Startup Cemetery

A big resource for entrepreneurs and startup owners, in which we have collected and analyzed why +100 big companies have failed. Learn from mistakes, and avoid being part of the 90% of businesses that fail.

Mailbox

Inbox that made email light, fast, and mobile-friendly.

General Information
Category
Productivity
Country
United States
Started
In 2011
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2015
Cause of Failure
Bad Business Model
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Gentry Underwood, Scott Cannon
Number of Employees
Between 501 And 1000
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
1
Total Funding Amount
$5M
Number of Investors
6
Description

Mailbox launched in early 2013 and was able to gather over 1 million registrations for its trial plan.

The app promised to make your inbox more manageable, fast and efficient. It introduced the swipe option to archive emails, snooze feature to read mail later and mute unimportant conversations. Mailbox used machine learning to anticipate and sort mails for the user to always show them the most relevant messages. Many of today's email services providers have incorporated Mailbox’s innovations into their product.

Cause of Failure

One month after the official launch, Dropbox bought Mailbox stating that this sleek app would be a great addition to their collaborative products.

Already as a standalone product, the Mailbox team showed creativity and technical skills in their product design, but being able to monetize the app was another matter. Just as with calendars app, mailboxes might be useful for people, but only to a certain point. People are not willing to pay for such products, nor expect to. The only way similar products could make money or return the invested money is by being acquired. However, even this did not work out too well for Mailbox. A couple of years after the acquisition, Mailbox shutdown as Dropbox could not find a way to integrate it into their main product and concept.

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