Fantastic failures: 2014's startup non-success stories

A look at some of the unfortunate startups that have hit the wall so far in 2014.

startups
Back to the drawing board

The statistics aren’t great, are they? Nine out of 10 startups – or maybe it’s three out of four, or five out of six, or even not that many at all – we’re told, will fail. Here are some of the luckless startups and services which have bitten the dust in the first half of 2014.

Optier
Optier

As first reported by Gartner Research’s Jonah Kowall, APM and analytics company Optier has ceased operations as of May, despite more than $100 million in funding over its nine-year run and a host of big-name customers in the financial industry.

FindIt
FindIt

FindIt’s personal search service – the idea being to let you search your Gmail, Dropbox and so forth from one portal – shut down in February. In an official blog post, the team said that it plans to pivot to a Facebook advertising optimization platform.

Donna
Donna (Of Incredible Labs)

Yahoo bought up Incredible Labs – who created personal assistant app Donna – in January for an undisclosed fee. Unfortunately for Donna’s users, the app got the axe. Five staff members went to the Yahoo Mail team, according to the company’s statement. (via TechCrunch)

Outbox
Outbox

You’ll have to open your own paper mail for just a little bit longer, it seems – Outbox, a service that opened, scanned and digitized your mail for a $5 monthly fee, went belly-up in January, due to what an official blog post characterized as excessive operating costs.

DrawQuest/Canvas
DrawQuest/Canvas

At least he’s still got 4chan – entrepreneur Chris Poole closed down his four-year experiment with DrawQuest, a drawing game/app that was an outgrowth of Canvas, a meme-sharing site. “It became clear to us that DrawQuest didn’t represent a venture-backed opportunity, and even with more time that was unlikely to change,” he said in January. (The service stayed functional until May, when a security breach forced the doors to finally close.)

Bump
Bump

Another one of those good-news/bad-news stories is Bump, who got bought out by Google in January. The company’s eponymous transfer app – you bumped your phone against somebody else’s to send or receive data – was axed in January, however. Also cut was the company’s photo-sharing app, Flock.

Calxeda
Calxeda

ARM processor maker Calxeda went to the wall right around the turn of the New Year, despite some successes, like inclusion in some HP products, and a general perception as a leader in bringing ARM SoCs to the data center. (H/T: The Register)

Springpad
Springpad

Sort of a social version of Evernote, Springpad announced that it would shut down on June 25 in an announcement last month. The money just wasn’t there for the information capturing and organizational services, according to the official blog post.

Argyle Social
Argyle Social

Social media marketing manager Argyle Social pulled the plug late last month, despite positive reviews. CEO Adam Covati told VentureBeat that the market – with competitors like Hootsuite – was too competitive.