Learn how to validate your startup idea by pre-selling it, for only $80 (includes a free 1-hour consultancy call).
United Kingdom Failures

18 Failed Startups Founded in the United Kingdom

Here's a list of 18 failed startups from the United Kingdom, analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

Countless startups in the United Kingdom are being launched every day.

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 18 failed startups from the UK with analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.


18 Failed Startups Founded in the United Kingdom

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

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.

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.

Bediwin Information Services

Bediwin Information Services

James is a IT professional who decided to start a business on a “IT-manager-for-hire” type model. He built the company with really few resources and tools and started looking for clients. At peak, he was earning £2,500, but after some years, he had to shut down as he realized his business model was completely broken.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    James Cort

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Software & Hardware

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Fantastic House Buyers

Fantastic House Buyers

Fantastic House Buyers was an online service designed to improve the expensive and stressful experience of buying a house in the UK. Alan built it himself and start trying a lot of different marketing strategies. However, after a few months, he realized he had built something that no-one wanted.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Alan Murray

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Services

  • Started in:

    2017

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

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.

Raw Gains

Raw Gains

Jack Ellis quit his full-time job to pursue Raw Gains, a fitness app focused on bodybuilding & coaching. It was self-funded and worked alone on the project. After a meaningless launch, he expected people would “just turn up” and stopped working on it.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jack Ellis

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

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.

VO2 Sportswear

VO2 Sportswear

After realizing no triathlon clothing brand was properly catering to the market from a design point of view, Matthew decided to do it himself and started VO2 Sportwear. Through social media, sponsorships, and SEO, the business made £250k its third year, but then failed to manage their cash flow and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Matthew Tomkin

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

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.

The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders

Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest interviews and articles, curated resources for founders, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join +7,000 other startup founders!