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6 Failed Agency Startups & their Case Studies

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On Deck is where top talent comes to accelerate their ideas and build companies, surrounded by a world-class community.

Countless startups are being launched every day.

Many fail because they did not learn from the success of other companies who've managed to rise above.

We just published this list of 6 agency startups with analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.


6 Failed Agency Startups

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Salorix

Salorix

Salorix offered an engagement platform for brands. It closed down because of its inability to raise money after its investors stopped supporting it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Santanu Bhattacharya

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

You can read more about their failure here.

Bediwin Information Services

Bediwin Information Services

James is a IT professional who decided to start a business on a “IT-manager-for-hire” type model. He built the company with really few resources and tools and started looking for clients. At peak, he was earning £2,500, but after some years, he had to shut down as he realized his business model was completely broken.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    James Cort

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Hawthorne Strategies

Hawthorne Strategies

Michael Hawthorne Jr. was the founder of Atlanta-based consulting agency Hawthorne Strategies LLC. The agency worked with NFL Players to develop their philanthropic foundations and awareness campaigns to address community issues that they cared about. Read on to know how overwhelm, overwork, and failing to scale led the potentially-profitable business to the ground.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Michael Hawthorne

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

InoVVorX

InoVVorX

InoVVorX was an app development company that both worked for clients and built their own projects. The business did it well for some time, having a team of 25 people, making $300k from their services, and raising $100k. However, their plans on working on their own products (too many of them) meant they started burning all the money and eventually had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Maxim Dsouza

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Uptrend

Uptrend

Maverick shifted from being an athlete to becoming an entrepreneur after seriously pondering what he wanted in life. He founded Uptrend, a deal sourcing agency for M&A firms in the US. He had some trial and errors initially but found his footing after he met an M&A advisor on a Facebook group who became his accountability partner. However, the business eventually closed down in January 2020 due to burnout and not having a foreseeable future.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Maverick Lim

  • Country:

    Singapore

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Vulpine

Vulpine

Derric Haynie is an entrepreneur based in Oakland, California who, years ago, launched Vulpine Interactive, a social media and advertising agency. Peaking at 10 clients, $40k/mo and 5 employees, things were expected to keep going well. However, they ended up shutting the business and walked away with $70k in debt. Learn what happened!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Derric Haynie

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

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