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Poor Product Failures

21 Failed Startups with a Poor Product

Startups are hard and becoming a successful one is even harder, so here is a list of 21 failed startups with a poor product that you can learn from.

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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 21 startups that failed due to having a poor product, along with analyses on why they shut down and interviews with their founders.


21 Failed Startups with a Poor Product

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Flud

Flud

Flud was a social news reader platform. They were unable to raise additional funding for their operations and eventually ran out of cash.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Bobby Ghoshal, Matthew Ausonio

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2010

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Juicero

Juicero

Juicero was a juice company that packed fresh organic fruits. They claimed their juicer was innovative, until customers found out the machine was useless.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Doug Evans

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

MySpace

MySpace

MySpace became the most popular social networking site before Facebook. After competing with them, they decided to repurpose it as a platform for artists.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Aber Whitcomb, Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe, Colin Digiaro, Josh Berman, Michael Addicott, Tom Anderson

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Closed in:

    Active

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Navdy

Navdy

Navdy provided a display that projected GPS in the cars' front. They failed due to a saturated market and a device that didn't satisfy customer needs.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Doug Simpson, Karl Guttag

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Netscape

Netscape

Netscape was one of the most significant internet applications in history. Despite its early success, they couldn't beat Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    James Clark, Jon Mittelhauser, Marc Andreessen

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    1994

  • Closed in:

    2008

  • Nº of employees:

    5,000-10,000

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

PepperTap

PepperTap

PepperTap provided a platform to buy and deliver groceries from local markets. Customers found delivery fees too expensive for their needs, and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Milind Sharma, Navneet Singh

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    1,000-5,000

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

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.

Quibi

Quibi

An analysis on why did Quibi, a short-form video streaming platform, shut down despite raising $2 billion from investors and having an experienced team.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jeffrey Katzenberg

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Entertainment

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

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.

Seven Dreamers Laboratories

Seven Dreamers Laboratories

Seven Dreamers Laboratory built a robot that washed, ironed and folded laundry. However, their product was expensive and couldn't match human's dexterity.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Shin Sakane

  • Country:

    Japan

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

Shuddle

Shuddle

Shuddle was the go-to service for parents that needed someone to drive their kids to school. Parents found it disappointing, so they had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Nick Allen, Rodrigo Prudencio

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Totsy

Totsy

Totsy was a flash sale company that offered high-end fashion brands online for a low-price. Flash sales lost their attractiveness and became obsolete.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Christophe Garnier, Guillaume Gauthereau

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

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.

Creator Growth Lab

Creator Growth Lab

Andrew Kamphey has started several projects related to creators and influencer marketing. One of them was Creator Growth Lab, a tool to help Instagram creators grow by themselves. He invested $5,000, never made a penny, and realized there was no need for that product.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Andrew Kamphey

  • Country:

    Indonesia

  • Industry:

    Analytics

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Dependence on Others

You can read more about their failure here.

Delite

Delite

Delite was a SaaS platform for B2B wholesale orders. It didn’t satisfy any necessity of customers. Just that thing in life you keep putting off.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Patrick Walls

  • Country:

    United States

  • 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.

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.

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.

REPitchbook

REPitchbook

Charlie Reese is a Canadian software developer who came with (what he thought it was) a revolutionary idea for a SaaS business in the real estate industry. Using his knowledge in JavaScript, React, and SQL, he built a prototype in 6 weeks. But he failed to validate his idea and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Charlie Reese

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

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.

Teamometer

Teamometer

When reading the Lean Startup book, Sergio came up with an idea he wanted to validate: a SaaS to help teams to perform at a higher level. The validation was done successfully, but since then, mistakes related to technology, founding team and listening to customers, meant its shut down 2 years later.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Sergio Schüler

  • Country:

    Brazil

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

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