Remembering the startups we lost in 2019

All manner of startups

A cursory look at this year’s batch of business doesn’t find any story quite as spectacular as last year’s large-hearted Theranos flameout, which gave us a best-selling book, documentary, podcast series and upcoming Adam McKay/ Jennifer Lawrence film. Some, like MoviePass, however, may have come close.

And for every Theranos, there are dozens of narrations of hardworking founders with promising concoctions that simply couldn’t make it to the finish line. There’s also room for debate about what is and isn’t a startup. For our purposes, we’re concentrate now on independent startups , not digital initiatives from large companionships — though in at least one case, the startup was acquired by a larger company before shutting down.

So without further ado, here are some of the biggest and most fascinating startups that closed up browse in 2019.

Anki( 2010- 2019 )

Total fostered: $182 million

In 2013, a promising young hardware startup showcased a new generation of slit gondolas onstage at the World Wide Developer Conference keynote. It was quite an honor for a young companionship. Apple was clearly affected with how Overdrive pushed the limits of what could be done on the iPhone.

Three years later, Anki secreted Cozmo. The plucky little robot was the result of large asset, including the hiring of ex-Pixar and Dreamworks animators brought on board to craft a high range of ardours in the robot’s sees. In late 2018, the company launched the same but adult-focused Vector robot. By April 2019, Anki had shut its entrances, in spite of selling 1.5 million robots and “hundreds of thousands” of Cozmo models.

Chariot( 2014 – 2019 )

Total parent :$ 3 million, acquired by Ford in 2017

Chariot was a shuttle startup said he wished to reinvent mass transit with a fleet of vans for commuters. The superhighways, presumably, were determined based on a “crowdsourced” vote.

After acquiring the service two years ago, Ford shut it down at the start of 2019. The company didn’t render many details, except to be acknowledged that” in today’s mobility landscape, the lacks and needs of customers and cities are changing rapidly .”

Daqri( 2010- 2019 )

Total conjured : $132 million

Daqri, another high-flying, heavily funded AR headset business, slammed its doorways around September and accomplished an resource sale. The company is one of many in the sector that failed to succeed in its efforts to court enterprise clients, as well as in its efforts to compete with Magic Leap, Microsoft and others.

Daqri was, at one point, speaking with a large private equity firm about financing ahead of a possible IPO, but as the technological actualities facing other AR companionships came to light, the house backed out and the bargain deteriorated, according to earlier TechCrunch reporting. Sadly, Daqri wasn’t the only AR business to crumble this year.


Total invoked : $4.7 million


HomeShare tried to deal with current challenges of rapidly rising housing rates by parallel roommates who shared apartments split into “micro-rooms.” The company was indicated that as of March, it had about 1,000 active residents.

As part of the shutdown, HomeShare said inhabitants would not be getting back the deposits for their parts — but they would be able to keep the divider or sell it.

Jibo( 2012- 2018/19)

Total developed: $72.7 million

Between Anki and Jibo, you could say it was a tough year for shopper social robots. But then, there’s never been a great year for the category. Not more, at least. Like the poignant death of the original Aibo before it, Jibo’s end was interspersed by the incredibly chilling nature of watching an adorable robot friend draw its final breather. Jibo did just that in April, telling purchasers, “I want to say I’ve genuinely enjoyed our time together. Thank you awfully, very much for having me around.”

Jibo technically died in late-2 018, but we’re making an exception due to the spectacular quality of its demise. The culminate came in spite of a successful crowdfunding campaign and a healthful sum of venture capital heightened. In spite of it all, the startup was forced to lay off most of its staff and then, ultimately, cast Jibo upstate to live on the robo-farm.

MoviePass( 2011- 2019)

Total fostered : $68.7 million, acquired by Helios and Matheson in 2017

Image: Bryce Durbin/ TechCrunch

Holy hell. Where to even start with this one? When we were putting this list together, one TechCruncher remarked that he assert MoviePass shut down years ago. That’s because( not unlike some current political events ), the ticket due service’s magnificent train wreck of a demise appeared to unfold over the course of several years, in excruciating slow motion. We wrote a good deal about it. A lot, a great deal.

In fact, there seemed to be a brand-new cataclysm every week, as the company hemorrhaged coin, restraint its service, know-how outages, borrowed even more money, was forced to enter a kind of zombie state and had a big data breech. Oh, and then there was the John Gotti movie it financed that was arguably even worse. By the end of it all, MoviePass’ ultimate demise approximately was almost like an play of mercy.

Munchery( 2010- 2019 )

Total raised : $125 million

One of the first startup scandals of 2019 involved a once well-known meal delivery startup, Munchery. After the business emailed its customers advising them of its imminent shutdown, its merchants came forward with a slew of accusations. Namely, the food transmission startup took advantage of them in its final hours, knowingly allowing them to continue compiling transmissions it couldn’t pay for.

