"Brandless establish a new benchmark in the health and renewable products sector, and while we weren't able to compete in the modern DTC marketplace, I am convinced the upcoming fantastic brands of tomorrow will probably be constructed from this adventure", explained Brandless CEO Evan Price at a statement to CNBC.
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.
In July 2018, Brandless announced that SoftBank Vision Fund - the Japanese conglomerate that has backed or bought Uber, Slack, WeWork, Wag, Zume, and more - had invested $240 million in the company at a valuation of more than $500 million. But this also means that Public Goods is under less pressure to quickly turn a profit and grow so quickly, and this may save it from Brandless's fate.
The Brandless website will no longer accept orders starting Monday, although all existing orders will be delivered and customer service will remain available. In fact, in March a year ago, the executive director, Tina Sharkey, who co-founded the company with Ido Leffler, resigned and said she was assuming a "more focused role" as co-chair of the board.
"But, the organization's business model was" unsustainable" from the" fiercely competitive" direct-to-consumer marketplace, the Brandless board stated in a joint statement to CNBC. 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 company is the first SoftBank Vision Fund-backed startup that has shut shop as it lays off 70 people. The funding was promised and arranged as installments and paid over when Brandless would meet certain financial targets.
The CEO who spearheaded that plan, John Rittenhouse, stepped down in December.