Brandless ReviewMy assortment of Brandless products.Business Insider/Dennis Green

  • Brandless launched in 2017 as an online store that sells everything, even organic and specialty goods, for $3.
  • It just announced it raised $240 million in a Series C funding round led by Softbank, with the goal of becoming a bigger player in the online-shopping realm.
  • I tried the online shop soon after it launched and found it operated a lot like a dollar store.

Brandless is a new e-commerce startup offering a wide assortment of own-brand household and food items, each at the magical price of $3. 

The idea behind Brandless is that it can add value for the consumer by selling quality merchandise without a so-called “brand tax.” Instead of having a big logo emblazoned on a product, the actual attributes of the product are listed on the package instead. 

Founders Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler came up with the idea as they looked at how consumer behavior had changed in recent years, and how many big name brands are struggling as a result.

“The false narrative of modern consumption, that brands have created and products have created, was actually dying a fast and painful death,” Sharkey, who is the company’s CEO, told Business Insider in a 2017 interview.

She added that customers are more likely to shop in accordance with what they value, whether that’s a preference for organic or non-GMO products or a good value.

Now, nearly a year after the online shop first appeared on the scene, Brandless is getting a major shot in the arm with a new round of funding led by Softbank. The $240 million investment will enable the brand to grow and take on e-commerce giants like Amazon.

“After just one year, we already offer more than 300 proprietary Brandless products and ship to 48 states every day in support of our thriving #Brandlesslife community. SoftBank’s deep experience in e-commerce, global network and long-term perspective will help us accelerate our mission to make better stuff accessible and affordable for more people,” Sharkey said in a statement about the funding round on Tuesday. 

I was enticed by Brandless’ promise when it launched, so I decided to try it out. Here’s what it was like to use: