Nearly two years ago LivBlends was a Y Combinator smoothie delivery startup. The company has evolved since then, raised $3.8 million in seed from various investors and switched its name to Replenish.
It’s also moved away from delivery and into manufacturing a line of Keurig-like self-cleaning smoothie machines.
Replenish is still in the testing phase of the product, but founders Elise Polezel and Matthew Udomphol recently launched in some pilot locations around San Francisco — employees at SAP, Lucasfilm, SolarCity, Sephora, VMware, Uber and New Relic have been able to get the first taste of Replenish’s product for the past few months.
Where does the startup plan to go from here? Just like the idea behind its smoothie delivery business, Replenish plans to go after the B2B market by placing its machines in offices for free through food delivery services, then charging customers for the pre-made food pods used with the machines.
Each pod costs $3.50 to $5, depending on the recipe, and comes specially formulated with ingredients to make certain smoothie flavors. The founders also emphasized all ingredients are sugar-free and they try to pick organic ingredients where it makes sense. The pods are 100 percent recyclable plastic and Replenish says it is working on adding 100 percent compostable cups, as well.
It works in a pretty simple way. All you do is pick a pod, pop it in the machine and Replenish does the rest. It even claims to be self-cleaning, so you don’t get the normal mess after smoothie-making.
It’s easy to compare what Replenish is doing with juice machine startup Juicero, which raised a whopping $70 million from investors and is also going after the office worker industry. However, Replenish differs in several ways. For one, it’s a smoothie maker, not a juice maker, which means it leaves all the fiber intact. The founders also provide pods that can make baby food, hot soups, hummus and other types of purees.
Some example recipes from Replenish include:
- Green Chakra
Spinach, mint, cucumber, pear, pineapple, cashew, coconut milk, honey, lemon juice
- P.B. Protein
Peanut butter, unsweetened pea protein, banana, almond milk, avocado, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, almond
- Blue Apricot
Blueberry, apricot, pumpkin seed, cinnamon
- Coffee Date
Cold brew coffee, banana, cashew, almond milk, coconut milk, date, vanilla, honey, psyllium husk
TechCrunch went to check out the latest design at Replenish’s R&D lab on the outer skirts of San Francisco’s Mission District and try some of its smoothies (I tried the Green Chakra). Check out the video above to get a look at our visit and for more on how it works.
For those wanting a Replenish in their office, the startup has just launched a pre-order campaign, so contact your company’s food vendor to sign up if you want to try out one of these machines in the near future.