Startups rise and startups fall. 2017 has seen some prominent startups go under. From Jawbone to Beepi to Yik Yak, these companies raised major cash before they ultimately shut their doors.
What follows are 10 of the best-funded companies to close in the first nine months of 2017. Together these companies raised a combined $1.7 billion from venture capitalists and banks.
Ultimately not all is lost. Experience is gained and lessons are learned. Founders and developers and marketers and sales people move on with the knowledge that can only be gained by working for a struggling startup.
There are still a few months left in 2017, and more startups are bound to fail before the end of the year. But as companies fall, more jump up in the spirit of entrepreneurship.
BeepiShut down in February 2017
Raised $148.95 million in 5 Rounds from 35 Investors.
Beepi is a textbook case of a startup with a good idea — a marketplace for people to sell and buy used cars, which would be vetted, processed and delivered to the new owner by Beepi, bypassing the costly overhead and commission structure of car dealerships. And there was some solid execution — strong customer service was a big selling point. But ultimately the company was run badly.
It had been valued as high as $560 million in previous rounds of funding, after raising money from 35 investors, including Yuri Milner, Comerica, Redpoint, Foundation Capital, Sherpa Capital and Fabrice Grinda.
But Beepi, a source tells us, was run with the wrong priorities. One ex-employee said Beepi was burning through around $7 million a month when it had its peak of 300 employees (before laying off 200 in December as part of its bid to sell to Fair.com).
Shut down July 2017
Raised $590.8 million in 14 Rounds from 19 Investors; $400 million in debt financing.
After a multi-year struggle to maintain relevance in the consumer wearable market, Jawbone began liquidation in July 2017.
It was a long, drawn-out ending for Jawbone, which has origins dating back to the late-1990s. Its once-mighty Jambox speaker business was already out of the picture when we reported the company’s pivot earlier this year — and the company appears especially hard hit by the ongoing decline of the wearable industry.
In all, the company appears to have raised around $951 million over the years, from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, JP Morgan, Mayfield and Khosla, and several traditional lending banks such as BlackRock.
Not all is lost, though. With an injection of capital from a new, unnamed investor, some of the driving forces behind the original company are forming a new business called Jawbone Health Hub.
Shut down in May 2017
Raised $164.9 million in 4 Rounds.
Quixey launched as a mobile search company based out of Mountain View but later branched out to making a digital assistant for apps.
The company raised $164.9 million and, at one time, had a valuation north of $600 million. Yet, as the company was building its digital assistant, so was Apple and Google and startups like Viv, which Samsung would eventually acquire.
Once upon a time the company touted its ability to help users find content within their apps, eventually saying it has developed technology that can take you straight from the search results to personalized actions like showing nearby friends in Facebook or bringing up your own playlist in Spotify.
Jawbone is the one I don't get, that's a lot of money. Beepi and Quixey? Hell we were making fun of those kinds of monikers over 2 1/2 years ago in 2015's "Silicon Valley Is a Big Fat Lie":
Comparing the geniuses of old Silicon Valley, for example (ca. 1993), Nvidia, "Nvidia Wants to Be the Brains Of Your Autonomous Car (NVID)", who make the chips that will go into the world's fastest supercomputer with the list of names currently on offer:
Bitly, Borkly, Barnly, Molestly, Strinkingly, Happily, Crappily, Maply, Morply, Dottly, Dootly, Godly, Angrily.And you almost want to cry. See also after the jump...
-Gawker (it's dead, Jim)