Flowtab failure


Mobile app to order drinks on nightclubs


Flowtab was a mobile app that wanted to use technology to solve the problem of long queues in bars and hospitality venues. Flowtab created an app that would show users a list of drinks they could order from their mobiles without having to wait for the bartender to take their order. The app was connected to the bar's iPad which would then sync the orders to the POS terminal of the bar and payments would be are sent to the bar's bank account.


Food and Beverage
United States
In 2011
By 2013
Number of Founders
Name of Founders
Mike Townsend
Number of Employees
Between 51 And 100
Number of Funding Rounds
Total Funding Amount
Number of Investors
Precise Cause of Failure
Bad Business Model
Business Outcome
Shut Down

Cause of Failure

Flowtab tried various business model but could never found one that was both feasible and profitable. On paper, any bar would have wanted to use such an application. In reality, it proved quite hard for the company to get deals. This type of service requires a large number of users to be profitable since they only charged the customer $1 after they successfully placed an order. However, users don't usually stick to the same bars but would often choose a different one from week to week, and most users only used the app once or twice per month. Things could have still worked out, but when, in a promotional event they invited about hundred people to various clubs, their technology failed them and the founders resorted to serving drinks themselves to angry customers. This caused many people to leave one-star ratings for the app further thinning the chances of the app success.

Since their founding was limited they were also understaffed and a very small team had to take care of everything. After a couple more pivots and some members of the team leaving to pursue other goals, Flowtab finally decided to shut doors.

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