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London Failures

15 Failed Startups Founded in London

Here are 15 startups from London that have shut down in the last years, analyses on their failure, and interviews with their founders.

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Here’s a list of 15 failed startups from London.

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.


15 Failed Startups Founded in London

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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.

Crowdmix

Crowdmix

Crowdmix was a music streaming platform where people could listen and talk about their favorite bands. They spent £14M before having a working product.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Gareth Ingham, Ian Roberts

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Dinnr

Dinnr

Dinnr allowed to select a recipe and order pre-measured ingredients accompanied with instructions. However, there wasn’t a market need for the business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Adil Mohammed, Michal Bohanes

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Dopplr

Dopplr

Dopplr was a social travel network service. In 2009, Nokia acquired it for $20 million and the number of Dopplr users fell since then until shutting down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Dan Gillmor, Lisa Sounio, Marko Ahtisaari, Matt Jones, Taneli Tikka

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Closed in:

    Active

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

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.

Karhoo

Karhoo

Karhoo was a cab aggregator. It was out of business after 6 months of operation. Poor management and bad execution of a good concept were the main causes.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Daniel Ishag

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

Radar Radio

Radar Radio

Radar Radio was an online radio station that was the breeding ground for the most talented musicians. It struggled with a debt of £3.6M and they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Ollie Ashley

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

140 Canvas

140 Canvas

After dropping out of university, Harry went back home and found a gift: a fake big tweet from Federer. That’s when he came with a business idea: fake tweets printed and sold for £30. He partnered with a friend and launched the project within 2 months. However, after a Youtube’s influencer campaign, the site got 17,000 visitors and only 20 sales. That’s when they realized not so many people were interested in their product...

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Harry Dry

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • 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.

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.

Mongoose Cricket

Mongoose Cricket

In 2009, Thomas Evans began working alongside Marcus, the creator of a radical new cricket bat named the Mongoose. After spending over $130,000 on glitzy marketing, and failing to break through the heavily traditional cricket market, they were forced to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Thomas Evans

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2011

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

NewCo

NewCo

If you are interested in the no-code movement, you’ve probably heard Ben Tossell’s name. But today we’re not here to talk about Makerpad, one of the leading communities for no-coders, but about Ben’s previous project: NewCo. We want to know what went wrong, what were the lessons learned, and how it led to his success afterward.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Ben Tossell

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

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.

Tailor

Tailor

Joe is a 25-year-old founder who, following Pieter Levels example, decided to build 12 startups in 12 months. Doing some A/B testing for his other projects, he found the existing tools had a lot of missing features and decided to spend 2 months full-time working on a new solution. But things didn't go well...

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Joe D’elia

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Marketing

You can read more about their failure here.

Watu

Watu

Watu was a temporary staffing app founded by José Pablo Fernández and his business partner. The business was very sticky; once a company started using the app, it was very unlikely for them to leave. So what could have gone wrong!? Read our interview with Pablo below to know more.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Pablo Fernández

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

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