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Bad Business Model Failures

67 Failed Startups with a Bad Business Model

Here's a list of 67 failed startups with a bad business model, analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.

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Countless startups around the world are being launched every week.

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 67 startups that failed due to a bad business model, along with analyses on why they shut down and interviews with their founders.


67 Failed Startups with a Bad Business Model

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Aria Insights

Aria Insights

Aria Insights developed highly advanced drones. After some pivots, the company couldn't find out the correct business model and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Helen Greiner

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Berg

Berg

Berg was a cloud platform on which Little Printer, an IoT device, worked. They had loyal supporters, but couldn't convert it into a sustainable business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Matt Webb

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Design

  • Started in:

    2005

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Call9

Call9

Call9 was a health startup targeted at patients who needed to speak with a doctor. The founder's inability to achieve growth, led to its shut down in 2019.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Celina Tenev, Timothy Peck, XiaoSong Mu

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

ChaCha

ChaCha

ChaCha was a search engine where you interacted with a human being. However, the startup got stiff competition when Google released its Panda algorithm.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brad Bostic & Scott Jones

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2005

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Circa

Circa

Circa had the mission of ‘fixing’ what was wrong with journalism. They suffered a financial breakdown and were copied by giants in the news sector.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Arsenio Santos, Ben Huh, Matt Galligan

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

CircleBack Lending

CircleBack Lending

CircleBack Lending was a loan marketplace. Due to problems with profitability and issues with the industry, the startup was forced to cease its operations.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Manoj Ramnani & Patrick Questembert

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Design Inc.

Design Inc.

Design Inc. linked clients to talented designers. They reached market saturation and the startup could not make enough revenue to cover operation costs.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Bjoern Zinssmeister, Marc Hemeon

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Design

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Desti

Desti

Desti was a traveling and mapping iPad app that used AI to help planning a trip. Although users found it useful, they ended up booking on other platforms.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Imri Goldberg, Mosi Shuchman, Nadav Gur

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab offered a culinary experience with a group of strangers in an unusual place. They faced several problems, including the diner's timing.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brian Bordainick, Francisco Robert, Zach Kupperman

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Flowtab

Flowtab

Flowtab was an app that solved the problem of long queues in bars. They tried several business models but never found a profitable one, so they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Mike Townsend

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Juicero

Juicero

Juicero was a juice company that packed fresh organic fruits. They claimed their juicer was innovative, until customers found out the machine was useless.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Doug Evans

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Kitchit

Kitchit

Kitchit brought local chefs to your home. They had to compete with other big food providers in the same market, which provoked their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brendan Marshall, Ian Ferguson

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Lumos

Lumos

Lumos provided the ultimate smart switching tech. After the shutdown, the founders recognized they were not the right team to build a hardware company.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Pritesh Sankhe, Tarkeshwar Singh, Yash Kotak

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

Mailbox

Mailbox

Mailbox made your inbox more manageable and efficient. They didn't find a way to monetize the app. After being acquired by Dropbox, Mailbox shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Gentry Underwood, Scott Cannon

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    500-1,000

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Maple

Maple

Maple prepared and delivered meals in NY. They were losing money on each meal and it only began making a profit from 2016, just before they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Akshay Navle, Caleb Merkl

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

MatterFab

MatterFab

MatterFab had the goal of making metal-based manufacturing affordable. However, the business never found a profitable business model and pricing strategy.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Matthew Burris

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Move Loot

Move Loot

Move Loot was an online resale marketplace for furniture. They decided to have a furniture stockroom without thinking about the expenses of running it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Bill Bobbitt, Jenny Karin Morrill, Ryan Smith, Shruti Shah

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Parse

Parse

Parse offered a platform for mobile app devs with tools to let them build, run and test applications. Facebook bought Parse and shut it down in 2017.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Ilya Sukhar, James Yu, Kevin Lacker, Tikhon Bernstam

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

You can read more about their failure here.

