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Health Failures

11 Failed Health Startups & their Case Studies

Here's a list of 11 failed health startups, analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.

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There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

However, 90% of startups will fail and shut down.

In this article, you can find 11 failed Health startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


11 Failed Health Startups

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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.

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.

Theranos

Theranos

Theranos was a way to predict diseases with small blood samples. They raised $1.4B but legal investigations pointed out it was a fraud and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Elizabeth Holmes

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

BusyMind

BusyMind

BusyMind was a simple app that guided people through basic breathing and observation exercises. Lack of time destroyed the startup.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kevin Lamping

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

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.

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.

Raw Gains

Raw Gains

Jack Ellis quit his full-time job to pursue Raw Gains, a fitness app focused on bodybuilding & coaching. It was self-funded and worked alone on the project. After a meaningless launch, he expected people would “just turn up” and stopped working on it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jack Ellis

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

Refolo

Refolo

Lola founded Refolo, a meal-planning app focused on plant-based eating. After spending 2 years selling a solution for a problem that people weren't already investing money in, she decided to shut it down looking for other opportunities.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Lola Ojabowale

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

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.

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