Failed ventures April 2017 : Startups that didn’t make it


Failure, they say, is the stepping stone to success. In this blog, we review some of the startups that pulled the plug in April 2017

Vancouver’s Shoes.com shuts down operations (Product: Shoes.com )

Doug Stephens, founder of consultancy Retail Prophet, said the company suffered from having too few managers from the fashion industry and too many from the technology sector. And customer service “wasn’t where it needed to be to give online customers the level of confidence necessary – especially in such a tricky category … It seems a matter of biting off way more than they could chew through a spate of acquisitions. Despite all the appearances of growth, market awareness was still quite low.”

Photo credit flickr.com/photos/writergal/

The Adventure Comes to an End   (Product: Lily Robotics)

In the past year, the Lily family has had many ups and downs. We have been delighted by the steady advancements in the quality of our product and have received great feedback from our Beta program. At the same time, we have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds. Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units – but have been unable to do this. As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers …

Exclusive: Building materials marketplace Buildzar shuts down  (Product: Buildzar )

Buildzar started off as a pure-play B2C ecommerce business. In June, it pivoted to a subscription model. Earlier, we used to generate leads and convert them into transactions ourselves. But, after the pivot, we were just doing lead generation and selling those leads in the market … When transactions failed to pick up, we decided to wind up operations, which in my opinion was the right decision.

A lot more wearable woe as Vinaya restructures and seeks pivot to b2b  (Product: Vinaya)

Whilst we ended up going by way of the system of founding and creating a buyer electronics corporation, it grew to become apparent that the projected amount of expansion for the B2C company by yourself was unlikely to be ready to maintain the expenses linked with the velocity of technological innovation necessary … to continue being aggressive in this space.

Unfortunate News (Product: BriefMe Media)

In short, due to a lack of funding, we are now beginning the process of winding down BriefMe and will be turning off the servers next week … Our users are extremely passionate, but after pursuing every possible path, we no longer have a sustainable avenue forward for the company. Over recent months we’ve been developing a significant update however we haven’t been able to secure another round of funding to finish and get this work to market. Without sufficient capital to provide BriefMe the energy and attention it deserves we have decided to move forward in the best possible manner for our team, supporters and users.

Open source wearable Angel shuts down ( Product: Angel Sensor)

We’ve been through a really rough patch over these past months. We’ve experienced engineering and financing difficulties, downsized our R&D and fought many battles to keep the project alive.

BitLendingClub Closing Soon Due to Regulatory Pressure (Product: Loanbase/BitLendingClub)

We’ve worked extremely hard to build a platform and a community which is uniquely positioned to provide the Bitcoin ecosystem with a greatly needed service. However, over the last year or so, the regulatory pressures has been increasing to the point that it is no longer feasible to maintain the operation of the platform. We are regretfully announcing that we will have to begin terminating the services effective immediately.

Plain Vanilla Closes Shop, Lays off Staff (Product: Plain Vanilla Games )

In 2015 it was announced that NBC was going to develop a quiz show based on the game, which was supposed to premiere in spring 2017.

“We placed our bets on the extensive collaboration with the television giant NBC. One could say that we placed too many eggs in the NBC basket. We have spent a lot of time and energy on developing the show. When I received the message from NBC that they were canceling the production of the show, it became clear that the conditions for further operation, without substantial changes, were gone,” [CEO Þorsteinn B. Friðriksson] stated.

Hello Hero’s Song Players (Product: Pixelmage Games )

For the last year, our team has worked tirelessly to make the game we’ve dreamed about making, and with your support, and the support of our investors, we were able to get the game into Early Access. Unfortunately sales fell short of what we needed to continue development. We knew going in that most startups don’t make it, and as an indie game studio we hoped we would be the exception to that rule, but as it turned out we weren’t.

Alberta Health Services shuts down innovative meal-sharing system  (Product: Scarf )

Alberta Health Services issued a cease-and-desist order to Scarf, shutting down the meal sharing service last month. In a written statement, Alberta Health Services said its duty is to “keep Albertans safe. This includes working with food operators to ensure they are meeting the provincial standards required to serve safe and healthy food to Albertans.” AHS says all kitchens producing food for public consumption must have proper permits. Scarf cooks did not have those permits.

Scarf operator Kian Parseyan [said]: “As individuals we’re going to move on and suffer our losses,” says Parseyan, who estimates that working on this project full-time for a year cost between $60,000 and $70,000. “Sometimes that’s what happens in entrepreneurship. It’s big risks and rewards.”

#TheParrot says goodbye!  (Product: The Social Radio)

The Social Radio began as a side project … raised money as a startup, and then became side project again when we couldn’t scale it. We didn’t see it getting big enough to have the impact we had hoped for, so we stopped updating the apps as our lives and jobs became busy, but people kept using them and we believed in the product, so we kept the apps running. But we have reached a point where the cost of running the apps cannot be covered, and we couldn’t get enough support to keep it running.


Research assisted by Suhani jain, who  is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Engineering at  Mody University, Lakshmangarh.

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