PepperTap

PepperTap

PepperTap provided a platform to buy and deliver groceries from local markets. Customers found delivery fees too expensive for their needs, and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Milind Sharma, Navneet Singh

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    1,000-5,000

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

Poliana

Poliana

Poliana's aim was to bring order to the USA political system. They had low market demand and ran out of funds even after implementing 3 business models.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Grayson Carroll, Patrick Cason, Seth Whiting, Shawn Whiting

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Selltag

Selltag

Selltag was a web-based buy & sell platform. The CEO realized their business model would not be sustainable in the long term and shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Javier Escribano, Ruben Colomer, Juan Luis Hortelano, Walter Kobylanski

  • Country:

    Spain

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Failure to Pivot

You can read more about their failure here.

Sharingear

Sharingear

Sharinger was a marketplace for musicians to rent their instruments. They focused on a market that was too small and the business model was unsustainable.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Mircea Gabriel Eftemie

  • Country:

    Denmark

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Shuddle

Shuddle

Shuddle was the go-to service for parents that needed someone to drive their kids to school. Parents found it disappointing, so they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Nick Allen, Rodrigo Prudencio

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Shyp

Shyp

Shyp imitated the Uber model with an on-demand shipping service. However, they were unable to figure out a profitable business model and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jack Smith, Joshua Scott, Kevin Gibbon

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Sprig

Sprig

Sprig delivered meals to customers who were looking for healthy choices. Sprig found the process time-consuming and expensive, and decided to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Gagan Biyani, Matt Kent, Morgan Springer, Neeraj Berry

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Springpad

Springpad

Springpad was designed to empower users to clip, organize, and interpret all types of web content. The company failed to develop a monetization strategy.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jason Horman

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

You can read more about their failure here.

Stayzilla

Stayzilla

Stayzilla was a successful homestay network that raised $33.5M in funding. Their operational costs were too high and they were losing money every year.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Rupal Yogendra, Sachit Singhi, Sachit Singhi, Yogendra Vasupal

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2005

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

You can read more about their failure here.

Stereomood

Stereomood

Stereomood was a music platform that provided mood-based song listings. The company was acquired but they weren’t able to make a profit.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Daniele Novaga, Eleonora Viviani, Giovanni Ferron, Maurizio Pratici

  • Country:

    Italy

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

You can read more about their failure here.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise was a calendar app for mobile and desktop. They had good reviews from users, but calendars are hard to monetize and they have a low entry barrier.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jeremy Le Van, Pierre Valade

  • Country:

    France

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

TeeBeeDee

TeeBeeDee

TeeBeeDee was a social network aimed at people over 40 to share their experiences. They weren’t able to grow their user base fast enough to survive.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    David Markus, Jon Brandt, Robin Wolaner, Todd Basche

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Closed in:

    2009

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Transpose

Transpose

Transpose was a comprehensive information management platform. Operated for two years before shutting down due to the inability to generate enough revenue.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Hussein Ahmed, Matt Goyer, Samah Gad, Skyler Johnson-Wagner

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Turntable.fm

Turntable.fm

Turntable.fm was a platform on which DJ and fans were brought together. The cost of running it proved to be too expensive and they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Billy Chasen

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Vine

Vine

What happened to Vine?! Why did it shut down? When? Does TikTok face the same risk? Here's our detailed analysis.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Colin Kroll, Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Zoomo

Zoomo

Zoomo's goal was to build trust in the Indian used cars market. The buy-and-sell vehicle market was relatively young in India and decided to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Arnav Kumar, Himangshu Hazarika

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

101 Studios

101 Studios

101 Studios was a producer of video games that taught users things while they played. They went with a “business to professor” business model, but despite professors like the idea, they wouldn’t implement it in their classes. The startup could never reach product-market fit and shut down months later.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matt “GundayMonday” Sever

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

  • Closed in:

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Adproval

Adproval

Matthew founded Adproval, a marketplace to connect blogging and social media influencers with brands. Raised around $300k in funds and made $200/mo from their self-service software for bloggers. In the end, they made over $200k in revenue from consulting services but it wasn't enough.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matthew Anderson

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

Birdy

Birdy

The Birdy was a simple app to track spending habits. Corey never figured out how to monetize it which also caused scaling issues.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Corey Maass

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Chowdy

Chowdy

Steve and his housemate were always complaining food was expensive in Toronto. So, they came with a solution: hire a chef for themselves and 20 friends. This simple idea quickly escalated into a business, that, within a few months, was making +$110,000 per month. But, as it went up fast, it also came down rapidly. The business was involved in some legal problems, which forced the founders to shut it down. Read Steve’s failure story and learn from his mistakes!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Steven Long

