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Secret

Online platform to share personal secrets

General Information
Category
Social Media
Country
United States
Started
In 2013
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2015
Cause of Failure
Legal Challenges
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Two
Name of Founders
Chrys Bader-Wechseler, David Byttow
Number of Employees
Between 11 And 50
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
3
Total Funding Amount
$35M
Number of Investors
21
Description

Secret was an Android and iOS app that allowed users to post content anonymously with their circle of friends or share it with a wider public. The app gained interest - and was at one point valued at 100 million- because it provided an outlet to those that didn’t want to be bound by the ‘real name’ rule of other social applications and face consequences for sharing their opinions and preferences. It also distinguished itself from other anonymous apps in that its interest factor for users could be higher since they knew that the person that shared a certain post on the app was someone that was in their contact list or circle of friends. The app became very addictive and some users said they routinely went through the motion of uninstalling the app only to install it again soon after that. The app was especially used in Silicon Valley.

Cause of Failure

The number of active users of the app rapidly declined after only 18 months from its launch.

After the initial thrill and interest of the users, a more negative and unpleasant use of the app emerged. Users, under the cloak of anonymity, engaged in all forms of cyberbullying and harassment. Secret moderators stated they weren’t ready to deal with the flood of negative posts and inappropriate behavior.

As cyberbullying stories increased, so did the media news that covered such stories. A court ruling in Brazil even banned Secret from the country deeming it unconstitutional since although free speech was allowed, free speech (and the harassments that said speech could contain) should not be anonymous.

The app lost traction and was eventually suspended.

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Poliana

Web application that simplified the legislative system

Analytics
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$15K
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United States
In 2013
By 2015
Four
Between 1 And 10
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Shut Down
Sunrise

Calendar app for mobile and desktop

Productivity
Acquired
$8.2M
Bad Business Model
Productivity
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In 2012
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Two
Between 11 And 50
Between 1M 10M
Bad Business Model
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Crowdmix

Music streaming and sharing platform

Music
Acquired
£14M
Mismanagement of Funds
Music
United Kingdom
In 2013
By 2016
Two
Between 101 And 250
Between 10M 50M
Mismanagement of Funds
Acquired
Yik Yak

Anonymous location-based social network

Social Media
Shut Down
$73.5M
Legal Challenges
Social Media
United States
In 2013
By 2017
Three
Between 11 And 50
More Than 50M
Legal Challenges
Shut Down
Argyle Social

Provided social media management tools

Marketing
Shut Down
$1.6M
Competition
Marketing
United States
In 2010
By 2014
One
Between 11 And 50
Between 1M 10M
Competition
Shut Down
MatterFab

Selling affordable solutions for metal 3-D printing

Software and Hardware
Shut Down
$13.2M
Bad Business Model
Software and Hardware
United States
In 2013
By 2019
One
Between 1 And 10
Between 10M 50M
Bad Business Model
Shut Down
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