Wim, the company behind a frozen yogurt machine which utilizes proprietary pods to create fro-yo at home, has suspended operations according to a message on the company’s website.
It was just six months ago that the company announced their product to the public, so it’s a bit surprising to see the company shut things down so soon. While there could be any number of reasons a company decides to call it quits – often the most likely is sales were soft and that they ran out of cash – but with Wim, it looks like the may have found a better opportunity as the core of a new project at Walmart’s innovation hub, Store No 8.
That’s because about the time Wim announced they’d be closing the doors, Walmart announced they’d hired the Wim team to run Project Franklin, a new portfolio company within Store No 8. It’s unclear what exactly Stein’s team will be doing at Project Franklin (we’ve reached out to company CEO Bart Stein for comment), but the post on Walmart’s Store No 8 site may be a cryptic hint. It says Stein’s team has “created some of the most thoughtfully-designed home devices on the market and we’re excited to bring that experience and fresh perspective to Store No 8.”
While it’s too soon to say whether this new group will be working on home hardware, it does make you wonder if Stein and his team could be creating an equivalent to Amazon’s Lab 126.
With Stein and his team off to Walmart, we can only speculate whether Wim would have made it had the team not gotten a better offer. I’d never tasted Wim yogurt, but the early reviews were good. Still, it wasn’t clear that they could prove to the consumer that it was that much better than the kind they could buy at the grocery store. $299 is a lot to spend on a dessert making appliance.
According to Walmart, they have no plans to continue with Wim’s development.
You can see the letter from Stein in its entirety below:
Dear Wim customers and partners,
We’ve worked on Wim for almost 3 years making countless people smile with the combinations of technology and food. But, today, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend operations. We’re eternally humbled and grateful for your support over these last few years. Our team is prepping for our next adventure, and while we’ll no longer be at Wim Yogurt, that doesn’t mean that Wim is shutting down forever.
During this temporary suspension, Wim’s board of directors is going to think about the company’s future and will update you on any material developments.
If you’re a Wim customer, we are offering a full refund ($299) for your appliance. Please check your email for instructions on how to process your refund.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. If you have any additional questions on what this means, please don’t hesitate to contact my personal email address below.
Bart Stein, CEO and Co-Founder