Learn how to validate your startup idea by pre-selling it, for only $80 (includes a free 1-hour consultancy call).
Lack of Experience Failures

37 Failed Startups with a Lack of Experience

Startups are hard and becoming a successful one is even harder, so here is a list of 37 failed startups with a lack of experience that you can learn from.

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

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 37 startups that failed due to a lack of experience, along with analyses on why they shut down and interviews with their founders.


37 Failed Startups with a Lack of Experience

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

99dresses

99dresses

99dresses was a fashion app that offered trades of second-hand designer dresses between users. It operated for a year but had to shut it down in 2014.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Nikki Durkin

  • Country:

    Australia

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Alikolo

Alikolo

Alikolo was an eMarketplace company. The founder didn't have a clear vision and didn't know the reasons why customers purchased at his rivals.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Danny Taniwan

  • Country:

    Indonesia

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

ArsDigita

ArsDigita

ArsDigita was a Web Development Company established in 1997. Their decline was ascribed to an inexperienced external CEO and had to shut down in 2001.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Philip Greenspun, Tracy Adams, Ben Adida, Eve Andersson, Olin Shivers, Aurelius Prochazka, Jin Choi

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    1997

  • Closed in:

    2002

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

HitMeUp

HitMeUp

HitMeUp was a web-based business commercial center. The founder had no tech background, and after launching 3 versions, they decided to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Charlie Pool

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

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.

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.

SchoolGennie

SchoolGennie

SchoolGennie provided solutions that saved time, reduced costs, and helped make better decisions on schools. But they didn’t test their product-market fit.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Amit Gupta, Pardeep Goyal

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

Tutorspree

Tutorspree

Tutorspree wanted to enhance tutoring. Their vision of pairing up tutors and students to meet up in person was not practical, which made it shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

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.

Adleaf Technologies

Adleaf Technologies

Back in 2013, Chetan Vashistth founded his first startup business called “Adleaf Technologies”, a blend of programming bootcamps and software solutions. Business was good for a while, but the challenge of multiple bad business decisions paired with failed money management proved to be the business’s demise. In this interview, we will talk about the lessons Chetan learned the hard way.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Chetan Vashistth

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

AskTina

AskTina

AskTina was a live video chat widget for experts to install on their blogs. They did not spend enough time validating the idea through customer interviews before investing in building the MVP.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Tom Hunt

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Cam.ly

Cam.ly

Dane built Cam.ly, a wifi camera that would stream and store video in the cloud. They competed with Google Nest's predecessor but failed to build a polished product before convincing investors to fund it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Dane Jensen

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2010

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

Community Coders

Community Coders

While in university, Kaito started Community Coders, a business that connected companies looking for web development and digital marketing services with high school students. However, as the months went over, it became difficult to close deals and the startup began to lose its course until they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kaito Cunningham

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

You can read more about their failure here.

ExploreVR

ExploreVR

Andrey Norin is a budding entrepreneur, responsible for all the successes and the failures of ExploreVR. This was a directory site focused 100% on virtual reality. He started it in 2017 and shut down a few months later. His lack of experience in creating a business from scratch was the main cause of failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andrey Norin

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

Gymlisted

Gymlisted

Gymlisted was a website for finding the right private gym. Every day, Tom would go home from his day job and code up features for Gymlisted until midnight. Once launched, they started with their marketing efforts. But they soon realized there was pretty much no demand for what they were offering.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Tom Zaragoza

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Habitual

Habitual

Holger Sindbaek is the founder of Habitual, a habit-tracking app that was initially created since Holger could not find an app that could suit his habit-tracking needs after reading Atomic Habits book. With other successful apps under his belt like a Solitaire card game played by 3M people per month, it seems like he has the knack of making startups fly. So what went wrong with Habitual? Discover it in this interview.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Holger Sindbaek

  • Country:

    Denmark

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2021

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Haptly

Haptly

In 2016, Nelson entered the drone business when trying to develop a solution for farmers who aimed to monitor their grass growth. Things were progressing well and they soon applied for a startup accelerator who provided him and his co-founder $20,000. But after working 10 months on the project, they couldn’t find a way to technically build the product and decided to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Nelson Shaw

  • Country:

    New Zealand

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

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.

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.

KnowNet

KnowNet

KnowNet was a tutoring platform. A SWOT analysis saved Rik and Ari from lifting their name into the failure hall of fame.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Rik Ganguly

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

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.

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.

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.

MotoBox

MotoBox

Simple, WiFi-enabled, OBD-II vehicle data logger and cloud services creating a platform for custom software development, which couldn’t reach customers.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Joe Stech

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

MyCity

MyCity

Stepa co-founded MyCity, a tool for local authorities to build relationships with their residents. After realizing they had created a product for a non-existing market, they decided to shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Stepa Mitaki

  • Country:

    Russia

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • 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.

Phoenix

Phoenix

Phoenix was a SaaS app to send a last message to the people you love when you die. However, it was the app which died first.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Enrique Benitez

  • Country:

    Mexico

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

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.

Sharkius

Sharkius

Sharkius was a social games company. It grew too fast, too quickly. It reached $80k/month revenue within months and wasted it. Learn from their mistakes!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    David Kramaley

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Closed in:

    2012

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

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.

Thepresence

Thepresence

Inspired by the iOS app Launchpad, Miloslav Voloskov started drafting ideas to what eventually was called Thepresence. This aimed to provide a more modern and unconventional take on website builders. But this venture got shut down even before it was able to take off. A mental illness shutting down a business that could have changed the drag-and-drop website builder game? It’s more likely than you think.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Miloslav Voloskov

  • Country:

    Russia

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Other

You can read more about their failure here.

Toki

Toki

Vladimir was the founder of Toki, a one-stop solution to finding trends and analytics on TikTok. It started as a side-project, but after launching on Product Hunt, they realized they didn't have a deep connection with the problem they were tackling and lost motivation to keep going.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Vladimir Esaulov

  • Country:

    Russia

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

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.

Vivalatina

Vivalatina

Nicolas started an e-Commerce that imported sterling silver jewelry from Mexico and resold it in France. His lack of knowledge on marketing made it impossible to him to achieve customers. After some big mistakes, he decided to shut it down and start re-thinking the business model. He is now making $7,200/Month.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Nicolas Tranchant

  • Country:

    Mexico

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

WedMap

WedMap

Tauras is a 30-year old entrepreneur from Lithuania. With the objective of digitizing the wedding planning process, he co-founded WedMap. They launched the tool within some months and carried out a vast number of marketing strategies, which led to a monthly revenue of $2k. However, different problems on team, resources, skills, and product meant WedMap’s failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Tauras Sinkus

  • Country:

    Switzerland

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders

Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest interviews and articles, curated resources for founders, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join +7,000 other startup founders!