Brandless, the pioneering Amazon alternative, shuts down

Marco Green
February 13, 2020

Apparently, that did not occur, and based on Protocol, Brandless's board, such as Cost, Leffler, SoftBank managing director Jeff Housenbold, Redpoint's Jeff Brody and Colin Bryant of NEA, made a decision to shut the company whilst still able to supply severance packages for employees. Public Goods has grown much more slowly than Brandless.

"I'm proud of what we created at Brandless", Interim Chief Executive Officer Evan Price said in a statement, adding that it had become to hard for the company to compete in the direct-to-consumer market.

That would follow a quarterly operating loss of 704 billion yen when it was whiplashed by an US$8.9 billion hit at the Vision Fund as the value of WeWork and other bets like Uber plunged. The fund has backed or purchased numerous startups like Slack, Uber, Zume, Wag, and WeWork.

The Vision Fund led a $240 million round of financing for Brandless that was introduced in July 2018, a year after the business introduced. It has been reported that ten employees would stay on board to process any remaining orders and "evaluate any acquisition offers". The company began selling its private label goods at a price point of $3 each, but later brought in higher-priced items and a subscription box delivery service. While the Brandless team set a new bar for the types of products consumers deserve and at prices they expect, the fiercely competitive direct-to-consumer market has proven unsustainable for our current business model. SoftBank invested the following year after its chief executive, Masayoshi Son, inspected an array of its products-from olive oil to eyelash curlers-flown to Tokyo for his perusal. The funding was promised and arranged as installments and paid over when Brandless would meet certain financial targets.

Insiders are saying that Paul Singer's New York City hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has collected a stake in SoftBank Group Corp. of close to $3 billion. Co-founder Tina Sharkey stepped down as CEO last spring, and the company pivoted to selling CBD, or cannabidiol, products, which tap an ingredient in cannabis to help lessen anxiety and promote better sleep.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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