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Marketing Failures

17 Failed Marketing Startups & the Reasons Behind

Here are 17 marketing startups that have shut down in the last years, analyses on their failure, 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 17 failed Marketing startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


17 Failed Marketing Startups

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Admazely

Admazely

Admazely offered retargeting tools for businesses. They shut down in 2013 when they ran short on financing and didn't figure out how to secure more cash.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    David Björklund, Peter Vilsholm Therkildsen, Sylwia Erhardt-Bednarska, Søren Holbech Nielsen

  • Country:

    Denmark

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Appiterate

Appiterate

Appiterate was a mobile marketing company that was acquired by Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce company. It was closed 2 years after launching.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Anuj Bhargava, Mayank Kumar, Tanuj Mendiratta, Varun Sharma

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

You can read more about their failure here.

Argyle Social

Argyle Social

The Argyle Social was a social media marketing tool. The leading social media platforms change their APIs every time, which led to their shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Adam Covati

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Brisk

Brisk

Brisk was a sales and marketing platform founded in 2012. They started to offer customization to paying customers, but this became costly in the long term.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Alfred Beckman, Andreas Pålsson, Hampus Jakobsson, Mikael Tellhed

  • Country:

    Sweden

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

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.

Lookery

Lookery

Lookery gave statistics showcasing services that empowered organizations. It was based on Facebook platform, and after the redesign, they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    David Cancel, Rex Dixon, Todd Sawicki

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Closed in:

    2009

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Dependence on Others

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.

PostRocket

PostRocket

PostRocket was a Facebook marketing platform co-founded in October 2010. Many technical issues and depending on FB affected the quality of their service.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Murry Ivanoff, Tim Chae

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

RewardMe

RewardMe

RewardMe was a real-time intelligent CRM Platform for Local Commerce. They wanted to scale up the company prematurely, which lead to their shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jun Loayza, Stephen Johnson, Yu-kai Chou

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Salorix

Salorix

Salorix offered an engagement platform for brands. It closed down because of its inability to raise money after its investors stopped supporting it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Santanu Bhattacharya

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

You can read more about their failure here.

Adproval

Adproval

Matthew founded Adproval, a marketplace to connect blogging and social media influencers with brands. Raised around $300k in funds and made $200/mo from their self-service software for bloggers. In the end, they made over $200k in revenue from consulting services but it wasn't enough.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matthew Anderson

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

Readership

Readership

Gregg Blanchard developed Readership from a fascination with Twitter API. While the visual analytics on Readership was appealing, it didn’t bring enough marketing value to get the buy-in needed to be a successful start-up.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Gregg Blanchard

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

RingDaddy

RingDaddy

Isaac Medeiros is a 23-year-old digital marketer that recently launched his first no-code SaaS project, a mass SMS marketing platform for streamers made with a bunch of no-code tools. We'll discuss how starting using no-code tools helped him realize that building an MVP is easier than ever.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Isaac Medeiros

  • Country:

    Brazil

  • Industry:

    Marketing

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

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.

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.

Vulpine

Vulpine

Derric Haynie is an entrepreneur based in Oakland, California who, years ago, launched Vulpine Interactive, a social media and advertising agency. Peaking at 10 clients, $40k/mo and 5 employees, things were expected to keep going well. However, they ended up shutting the business and walked away with $70k in debt. Learn what happened!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Derric Haynie

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

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