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Sunrise

Calendar app for mobile and desktop
Startup Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Productivity
Country:
France
Started:
2012
BUSINESS FAILURE
Outcome:
Acquired
Cause:
Bad Business Model
Closed:
2016
FOUNDERS & EMPLOYEES
Number of Founders:
2
Name of Founders:
Jeremy Le Van, Pierre Valade
Number of Employees:
10-50
FUNDING
Number of Funding Rounds:
4
Total Funding Amount:
$8.2M
Number of Investors:
27

What was Sunrise?

Sunrise was a calendar app for mobile and desktop. One of the main features of the app was to connect users and calendars from different providers using different web and mobile platforms, from iOS and Android devices to MacBook and Microsoft devices as well as web clients. Through Sunrise, users could access calendars from their Gmail, iCloud and Microsoft Exchange all with the goal to simplify the use of calendars and the event planning process.

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Why did Sunrise fail and shut down?

Sunrise had good reviews from users, the problem is that calendars are very hard to monetize and they have a very low entry barrier. Sunrise differentiated itself in that it worked as a native app and could integrate seamlessly with other applications, and yet it’s challenging to have a large customer base when there are plenty of products that do the same job for free.

So, the company shut down because of two main reasons: difficulty in finding new customers and the ability to profit from the customers. Although the sunrise app offered certain attractive features like its linkage to Microsoft Outlook, the future of calendars has never looked more than the past. Sam Lessin, a Facebook executive commented, there are many “non-monetizable product blind spot [..] that people want but they are not good businesses.” Sunrise was purchased by Microsoft in February 2015.

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