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Silicon Valley Failures

28 Failed Startups Founded in Silicon Valley

Here are 28 startups from Silicon Valley 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 28 failed startups from Silicon Valley.

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.


28 Failed Startups Founded in Silicon Valley

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37Coins

37Coins

37Coins developed a new Bitcoin platform. In 2014, they announced that providing Bitcoin transfer across different regions proved to be impossible.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Johann Barbie, Jonathan Zobro, Songyi Lee

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • 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.

Beepi

Beepi

Beepi was a marketplace for used cars. They ran out of cash to operate and tried to sell to potential buyers, but didn't achieve to close the operation.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Ale Resnik, Owen Savir

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

BitPass

BitPass

Bitpass was a company that gave people a platform to make micropayments online. The main reason for its closure was competition, even after raising $12M.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Kurt Huang

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Finances

  • Started in:

    2002

  • Closed in:

    2007

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Delicious

Delicious

Delicious was a social bookmarking site founded in 2003. Similar tools started to dominate the sector. They were finally bought by Pinboard for a bargain.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Joshua Schachter

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

You can read more about their failure here.

Desti

Desti

Desti was a traveling and mapping iPad app that used AI to help planning a trip. Although users found it useful, they ended up booking on other platforms.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Imri Goldberg, Mosi Shuchman, Nadav Gur

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

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.

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.

Munchery

Munchery

Munchery allowed users to order gourmet food. However, they couldn't deliver the experience that it promised and build a profitable business model.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Conrad Chu, Tri Tran, Van Tran

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $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.

Parse

Parse

Parse offered a platform for mobile app devs with tools to let them build, run and test applications. Facebook bought Parse and shut it down in 2017.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Ilya Sukhar, James Yu, Kevin Lacker, Tikhon Bernstam

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

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.

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.

Rafter

Rafter

Rafter was a course material provider for colleges. They had lots of competition and had to deal with logistical, financial, and market challenges.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Sara Leoni

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Education

  • Started in:

    2006

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

RethinkDB

RethinkDB

RethinkDB is a distributed and scalable NoSQL database. Choosing the wrong market was mentioned by the founder as one of their major mistakes.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Michael Glukhovsky, Slava Akhmechet

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of PMF

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.

Teforia

Teforia

Teforia was a tea brewer that yielded the perfect cup of tea by combining tradition with smart technology. It had an absence of market fit and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Allen Han, Kris Efland

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Theranos

Theranos

Theranos was a way to predict diseases with small blood samples. They raised $1.4B but legal investigations pointed out it was a fraud and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Elizabeth Holmes

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Move Loot

Move Loot

Move Loot was an online resale marketplace for furniture. They decided to have a furniture stockroom without thinking about the expenses of running it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Bill Bobbitt, Jenny Karin Morrill, Ryan Smith, Shruti Shah

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Leap Transit

Leap Transit

Leap Transit was a private bus service based in San Francisco. They didn't comply with the SF regulations, which made them halt their operations.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Kyle Kirchhoff

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Secret

Secret

Secret was an app that allowed users to post content anonymously. Active users rapidly declined after 18 months from its launch and cyberbullying emerged.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Chrys Bader-Wechseler, David Byttow

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

Friendster

Friendster

Friendster was a social gaming site widely popular in Asia. It never put emphasis on the social news feed feature, leading to poor usage and registrations.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Jonathan Abrams

  • Country:

    Philippines

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2001

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of PMF

You can read more about their failure here.

Playdate

Playdate

Logan was the CEO and CTO of Playdate, an on-demand social networking app. In two years, the startup grew to a team of 7 at its peak and 5,000 monthly active users. However, a collection of causes made the startup uninvestable and they eventually run out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Logan Rado

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Social Media

  • Started in:

    2016

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Singulution

Singulution

Hunt was a software engineer at a Silicon Valley company when he decided to build Singulution, a point of sale & business management solution for multi-location vendors. However, after 10 months of work and $30,000 spent, he couldn’t validate his idea and ran out of money. The company was eventually absorbed by another startup.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Hunt Burdick

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

Swipes

Swipes

With 2 partners, Stefan co-founded Swipes, a company that developed productivity tools. The startup went through all stages and experiences, even almost fundraising $1M. However, over the 6 years of running, they weren’t able to really find product-market fit and they eventually ran out of money.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Stefan Vladimirov

  • Country:

    Bulgaria

  • Industry:

    Productivity

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

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.

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