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Cuddli

Cuddli

Robert was the co-founder of Cuddli, a dating app for geeks. The startup was based in the US but they had their development team in Croatia. Media features grew the app to 100k users but a combination of a small market and their inability to monetize the app forced the startup to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Robert Walker

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Formatically

Formatically

Duncan Hamra has been building businesses with his best friend Tyler since they were in high school. They built Formatically, an instant citation tool that didn't take off. We'll discuss what went wrong with this project, and how those learnings helped him start Memberstack.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Duncan Hamra

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Gawkbox

Gawkbox

GawkBox was a platform where viewers of live streams could play mobile games to donate real money to streamers. Chris co-founded this as his first startup and he was able to successfully raise $4.4M in venture funding, which the startup invested in marketing until they achieved 500k users and more than $1M in revenue. However, multiple mistakes and a series of reasons led to their shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Christopher Brownridge

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$5M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Graphite Docs

Graphite Docs

Justin Hunter had the courage to challenge Google Docs, all because he was scared of losing all his writing saved in the cloud. So he created Graphite Docs, a privacy-focused alternative to Google Docs powered by blockchain, that assured users that their saved files were indeed safe. And the effort paid off; he started gaining traction from individual users. However, he decided to focus on the B2B model, rather than B2C, and this decision cost him the business. Why? Read on to find it out.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Justin Hunter

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Gulp

Gulp

Jeff Orr and two friends in college started Gulp- an app to pay bar cover. Gulp was meant to replace the inconvenience of having to go an ATM to pay for a bar’s cover fee, but with the lack of affiliate marketing knowledge and some bad unit economics, the friends quickly ran out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jeff Orr

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

HitroNaSplet

HitroNaSplet

HitroNaSplet was a hosting reseller company. They invested a lot of time in SEO and achieved the first page in Google, which let them start making some monthly revenue. However, after some months, they realized it didn't generate enough revenue to be worth the time invested, so they closed their doors.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Ales Krivec

  • Country:

    Slovenia

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2010

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Hot Barber

Hot Barber

Hot Barber was a website that let hair stylists set up profiles and customers browse portfolios, but the founders couldn't find a way to monetize it!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Julia Enthoven

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Hubrif

Hubrif

Tobi Ogunwande is a Nigerian filmmaker who tried to build the Netflix for African short films as a result of his frustration to find great African movies. He partnered with a technical co-founder and soon after launching, they were seeing an average of 1,000 views on their films. However, they soon realized the market niche was too small and there wasn’t a clear business model. Eventually, they run out of money and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Tobi Ogunwande

  • Country:

    Nigeria

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Ink

Ink

Andrew Askins, in partner with two of his best friends, started his company Krit in 2014. In 2015 they launched Ink, a tool that let freelancers create contracts and get them signed online. They got a couple thousand free users, but ultimately got burnt out before they could make the business model work. Now, they have been able to overcome this failure and build a successful consulting business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andrew Askins

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

You can read more about their failure here.

Jobridge

Jobridge

Jasmeet is an Indian software engineer who a few years ago decided to build new revenue strategies for his business directory and decided to build a job board with a unique offline-online model. But their idea was too ahead to the time and, due to a bad business model, they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jasmeet Singh

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Juice Startup

Juice Startup

Wit Sumathavanit has recently started to pivot from offline to online entrepreneurship. But before that, he tried to build a juice business in Bangkok. He lost around $3,000 but those learnings impacted his process to validate new ideas.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Wit Sumathavanit

  • Country:

    Thailand

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Kaya.gs

Kaya.gs

In 2011, Gabriel decided to build a Go Server that would launch new features every few weeks. He and his co-founder built and launched it in 2 months and in the following months, they raised $20,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. 1 year into running and they were shut down: product, engineering, and morale were the problems to blame.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Gabriel Benmergui

  • Country:

    Argentina

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2012

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

Legaats

Legaats

Legaats was a web app where baby boomers and senior citizens could share their important life lessons. 5 were the causes of its failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Deepak Chhugani

