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The Juice Start-Up No One Needs Juicero Raised $120 Million in January 2015

Juicero Juice Start Up No One Needs Apparently Raised 120 Million Eater

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Stashed in: Kleiner Perkins, @ajs, Google Ventures!, Startup, Google Ventures

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The title of this post comes from Eater:

Silicon Valley's start-up du jour is all about green juice and it's racking up plenty of dough. Called JuiceroAlyson Shontell of Business Insider writes that the secretive start-up has raised nearly $20 million since October of 2013 and is currently in the midst of another $100 million funding round. (Perhaps they can use some of that money to come up with a name that doesn't sound like it was created by a three-year-old.) Alleged investors include Google Ventures and Campbell's Soup. Apparently the CEO of Campbell's Soup "tried the juice and ran back to cut a $10 million check."

So what about Juicero's product makes it so great? They claim to take the concept of farm-to-juicer very seriously. According to Juicero, the fruit and vegetables found in stores isn't all that "fresh": Most produce is picked a "week or two before the store receives it." Instead Juicero will possibly have its own farm so that it can hand-pick the fruit right before it's shipped — in a special pouch, of course. Customers are then supposed to take the produce and run it through a "contraption that's sort of like a coffee Keurig."

Sources tell Business Insider that the juice is like "freshly pressed juice" (because it is?) but "better," whatever that means. We'll just take their word for it. Geek Wire notes that Juicero plans launch by year's end.

AJS reports the smart juicer company raised $4m in 10/13 and $16m in 4/14 and $100m in 1/15:

A startup called Juicero has quietly been raising a boatload of cash.

It raised $4 million in October 2013 and an additional $15.8 million in April 2014, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider.

It's raising another $100 million round right now, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the deal. Investors include Kleiner Perkins, which housed the early-stage startup, and Campbell's Soup. Google Ventures, Double Bottom Line Ventures, Artis Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Vast Ventures are also involved. 

The amounts being raised and the number of contributing investors, of course, are subject to change.

The company wouldn't tell us how it works, but based on conversations with people, here's what we're told. 

Juicero, sources say, is creating the freshest juice in the world with a contraption that's sort of like a coffee Keurig. It will compete with the LivBlends juice machine. The fruit, hand-picked before you drink it, is shipped in a pouch. It's like freshly pressed juice, sources who have tried it say, only better. And because it operates like a Keurig, there's no cleanup process, which solves a major pain point for owners of traditional juicers.

Rumor has it the CEO of Campbell's tried the juice and ran back to cut a $10 million check. A Campbell's representative declined to comment on the funding.

The big idea that investors are buying into is that Juicero will change the way fruits and vegetables are delivered. The fruit you buy in stores isn't really fresh. It's picked a week or two before the store receives it, and before you ever take a bite. Based on those we talked to, we believe Juicero could own its own farms, and pick the fruit fresh before delivering it. 

The company is raising so much money because it's not just creating a household product; it's creating a whole agricultural arm to the business, which hints that the company plans to grow and supply the fresh produce around the world. The company has attracted the attention of major names in tech, including Bill Gates, who is not an investor but is well aware of the company, says one source. In October, Juicero's founder Doug Evans was spotted chatting with Apple's Jony Ive at an awards ceremony. 

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