Failed Silicon Valley startups

10 Failed Silicon Valley Startups & the Reasons Behind

Here's a list of 10 Silicon Valley startups that went from millions in funding and huge teams to shut down, as well as analyses on why they failed.

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Here’s a collection of 10 failed Silicon Valley startups.

Some of them secured +$100M in funding and built huge teams.

Some others went the bootstrapped way and stayed lean.

In any case, they have all shut down and that has a reason. Find it out!

10 Failed Silicon Valley Startups

1) Munchery

Munchery

Munchery allowed users to order this food and have it delivered straight to their doorstep. Despite its ambitious mission, Munchery could not deliver on the gourmet experience that it promised and closed its doors to users after being unable to build a profitable business model.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Conrad Chu, Tri Tran, Van Tran
  • Category: Food and Beverage
  • Started in: 2011
  • Closed in: 2019
  • Nº of employees: 100-250
  • Funding Amount: $125.4M
  • Specific cause of failure: Multiple reasons

You can read more about Munchery’s failure here.

2) Move Loot

Move Loot

Move Loot was an online resale marketplace for furniture. They officially closed down in July 2016. One of the key issues pointed out was its poor plan of action. They selected to work a substantial furniture stockroom without precisely thinking about the expenses of running it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Bill Bobbitt, Jenny Karin Morrill, Ryan Smith, Shruti Shah
  • Category: e-Commerce
  • Started in: 2013
  • Closed in: 2016
  • Nº of employees: 50-100
  • Funding Amount: $21.8M
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad business model

You can read more about Move Loot’s failure here.

3) Leap Transit

Leap Transit

Leap transit was a private transport service based in San Francisco, they offered bus services with eye-catching and comfortable interiors. The primary reason for Leap quick exit from the private transport scene was their failure to comply with the San Francisco regulations.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Kyle Kirchhoff
  • Category: Transportation
  • Started in: 2013
  • Closed in: 2015
  • Nº of employees: 50-100
  • Funding Amount: $2.5M 
  • Specific cause of failure: Legal challenges

You can read more about Leap Transit’s failure here.

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4) Secret

Secret

Secret was an Android and iOS app that allowed users to post content anonymously. The number of active users of the app rapidly declined after only 18 months from its launch. Moreover, a negative and unpleasant use of the app emerged. These were the causes of their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Chrys Bader-Wechseler, David Byttow
  • Category: Social media
  • Started in: 2013
  • Closed in: 2015
  • Nº of employees: 10-50
  • Funding Amount: $35M
  • Specific cause of failure: Legal challenges

You can read more about Secret’s failure here.

5) Juicero

Juicero

Juicero was a juice company that collected fresh organic fruits and vegetables for the customers, prepared, and put them in special single serve packets. Juicero failed to build a profitable business after raising a substantial amount of funds under the claim of innovation and disruption.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Doug Evans
  • Category: Food and Beverage
  • Started in: 2013
  • Closed in: 2017
  • Nº of employees: 100-250
  • Funding Amount: $118.5M
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad business model

You can read more about Juicero’s failure here.

6) Friendster

Friendster

Friendster was a social gaming site, widely popular in the Asian region. The big problem of Friendster was that it never put emphasis on the social news feed feature. User use and registration declined and the company struggled to regain influence and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Jonathan Abrams
  • Category: Social Media
  • Started in: 2001
  • Closed in: 2015
  • Nº of employees: 10-50
  • Funding Amount: $48.5M
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad market fit

You can read more about Friendster’s failure here.

7) Ansaro

Ansaro

Sam was one of the co-founders of Ansaro, a SaaS that aimed to revolutionize the recruiting industry. They raised $3M, grew the team to 6 members and earned in total $100k. But with expenses of $70k/month and no product-market fit, they had to shut down 2 years later.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Sam Stone 
  • Category: Software & Hardware
  • Started in: 2016
  • Closed in: 2018
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: $3M
  • Specific cause of failure: No idea validation

You can read more about Ansaro’s failure here.

8) Playdate

Playdate

Logan was the CEO and CTO of Playdate, an on-demand social networking app. In two years, the startup grew to a team of 7 at its peak and 5,000 monthly active users. However, a collection of causes made the startup uninvestable and they eventually run out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Logan Rado
  • Category: Social media
  • Started in: 2016
  • Closed in: 2018
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: None
  • Specific cause of failure: Bad business model

You can read more about Playdate’s failure here.

9) Singulution

Singulution

Hunt was a software engineer at a Silicon Valley company when he decided to build Singulution, a point of sale & business management solution for multi-location vendors. However, after 10 months of work and $30,000 spent, he couldn’t validate his idea and ran out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Hunt Burdick
  • Category: Software & Hardware
  • Started in: 2017
  • Closed in: 2018
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: None
  • Specific cause of failure: No idea validation

You can read more about Singulution’s failure here.

10) Swipes

Swipes

With 2 partners, Stefan co-founded Swipes, a company that developed productivity tools. The startup went through all stages and experiences, even almost fundraising $1M. However, over the 6 years of running, they weren’t able to really find product-market fit and they eventually ran out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders: Stefan Vladimirov
  • Category: Software & Hardware
  • Started in: 2013
  • Closed in: 2019
  • Nº of employees: 1-10
  • Funding Amount: +$30k
  • Specific cause of failure: Lack of capital

You can read more about Swipes’ failure here.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed our collection of 10 failed Silicon Valley startups.

If you want to keep learning about failed startups, you should give a look to our Startup Cemetery and interviews with failed startup founders.

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