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Bad Timing Failures

26 Failed Startups with Bad Time to Market

Here's a list of 26 failed startups with bad time to market, 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 26 startups that failed due to being early to market, along with analyses on why they shut down and interviews with their founders.


26 Failed Startups with Bad Time to Market

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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.

HubHaus

HubHaus

Hubhaus offered an online platform to rent a house and find people willing to live with you. They even achieved PMF, but COVID came and they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Kerry Jones, Shruti Merchant, Sloane Yu

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Timing

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.

PoliMobile

PoliMobile

PoliMobile provided political campaigns with a strategic way to reach their supporters. No one wanted to pay for such a service and they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Curt Prins

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Quibi

Quibi

An analysis on why did Quibi, a short-form video streaming platform, shut down despite raising $2 billion from investors and having an experienced team.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jeffrey Katzenberg

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Rdio

Rdio

Rdio was a music streaming service. Its weakness was the non-existent marketing and distribution strategy. Spotify ramped up and Rdio went out of business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Carter Adamson, Janus Friis, Niklas Zennström

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Shipitwise

Shipitwise

ShipItWise was a way of booking shipping services. However, the transportation companies involved weren’t eager on jumping on this new technology.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aleksander Gansen, Anna Medjanskaja, Olari Miiter, Ragmar Saksing & Sander Gansen

  • Country:

    Estonia

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

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.

Vreal

Vreal

Vreal was a virtual reality startup that enabled users to interact with content creators. They were ahead of their time in a market not fully developed.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Todd Hooper

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    Active

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Timing

You can read more about their failure here.

Wattage

Wattage

Wattage was a platform with an ambitious goal: to break the entry barrier for hardware design. They weren't able to validate market interest.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brett Hagman, Jeremy Bell, Peter Nitsch

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

Boston Apartment Hub

Boston Apartment Hub

Boston Apartment Hub was an apartment listing site for the Boston area. The idea was probably too ahead of its time.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jon Sherman

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2006

  • Closed in:

    2007

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Creator Growth Lab

Creator Growth Lab

Andrew Kamphey has started several projects related to creators and influencer marketing. One of them was Creator Growth Lab, a tool to help Instagram creators grow by themselves. He invested $5,000, never made a penny, and realized there was no need for that product.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andrew Kamphey

  • Country:

    Indonesia

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Dependence on Others

You can read more about their failure here.

Eloquis

Eloquis

Eloquis was all about bringing personalization to mobile apps. The problem? Early in the market and targeted the wrong customer segment.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Rohit Nallapeta

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2011

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Flux

Flux

Flux was a modular multi messaging client. They raised a small angel round of 70K € and invested another 15K €. A combination of many issues led to their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jan Johannes

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

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.

Kopely

Kopely

After a decade of training and coaching, Andrew realized that stress was one of their clients’ main issues. That’s how he thought about creating a stress relief app. He partnered up with a dev company to build his idea while he took care of marketing. In few months, he got a great list of interested people, but COVID-19 changed things… the devs were no longer interested in building the app.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andrew Laux

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Dependence on Others

You can read more about their failure here.

Mishra Motors

Mishra Motors

Mishra Motors was to be the premier electric sports bike in India. Time and capital were the causes of its collapse.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Naveen Mishra

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

openmargin

openmargin

Marc co-founded *openmargin, a social e-reader app that turned books into small communities. Being too early in the market, having huge competitors like Amazon, and not shipping fast enough were three of the reasons for the startup’s failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Marc Köhlbrugge

  • Country:

    Netherlands

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

You can read more about their failure here.

Reality Hunt

Reality Hunt

Toby founded two projects that gave him lots of valuable lessons for his current Startup Mill projects. They were RealityHunt and "I Voted Remain". He learned to build a simple landing page before committing to building it and to build processes that simplify your way of working.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Toby Allen

  • Country:

    Belgium

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Sofetch

Sofetch

Talking with her manicurist, Margaret got to know some of the common challenges beauty service providers faced in Armenia. Her startup Sofetch aimed to solve some of these. She hired a developer to build it and as she was beginning to prepare the launch, COVID happened and the beauty industry was disrupted. She tried pivoting, but nothing worked so she decided to move on to a new startup idea.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Margaret Rostamian

  • Country:

    Armenia

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Failure to Pivot

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.

Tandem App

Tandem App

Will is a software engineer based in San Francisco, who co-founded Tandem, an app to help people stay on top of their medications. They carried out some research and considered it was a great business idea. But, after launching, they discovered retention was really difficult and decided not to continue.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Will Sun

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

WantRemoteJob

WantRemoteJob

Vyacheslav is a software engineer who in 2017 decided to build a board for remote jobs on the IT industry. He built it using his programming knowledge and invite a list of contacts he knew to try the product. But he soon realized he couldn’t handle everything and that keeping up the project would require a lot of time and people. It wasn’t going to pay off, so he shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Vyacheslav Grzhybovsky

  • Country:

    Latvia

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

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