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7 Failed Startups from Germany & their Case Studies

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Here’s a list of 7 failed startups from Germany.

Some of them were big, with huge teams and funding rounds.

Others were smaller, ran by the co-founders and with no funding.

But all of them shut down.

And each for a specific cause of failure


7 Failed Startups from Germany

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Auctionata

Auctionata

Auctionata was an online auction platform for art and luxury. Their issues originated from unethical behavior, lack of transparency, and lies by the CEO.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Alexander Gilkes, Alexander Zacke, Georg Untersalmberger, Susanne Zacke

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Moped

Moped

Moped was a free social app. It had not enough entertaining and fast-growing content that could attract a broad mass of users. It closed after 16 years.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Schuyler Deerman

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    1998

  • 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.

ABBY

ABBY

ABBY was a documentation service for A/B tests. To make such a service successful, Andy would have needed to educate the users, and that was not possible.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andy Goldschmidt

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • 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.

Gameslog

Gameslog

Gameslog was a gaming site monetized with affiliate marketing. But the site never took off, as the market was already saturated.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Michael Hebenstreit

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Lieferoo

Lieferoo

In 2014, Aazar, a Pakistani entrepreneur, decided to create an Uber for logistics and awkward items trying to solve a problem he and many other people were having: Bringing items from Pakistan to Germany. He soon validated the idea and built the product. But a combination of bad marketing and bad team fit led to their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Aazar Shad

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Young Entrepreneurs' Program

Young Entrepreneurs' Program

Fabian founded Young Entrepreneurs Program, a one-year educational program for entrepreneurs aged 17 to 23. After 2 years and 150,000€ spent, they had 30,000€ in ARR and had to shut down due to no product-market fit.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Fabian Tausch

  • Country:

    Germany

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

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