SoftBank-Backed Brandless Closes Down

Andrew Cummings
February 13, 2020

"Brandless, a San Francisco-based e-commerce firm that produced and sold a variety of" cruelty-free" goods in personal and beauty care, family, pet and baby categories has closed its doors less than three decades later formally opening them in July 2017.

"In an announcement supplied to the news outlet Protocol, the business mentioned a" fiercely competitive" retail sector. Included in its shut-down, business will allegedly lay off 70 workers, together with 10 staying aboard to solve outstanding orders and figure out how to market its residual assets.

The company's short term will not be a complete surprise for industry watchers.

Although both sides have proclaimed a desire to keep relations friendly, "investors say Elliott's demand that SoftBank buy back $20bn of shares, provide more transparency on the more than 80 companies it has invested in through its Vision Fund and make governance changes, sets up a clash between Mr Son, a man who has built his career on taking huge risks, and a fund that has defined modern activist investing", according to It was a surprising development, given that the organization's relatively nascent enterprise.

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. Most items are priced at $3.

At that time, Evan Price, the then Brandless CFO, became the company's interim CEO. The plan was to have products on shelves in 2020, as well as expand into CBD products.

Certainly, the development undermines SoftBank's already unstable reputation for its intelligent agreements.

It is also worth noting that of the $ 240 million in SoftBank dollars announced in 2018, only half of that amount seems to have left it unmarked.

Apparently, that did not happen, and according to Protocol, Brandless's board, including Price, Leffler, SoftBank managing director Jeff Housenbold, Jeff Brody of Redpoint and Colin Bryant of NEA, made a decision to close the company while they could still provide packages of compensation to employees.

"After more than two incredible years of bringing customers across the country better for you and better for the planet products, Brandless is halting operations".

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