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Lernin Games

Lernin Games

Jordi Miró has been building products and companies since 2007. After a successful CTO experience in Wuaki TV, he founded Lernin Games, an EdTech startup focused on toddlers. He raised €1.5M and built a team of 10, but Lernin ran out of cash and the project couldn’t succeed.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jordi Miró

  • Country:

    Spain

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$5M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Melon

Melon

Kevin was the founder of Melon, a food delivery startup aimed at being more cost-effective. Melon’s unique approach was quickly validated through an MVP and in just two months, the business grew to $10k/mo and 500 users. However, they realized becoming profitable would be hard and decided to discontinue the service.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kevin Wang

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

NE Lounge

NE Lounge

Following his objective of reaching $10k/month from his online businesses, Jake launched NE Lounge, an Amazon FBA store selling inflatable products. 1 year and $16,000 later, the startup shut down. Choosing the wrong product in an unfamiliar niche is the cause to blame.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jake Lang

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Onepagetrip

Onepagetrip

Onepagetrip was a travel itinerary sharing community. Not having a plan to make money from the beginning was a stupid rookie mistake.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Ana Santos

  • Country:

    Australia

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Patron.ai

Patron.ai

Ömer launched patron.ai, a gamification platform for developer teams. After promoting it on Twitter and Product Hunt without getting much traction, he decided to shut down the project. That decision was mainly due to a lack of product-market fit and not talking enough to users that signed up.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Ömer Taban

  • Country:

    Turkey

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Phez

Phez

Shanti is a 38-year-old software developer and entrepreneur who, using Ruby on Rails, built Phez, a Reddit clone that rewarded users with Bitcoin. After a few months, however, Phez failed due to its poor business model. If Shanti would have sold the BTC he used as rewards at BTC peak, he would have made $29,014!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Shanti Braford

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Playdate

Playdate

Logan was the CEO and CTO of Playdate, an on-demand social networking app. In two years, the startup grew to a team of 7 at its peak and 5,000 monthly active users. However, a collection of causes made the startup uninvestable and they eventually run out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Logan Rado

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Rent Nest

Rent Nest

Steven was co-founder at Rent Nest, an app that allowed users to collect and share information on houses to rent. They raised some money from friends and were soon accepted on a startup accelerator. Throughout two years, the startup grew to $12k/mo, but they were spending +$40k/mo, which led them to eventually running out of funds and shutting down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Steven Glod

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Sport Draftr

Sport Draftr

Will created Sport Draftr, a Daily Fantasy Sports site in the UK, offering leagues in the English Premier League, and UEFA Champions League. The product was loved, looked great, and it worked well, but due to a lack of knowledge in the gambling industry and changes in legislation, they were forced to close the company.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Will Laurenson

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Tandem

Tandem

Tandem was a live streaming platform for fitness. Cause of failure? Live fitness isn't that engaging. Influencers were reluctant to adopt a new platform.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Nick Raushenbush

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Teamometer

Teamometer

When reading the Lean Startup book, Sergio came up with an idea he wanted to validate: a SaaS to help teams to perform at a higher level. The validation was done successfully, but since then, mistakes related to technology, founding team and listening to customers, meant its shut down 2 years later.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Sergio Schüler

  • Country:

    Brazil

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

The Punjab Kitchen

The Punjab Kitchen

Amit is a hard-core sales professional, who decided to set up a home-made food business with his wife. They started investing $1,200/month to set up the startup and get the first customers. However, once running they had to confront a big problem: the prices of their competitors were much lower. After some pivots, they decided to shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Amit Gogia

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

ToyGaroo

ToyGaroo

Toygaroo was the Netflix of toys. Funded by a great group of people based in Los Angeles, the company appeared on Shark Tank asking $100k for a 10% stake. They ended up raising $250K in 2 funding rounds, but after some months, they had to shut down the company. Inventory and logistical costs were too high, so capital rapidly disappeared.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Phil Smy

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2012

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

Vacation Bird

Vacation Bird

Gene founded VacationBird, a marketplace for finding your vacation rental. It was an early version of Airbnb and a VRBO competitor. Having a misalignment of incentives between co-founders and poor planning were the main causes to shut it down in 2012.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Gene Maryushenko

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2012

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

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