Pop up the website for Philgood subscription box firm Ultra and you might think the company is still operating normally. Cheerful people photos are mixed in bold language about beautiful, durable and useful products.
But there is one very important detail that the company did not communicate with potential customers: AllTrue is going out of business. The company, formerly known as Cosbox, is liquidating and closing, according to a document seen by Forbes.
Ultra has never announced that it is closing its virtual doors, with customers desperately searching for answers on Reddit, where a copy of the document first appeared last week. Disappointed customers are still waiting for orders they have already paid for, while sellers say they are sitting on a total of at least $ 1.9 million in unnecessary shipments. The “Reserve Now” button at the top of the website doesn’t work, but users can still submit their email and payment information to join the waiting list somewhere else on the site.
The Los Angeles-based firm laid off about 50 of its employees earlier this month, according to a former employee’s LinkedIn post, at the same time filing papers to start an assignment for the benefit of Altru lenders, a voluntary alternative to formality. Since bankruptcy does not require filing lawsuits in public court in California, the move could be taken by distressed businesses to reduce publicity, said Richard H. Golubo, co-founder and managing partner of Newport Beach-based law firm Winthrop Golubo Hollander.
“[Alltrue] He is indebted to various creditors and is unable to repay his debt in full and has decided to close his business, ”said another document relating to liquidation.
Forbes Alltrue has spoken to five sellers but only one will agree to use their names. The Canadian-based Mintier, co-founded by Rachel Gillespie and Jessica Shepard, was on its way to selling more than 100,000 bottles of its sugar-free, oil-based breath mint at Ultru last month. But in early April, AllTrue suddenly lost contact; It also did not pay past arrears for a small invoice earlier this year.
“It’s really frustrating because it looks like we’re not paying, or we’re not getting our product back, so it’s definitely a hit for us,” Gillespie said. “It was the largest order we have ever received as a company.”
CEO Matt Richardson, who did not make a public statement when the company decided to close, confirmed Forbes An assignment is being processed for the benefit of that Ultra Creditor on Tuesday night. “Unfortunately, I am not allowed to comment at this time,” he wrote in an email. “The giver is hoping to get an update soon, there will be more information to share at this time.”
Richardson co-founded AllTrue in 2014 with his childhood friend Brett McCallum. They have billed it as a way to support small, mostly women-run businesses. It has created a group of loyal fans who have joined the Facebook group dedicated to discussing, selling and trading their Ultra items with other customers (the most popular group has 15,000 members). Noting how much they’re helping local artisans, both founders have been named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 social impact list.
According to Pitchbook, a year later, the company raised an undisclosed amount in 2020 from Ali Capital, Headline and Bling Capital. None of Alltrue’s investors immediately responded to the request for comment Forbes.
AllTrue, which changed its name from Causebox in 2021, sold quarterly subscription boxes to all kinds of “ethical and sustainable” lifestyle products-frying pans, vegan leather totes, portable speakers, welcome mats, and more. Last year, the company claimed to have more than 300,000 customers, each paying between $ 50 and $ 55 per box.
As a responsible company, its carefully crafted image contrasts with its actual behavior toward sellers, according to 18 who gathered to share information on Reddit and try to get their due when third parties begin to cancel Alltrue’s assets. Companies that are expected to be featured by AllTrue this year have never been paid for collectively shipped products, leaving at least one small business out of $ 400,000 and on the verge of bankruptcy. Seven brands say they owe $ 100,000 or more. Their efforts to contact Altru were met with silence, five vendors said Forbes. While these businesses may file a claim as one of AllTrue’s creditors, it is not yet clear if they will ever receive payouts or recover their products, some of which are handmade and similar. Altogether, sellers say they have lost 170,000 units of unpaid products from their business.
“Unfortunately, creditors often get nothing or only a small payout,” Golubo, the lawyer, said.
It’s not just money. These businesses now have to think about what will happen after their product is sold to pay off the company’s debt. “It can be sold anywhere, so cheaply. It takes away all our control, our prestige. It’s a little scary,” said one seller.
Customers are also angry. AllTrue gives buyers the option to pay for a single box, or they can purchase a four-box annual subscription for around $ 200. AllTrue offers additional products every quarter as a voluntary add-on. Amy Colton, a 51-year-old Ultra customer from Baltimore, Maryland, said she was impressed with the goal and commitment to highlight eco-friendly brands and signed up in 2020. He says Forbes In December he was mistakenly charged for an annual subscription even though he wanted to go for a quarterly subscription. He didn’t even get the last box, which he had already paid twice for, or for the add-on items he had expected in April. Now he is trying to get back $ 569.55 from his bank
“I tried and tried to talk to a real person, but then I did a Google search for AllTrue and I saw on Facebook that it was going down. That’s when I started contacting my bank and trying to resolve the issue, “he said.
Although Altru’s death appeared to be accidental, it was not the first time he had faced an investigation. While it was still known as Causebox, the company voluntarily withdrew stainless steel kettles shipped to customers in early 2021 because they created the risk of burns. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the company has received 122 reports of hot water or excessive vapor emissions from kettles, resulting in 18 minor burns. AllTrue offers যারা 20 account credit to customers who have received Kettley. At the time, the company agreed to take the kettles home with the names of Brooklyn-based artisan brands Rose and Fitzgerald under the kettle as part of a licensing agreement.
Pamela Mars, a YouTuber who posted an ultra-unboxing video on her channel, summed up the company’s demise as follows: MO ”