The company’s sudden collapse provoked a debate around accountability. While the CEO and its risk capital investors remained mainly speechless, its dealers cried out for an explanation and even complained outside the offices of Sherpa Capital, one of Munchery’s backers, in search of answers and payments.

Nomiku( 2012- 2019)

Total invoked : $145,000

One of the most recent additives to this list, Bay Area-based food startup Nomiku called it discontinues earlier this month. The company cured colonist the consumer sous vide list, exclusively to see the market flooded by vie machines. In variou successful Kickstarter campaigns totaling $1.3 million, backing from Samsung Ventures and an aimed centre into snack proposals, the startup exactly couldn’t survive.

“The total atmosphere for nutrient tech is different than it used to be, ” CEO Lisa Fetterman told TechCrunch. “There was a time when meat tech and equipment were much more hot and viable. I visualize a company can live a few cases snags, and a few challenges[ …] For me, it was the excellent whirlwind of all these things.”

ODG( 1999 – 2019 )

Total raised : $58 million

A pioneer in the AR glasses room, word surfaced of Osterhout Design Group’s( ODG) demise in the first few weeks of January. Only a couple of years ago, the company grew a $58 million financing — less than a year later, it had burned through its funding and couldn’t pay hires. By early 2018, ODG had lost half of its workforce as it searched credits to pay back employees. By early 2019, only a skeleton gang awaited a patent sale after buys from various massive tech companies, including Facebook and Magic Leap, came through.

“I hope Magic Leap is a huge success. I miss everyone in AR to be a huge success, ” Osterhout said in an interview with TechCrunch in 2017. “[ Augmented actuality] is soon to be transformative.”

Omni( 2014 – 2019 )

Total promoted : $35.3 million

The startup began as a physical storage firm, then tried to pivot after selling off its physical storage operations to challenger Clutter in May — it tried, unsuccessfully, to build a white-label software platform that would allow brick-and-mortar shopkeepers to operate their own professions for leasing and selling products.

As part of the shutdown, roughly 10 Omni technologists “re hired” by Coinbase.

Scaled Inference( 2014 – 2019 )

Total grew : $17.6 million

Founded by former Googlers Olcan Sercinoglu and Dmitry Lepikhin, Scaled Inference represented headlines in 2014 with a plan to build machine learning and artificial intelligence technology same to what’s used internally by companionships like Google, and concluding it is accessible as a gloom service that can be used by anyone. The intentions were grand and allured investors like Felicis Ventures, Tencent and Khosla Ventures.

Unfortunately, the company was forced to call it quits recently. Former CEO Sercinoglu tells us the shutdown was a result of a lack of funding due to insufficient commercial traction. “We were working on various options until the last minute and retained the team as long as we could, but it did not work out. On the plus side, we were able to be transparent with the team throughout the process, ” he said.

Sinemia( 2015- 2019 )

Total conjured : $1.9 million


It was a rough time for MoviePass-style movie ticket due works in general. Sinemia seemed at first to be a more sustainable competitor, but it was plagued by customer grievances and even lawsuits around app issues, concealed charges and policies for shuttering accounts.

In April, the company announced that it was result U.S. functionings. To is clearly, it did not say that it was shutting down perfectly( much of its staff was based in Turkey ), but the company’s website has since gone offline. If Sinemia endures in some form, it has disappeared from view.

Unicorn Scooters( 2018- 2019 )

Total raised : $150,000

Unicorn Scooters was one of the first fatalities of the electric scooter manium of 2018, though certainly not the last. As the legend disappears, the business devoted action too much money on Facebook and Google ads; the startup quickly shut down with no fund left over to issue refunds for more than 300 of its $699 scooters that had been ordered.

The not-so-aptly called Unicorn had completed the Y Combinator startup accelerator only a few months before it announced it quits, likely acquire it one of the fastest YC grads to shutter post-graduation. “Unfortunately, the cost of the ads were just too expensive to build a sustainable business, ” Unicorn’s CEO Nick Evans wrote, according to The Verge. “And as the climate continued to get colder throughout the US and more scooters from other business came on to the market, it became harder and harder to sell Unicorns, leading to a higher cost for ads and fewer customers.”

Vreal( 2015- 2019 )

Total grew : $15 million


via @VrealOfficial twitter

Vreal was an bold game-streaming platform that aimed to let VR users explore the nations of the world in which live-streamers were playing. Those useds could walk around streamers as avatars, or they could explore on their own as passive spectators while listening to the live-streamer blast their acces through zombies.

” Unfortunately, the VR market never developed as quickly as we all had hoped, and we were surely ahead of our time ,” the company said in a blog upright.” As a make, Vreal is shutting down operations and our wonderful crew members are moving on to other opportunities .”

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