting the company’s survival in jeopardy. In the wake of this, Juicero struggled to justify its place in the market, and the trust once placed in its technology and vision crumbled.

Conclusion and takeaway for Startup founders:

Juicero’s adventure into the startup ecosystem serves as a compelling case study. Founders can glean from this that a genuine problem must lie at the heart of their solution, technology must offer undeniable value, and user concerns must be addressed transparently and swiftly. Juicero’s story also highlights the critical balance between innovation and simplicity. As a startup founder, remember that while technology can be a powerful tool, it is the fulfillment of user needs that ultimately dictates success. Juicero, in its ambitious quest, offers enduring insights: align innovation with true value, and always be prepared to pivot in response to the market’s voice.

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