SoftBank-Backed Brandless Closes Down

Posted on 02/11/2020

San Francisco-based e-commerce company Brandless, Inc. closed down its business. As part of the closing, Brandless is laying off 70 employees, while 10 employees remain onboard to assist with winding down operations. Brandless made hundreds of organic, non-GMO food, beauty and personal care products, non-toxic cleaners, and home goods.

The company opened its doors in July 2017. On July 31, 2018, the massive SoftBank Vision Fund invested US$ 240 million in Brandless via Series C round, which valued the company at just over US$ 500 million. However, Brandless did not get the full amount, as SoftBank wanted Brandless to generate profit. The funding was promised and arranged as installments and paid over when Brandless would meet certain financial targets. SoftBank ended up investing US$ 100 million altogether.

Existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Redpoint Ventures, GV (Google Ventures – part of Alphabet), and Sherpa Capital also participated in the Series C round.

The SoftBank Vision Fund is managed by Japan-based SoftBank Group Corporation.

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