After months of turbulence, San Francisco-based DTC Brandless has shut its doors. This comes less than three years after launching and a $240 million investment from SoftBank in July of 2018 that valued Brandless at a little over $500 million.
WHO: Brandless was launched in July 2017 by Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler as a brand built for profit and purpose. Brandless made hundreds of better-for-you, everyday essentials, including organic, non-GMO food, clean beauty and personal care products, nontoxic cleaners, and home goods offered at simple fair prices. Brandless also created and curated original digital content ranging from recipes to life hacks and spotlights on people doing good in the world. Brandless partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks, in order to support those affected by the daily hunger crisis in America.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Two years ago Brandless set out to create a new standard in the wellness and sustainable products industry, and we couldn’t be more proud of what they created and the hundreds of thousands of customers served,” the Brandless board said in a joint statement. “While the direct-to-consumer market is fiercely competitive and ultimately proved unsustainable for their business model, the work the Brandless team did to elevate better for you, better for the planet products has moved the entire industry forward.”
“I’m proud of what we created at Brandless and the hard work and dedication of everyone on the team,” said Brandless’ CEO (former CFO) Evan Price in an email to Protocol. “Brandless set a new standard in the wellness and sustainable products industry, and while we weren’t able to compete competitively in today’s DTC market, I’m confident the next great brands of tomorrow will be built from this experience.”
“The era of growth at all costs are over,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of SoftBank Vision Fund-backed Uber, following his company’s earnings report last week. SoftBank’s Vision Fund itself is floundering, as key executives leave the firm, and its fund sequel, the $108 billion Vision Fund 2, is “far short” of its funding goal.
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