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.

This is Brought to You by:
Acadium

Acadium

120 hours of digital marketing from a remote apprentice for only $299 (+ $50 off!)

NerdPilots

NerdPilots

Get fast, reliable web, mobile and software development help 24/7.

This could be your AD. Sponsor Startup Cemetery to reach +10,000 entrepreneurs.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Invite us into your inbox and get immense learning and 80+ deals on tools to help you scale your startup (worth up to $50,000)!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Rafter

Textbook and course material provider for schools

General Information
Category
Education
Country
United States
Started
In 2006
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2016
Cause of Failure
Competition
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
One
Name of Founders
Sara Leoni
Number of Employees
Between 51 And 100
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
7
Total Funding Amount
$86M
Number of Investors
7
Description

Rafter was a textbook and course material provider for schools and colleges. The company, previously known as BookRenter, initially focused only on providing textbooks to educational institutions but decided to completely change strategy to gain an upper hand on its competitors. The company rebranded as Rafter and started providing cloud-based course material. Rafter worked with small to medium colleges in particular, which found the bulk deals they were able to get hold of with Rafter advantageous. In this way, colleges were able to lower the prices of campus store books thus encouraging students to buy course material from the university instead of off-campus sites. Rafter also allowed instructors to find, sample and manage course material and provided digital books, audio, and video media as well as codes to access various online courses platforms.

Cause of Failure

Rafter had much competition from the start and it had to deal with both logistical, financial and market challenges from the onset. For starters, it was hard to convince large institutions to buy from the company as a single-source network of providing texts and notes. Also, not all students were pleased with Rafter’s model as they thought they could get textbooks for more affordable prices on their own and they didn’t appreciate the fact that the company required them to return the books at the end of the term.

However, the most crucial challenge for the company was the evolution of technology and its widespread adoption and inclusion into universities. Colleges could now directly deal online with the publisher so the need to have a middle agent such as Rafter became minimal. Rafter announced its shut down in 2016. The digital assets of Rafter, including its Rafter360 solutions, were successively bought by eCampus in 2017.

Go on Reading

Dazo

India's first curated food demand platform

Food and Beverage
Shut Down
No Data
Competition
Food and Beverage
India
In 2015
By 2016
Two
Between 11 And 50
No Data
Competition
Shut Down
Tutorspree

Web-based tuition services

Education
Acquired
$1.8M
Bad Marketing
Education
United States
In 2010
By 2013
Three
Between 51 And 100
Between 1M 10M
Bad Marketing
Acquired
Friendster

Social gaming site focused on entertainment

Social Media
Shut Down
$48.5M
Bad Market Fit
Social Media
Philippines
In 2001
By 2015
One
Between 11 And 50
Between 10M 50M
Bad Market Fit
Shut Down
Circa

Mobile news app on diverse topics

Productivity
Acquired
$4.7M
Multiple Reasons
Productivity
United States
In 2011
By 2015
Three
Between 11 And 50
Between 1M 10M
Multiple Reasons
Acquired
MySpace

Social network based on personal user pages

Social Media
Still Active
$37.8M
Multiple Reasons
Social Media
United States
In 2003
Active
Seven
Between 251 And 500
Between 10M 50M
Multiple Reasons
Still Active
Verelo

Offered website monitoring services

Analytics
Acquired
No Data
Lack of Funds
Analytics
Canada
In 2012
By 2012
Two
Between 1 And 10
No Data
Lack of Funds
Acquired
This is Brought to You by:
NerdPilots

NerdPilots

Get fast, reliable web, mobile and software development help 24/7.

Acadium

Acadium

120 hours of digital marketing from a remote apprentice for only $299 (+ $50 off!).

This could be your AD. Sponsor Startup Cemetery to reach +10,000 entrepreneurs.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Invite us into your inbox and get immense learning and 80+ deals on tools to help you scale your startup (worth up to $50,000)!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.