Fuhu

Designer and seller of cloud-served softwares
Startup Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Software & Hardware
Country:
United States
Started:
2006
BUSINESS FAILURE
Outcome:
Acquired
Cause:
Mismanagement of Funds
Closed:
2015
FOUNDERS & EMPLOYEES
Number of Founders:
3
Name of Founders:
John Hui, Robb Fujioka, Steve Hui
Number of Employees:
500-1,000
FUNDING
Number of Funding Rounds:
5
Total Funding Amount:
$66.2M
Number of Investors:
8

What was Fuhu?

Fuhu Inc. is most famously associated with the Nabi series of Tablets. Among the first product they came up with was urFooz which were digital trading cards, urDrive a software that permitted devices to install and run the applications straight from a USB device, and Fooz Kids a mobile device platform which was a safe browser for kids that enabled access to only selected areas of the internet. The Nabi series of red padded tablets for kids, however, is their signature product.

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Why did Fuhu fail and shut down?

Fuhu went bankrupt, even though it ranked 1st on the Inc 500 companies list for two years in a row.

The company amassed an enormous amount of debt and had a very high burn rate. The level of disregard for any type of financial management was so high that the firm had only one accountant and one bookkeeper despite its 300+ employees.

Fuhu had one good idea which brought them to the top, but could never replicate it and kept borrowing money in the millions from various companies with the hope that they will be able to produce the next Nabi and break even.

In particular, Fuhu owed Foxconn, a Chinese hardware manufacturer, between $60 to $110 million. The Chinese giant had previously already demanded from Fuhu to restrict its operational costs but little was done on that front. Suddenly, the company just decided to stop backing up Fuhu and everything fell apart for the private U.S. based company.

Later, Mattel purchased Fuhu’s assets for just $21.5 million. Fuhu’s CEO, Robb Fujioka, still hopes to come back with alternative ideas that will revolutionize the world and seems to have considered Fuhu’s faith as an experience every major entrepreneur faces at some point in their career.

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