Biggest Startup Failures of All Time [Titan Vine]

The Journey for many startups is never a smooth one. Even the most successful startups like Airbnb had to undergo difficult periods. What sets the most successful startups apart from the ones that end up in failure, is that those successful startups were able to endure the hardship and come back from continuous rejection. However, sometimes, hardship and rejection aren’t the core factors. Failure behind a startup can be attributed to many factors such as deviation from the core vision, lack of monitoring, financial inadequacy, market penetration, even timing, and so on.

1. Secret

After 16 months into the journey and $35 million in total funding, the founders decided to end the journey. The founders were forced to put the shutters down because they figured that Secret failed to represent the vision they originally had when he started the company. They ended up giving back all the investment money back to the investors.

2. Zirtual

3. Circa

4. Kato

5. The Last Guide Company

6. Wattage

7. Nebula

8. Done By None


9. Brawker

10. Proto Exchange

11. Balanced

12. Wardrobe Wake-UP

13. Melotic Exchange

14. Grooveshark

Grooveshark was a web-based music streaming service owned and operated by Escape Media Group in the United States. After $4.6 million in funding, it had to shut down its services after a long ten years because it failed to secure licenses from right holders for the vast amount of music on the service.

15. GigaOm

Gigaom was a blog-related media company started by Om Malik in San Francisco, California. It ceased operating March 9, 2015. The main reason behind its closure was that it lost its independence, and its assets were controlled by its lenders.

16. Digital Royalty

17. TalentPad

18. 37coins

19. Campus

20. Poliana

21. Backchat

22. TwitPic

TwitPic was a website and app that allowed users to post pictures to the Twitter microblogging service. It has decided to shut down from September 25th because it was accused of trademark issues with Twitter and it did not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain its mark. Therefore, it has decided to shut down.

23. Berg

24. Wishberg


26. PostRocket:

PostRocket, which raised $15 million in total funding and went though 500 startups, was a startup that helps customers optimize their Facebook posts for maximum exposure and engagement, announced that it will be shutting down on August 2015. When it started, it wanted to not only help marketers succeed in Facebook marketing but do so with an exceptional product and service to back it. But it felt that it was never able to achieve the high standard it sets. Hence, it decided to shut down.

27. Serendip

28. Blurtt

29. Manilla

30. SpringPad

Springpad was a free online application and web service that raised $7.3 million in total funding, which allowed its registered users to save, organise and share collected ideas and information. It decided close down as it realised that it was not able to secure additional funding or scale to become a self-sustaining business.

31. Inq Mobile

32. Outbox

33. Argyle

34. Stipple

With total funding of $14.4 million before closure, Stipple was an image tagging advertising startup that was founded in 2010.  The company created tagging technology that allowed users to hover over digital images and dive into details provided by the brand, like cost or location. It started to produce good revenue after 18 months of operation. However, profitability was just not high enough to match the high cost structure of the startup. Hence, it was closed down.

35. Zumbox

36. Mochi Media

37. Vitoto

38 .NewsTilt

39. Dinnr

Dinnr, which raised $10.1 million in total funding, was a web platform that delivers ingredients with a recipe to create meals at home. On January 12, 2014 it decided to close operations because the founder realised that his startup was not doing quite enough to help people solve their problems. Himself and the investors were also running out of ideas as to how to make people buy his product.

40. Seesmic Videos

Seesmic Videos was a video sharing platform through mobile that toyed with Youtube and vine. What the founder says about the failure is that, it was in operation ahead of its time in pre-Iphone and pre-android era. They had to use adobe flash on browser which was not so convenient. As a result, it was able to attract only a small portion of the market and did not turn out much profitable.

41. Treehouse Logic

Treehouse was a visual configurator platform company that helped retailers and brands quickly build product customization experiences on their ecommerce sites. However, it had some technical issues as well as administrative. It to some extent emphasized on wrong problems to solve and did not quite turn out to be as effective to its potential user base. I highly recommend reading the founder’s answer to ‘Why Customisation startups fail’.

42. Patient Communicator

43. Greengar Studios

44. Rivet & Sway

45. Dijiwan

46. Disruptive Media

47. Tutorspree

48. Unifyo

49. Looksery

50. Canvas Networks

Curated from “TOP 50 STARTUP FAILURES OF ALL TIME [Titan Vine]


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