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No Pivoting Failures

25 Failed Startups that Didn't Pivot on Time

Here's a list of 25 failed startups that didn't pivot on time, analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.

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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 25 startups that failed due to not pivoting on time, along with analyses on why they shut down and interviews with their founders.


25 Failed Startups that Didn't Pivot on Time

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Aria Insights

Aria Insights

Aria Insights developed highly advanced drones. After some pivots, the company couldn't find out the correct business model and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Helen Greiner

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

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.

Flowtab

Flowtab

Flowtab was an app that solved the problem of long queues in bars. They tried several business models but never found a profitable one, so they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Mike Townsend

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

Kno

Kno

Kno introduced double paneled e-textbooks. Despite raising $80M, the company saw its chances of scaling up diminish once Apple introduced its iconic iPad.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Babur Habib, Osman Rashid

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    +10,000

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

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.

Monitor110

Monitor110

Monitor110 offered real-time monitoring services for Wall Street. They lost the edge they had by not validating the product and shut down in 2008.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Roger Ehrenberg

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Closed in:

    2008

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

OpTier

OpTier

OpTier provided customers with a business transaction monitoring platform. Little market share, revenue, and investment led to OpTier's failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Amir Alon, Motti Tal

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2002

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of PMF

You can read more about their failure here.

QBotix

QBotix

QBotix offered solar panels that tracked solar light. Their competitors' efficiency improved, making QBotix's innovative solar panels less cost-effective.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Wasiq Bokhari

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Rdio

Rdio

Rdio was a music streaming service. Its weakness was the non-existent marketing and distribution strategy. Spotify ramped up and Rdio went out of business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Carter Adamson, Janus Friis, Niklas Zennström

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

ScaleFactor

ScaleFactor

ScaleFactor was a tech startup that claimed to automate SME bookkeeping and payroll thanks to an AI they were developing in-house, which wasn't the case.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Kurt Rathmann

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

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.

SellanApp

SellanApp

SellanApp connected people who had an idea for an app with app developers that could materialize it. It failed due to an unhealthy co-founder partnership.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aernoud Dekker, Milan van den Bovenkamp

  • Country:

    The Netherlands

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Failure to Pivot

You can read more about their failure here.

Selltag

Selltag

Selltag was a web-based buy & sell platform. The CEO realized their business model would not be sustainable in the long term and shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Javier Escribano, Ruben Colomer, Juan Luis Hortelano, Walter Kobylanski

  • Country:

    Spain

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Failure to Pivot

You can read more about their failure here.

Sharingear

Sharingear

Sharinger was a marketplace for musicians to rent their instruments. They focused on a market that was too small and the business model was unsustainable.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Mircea Gabriel Eftemie

  • Country:

    Denmark

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Turntable.fm

Turntable.fm

Turntable.fm was a platform on which DJ and fans were brought together. The cost of running it proved to be too expensive and they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Billy Chasen

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Music

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Ansaro

Ansaro

Sam was one of the co-founders of Ansaro, a SaaS that aimed to revolutionize the recruiting industry through the use of technologies like AI. They raised $2.25M from institutional investors and $750K from friends and family, grew the team to 6 members and earned in total $100k. But with expenses of $70k/month and no product-market fit, they had to shut down 2 years later.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Sam Stone

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$5M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

BeehiveID

BeehiveID

BeehiveID was a startup on the dating market, that identified online accounts created for fraudulent use. Techstars and RightSide Capital decided to invest $70K on their business. However, after some months BeehiveID closed their doors. Being too dependent on Facebook data killed their startup.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Mary Haskett

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Dependence on Others

You can read more about their failure here.

DotaHaven

DotaHaven

Kyril is the founder of DotaHaven, a gaming content site that’s currently passing away. The website had early success, raising $90k, growing from 0 to 500k page views/mo in 6 months and making $3.5/mo at its peak. However, in the last months, the business has struggled to make enough money to keep running; over-investment in a non-validated concept is one of the reasons for their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kyril Kotashev

  • Country:

    Bulgaria

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Gawkbox

Gawkbox

GawkBox was a platform where viewers of live streams could play mobile games to donate real money to streamers. Chris co-founded this as his first startup and he was able to successfully raise $4.4M in venture funding, which the startup invested in marketing until they achieved 500k users and more than $1M in revenue. However, multiple mistakes and a series of reasons led to their shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Christopher Brownridge

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$5M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

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.

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.

Pactero

Pactero

Wes founded Pactero, a platform to simplify the process of managing income share agreements. He confused the initial launch hype with market validation, but it was vanity. The business made around $180 total after spending $55k.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Wes Wagner

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2021

  • Funding Amount:

    $100K-$500K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

Tali

Tali

Matt created Tali, a timekeeping solution for lawyers powered by voice technology like Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Like many first start-ups, they encountered many mistakes while trying to build. He created Tali in the effort to help lawyers more effectively keep track of their time instead of using pen and paper. Ultimately, due to a lack of traction and a misfit product market they had to wind things down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matthew Volm

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $500K-$1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

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