Meet Doug Evans, a raw food evangelist, a man obsessed with juice and a new darling of Silicon Valley. His juice start-up, Juicero just raised $120 million — never mind that his juicer costs a $700.
“His love affair with juice began in 1999, when he met Denise Mari, a vegan, at a nightclub. Soon he was dating Ms. Mari and converted to veganism, too,” according to the New York Times. So the duo bought some industrial-strength juicers and created Organic Avenue which sold $10 bottles of cold-press, unpasteurized juice. But in 2012, the company shuttered and once again Evans was on the hunt.
When he could not find anything up to his standards, he decided to create his own juicer unlike any other — a $700 machine that makes an eight-ounce glass of the good stuff.
“Not all juice is equal,” he explained. “How do you measure life force? How do you measure chi?”
While some may find that price hard to swallow, apparently his idea was ripe for the picking. He drew a remarkable $120 million in investments from Silicon Valley.
The white plastic machine is about the same size as a food processor, but works differently than other juicers. Similar to a Nespresso machine, a pouch is inserted and minutes later you have a glass of organic liquid nectar. Packs range in price from $4 to $10 and come in five flavors, including Sweet Roots (carrot, beet, orange, lemon and apple) and Spicy Greens (pineapple, romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, parsley and jalapeño). Evans is even working on making the packs compostable.
Pricey though it may be, anyone who has ever wrestled with trying to clean an at-home juicer will find the fact that it never needs to be cleaned, priceless.
Still, the whole thing seems overly complicated. To wit: “Each pack has a QR code on it. A camera in the machine scans the code on each pack and, using Wi-Fi, checks in with an online database. If the pack is no longer fresh, or has been deemed contaminated, the machine won’t press it. If the pack is O.K., the gears start turning and out squirts the juice.”
Evan’s company, Juicero launches this week and is comprised of the appliance, a juice-ordering app and a 111,000-square-foot-food processing plant. (See what we did there?)
But caution, if your wifi ever goes down, no juice for you!