AI News, 339 Startup Failure Post artificial intelligence

This Week In AI: Facebook Acquires Scape Technologies, Square Acquires Dessa, Carbon Relay Raises $63M

Some of the fail-related research we’ve issued includes: In this review of failure, we’ve combed through our database to find the most well-funded startup companies that ultimately failed or had an undesirable exit, such as an asset sale or an acquisition for less than the total funding raised by the company.

But we’ve also uncovered some more uncommon — and dramatic — causes of failure, including: We’ve broken down the companies that failed by the amount of funding they received, starting with those that failed that raised over $100M.

Company: LeSports Select VC investors: HNA Capital, Caissa Travel, Zhongtai Securities, Fortune Link Total disclosed funding: $1.7B Company: Singulex Select VC investors: OrbiMed Advisors, Fisk Ventures, Prolog Ventures, Advantage Capital, GE Capital Total disclosed funding: $219M During a two-week jury trial held in Charleston, South Carolina, the government introduced evidence that [HDL and Singulex] paid physicians remuneration disguised as processing and handling fees…

Via US Department of Justice Company: Tink Labs (hi Inc.) Select VC investors: SoftBank Group, FIH Mobile (Foxconn subsidiary), Sinovation Ventures Total disclosed funding: $125M Interviews conducted by the FT with several former employees have painted a picture of an organisation that pursued growth too aggressively, falling back to earth when its profits did not meet its vision.

Via Financial Times Company: uBiome Select VC investors: 8VC, Y Combinator, Dentsu Ventures Total disclosed funding: $110M The company’s cofounders have resigned, it faces law enforcement scrutiny over its billing practices, it’s currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and it filed a motion Tuesday to move from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would mean liquidating its assets and shutting down.

Via Anki Company: Select VC investors: CMB International Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Vision Plus Capital Total disclosed funding: $128M In an announcement published on WeChat in late January, Tong and Heng announced they had fired Zhou, accusing him of receiving kickbacks during fundraising, deliberately hiding codes, and putting false data into a government regulatory report.

Via Synced Review Company: Panda TV Select VC investors: Bright Stone, HanFor Holdings, Woken Asset Management Total disclosed funding: $194M Panda TV announced that the company was in a potential bankruptcy, posting an image of its panda mascot facing a sunset, alongside the word “Bye.” The reasons behind this bankruptcy have not yet been officially published.

All of the company’s 30 or so employees were furloughed in late November, with about half being completely laid off at the end of that month … Now, the Los Angeles startup is shutting down because it hasn’t been able to secure new funding, these people say.

Via The Verge Company: Aiwujiwu Select VC investors: GGV Capital, Temasek Holdings, Gaorong Capital Total disclosed funding: $305M While no official statement has been made, the former unicorn’s website appears to be inactive: Aiwujiwu, the Chinese online property listings platform and “unicorn,” had ceased regular operations as of the end of January 2019, according to mainland news reports.

Via SinoInsider Company: Munchery Select VC investors: Greycroft Partners, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Capital Total disclosed funding: $117M As a player in the increasingly crowded food delivery space, Munchery writes: Today, with heavy heart, we’re announcing that Munchery is closing its doors and ending operations effective immediately.

The company’s announcement that it was selling off its assets was long coming: despite grabbing $930M in funding during its 17-year lifespan, Jawbone failed to hold on to significant market share for its line of headsets, fitness trackers, and wireless speakers.

Once heralded as a revolutionary new way to conduct a blood test to detect myriad diseases, all with a single finger prick, the company is making preparations to close its operations, according to a letter sent to shareholders.

In an interview with OIS Weekly, ReVision president and CEO John Kilcoyne called the presbyopia segment “very challenging.” He said the reason for shuttering ReVision was that the company “could not get the business to grow fast enough.” The firm would have needed significantly more capital to achieve positive cash flow, and the investors …

Corneal inlays may yet find their place in ophthalmologists’ business models, but as of now they require more time and effort in a practice than either refractive or cataract surgery, which typically involve the operation itself and one follow-up visit.

While the company received a £10m emergency cash infusion earlier this month, it also saw a new rise in compensation claims, with one source saying that complaints had risen 80 percent since the funds were received.

After admitting its algorithmic technology had been lending money to people who couldn’t pay it back, Wonga agreed to write off the loans of 330,000 customers, as well as waive the interest and fees for an additional 45,000.

We deeply regret the impact that this has had on them today… Unfortunately, market conditions got in the way of us completing our mission.” Via Variety Company: Primary Data Select VC investors: Battery Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Accel, Pelion Venture Partners Total disclosed funding: $103M According to a trusted source close to the company, Primary Data’s problem from the outset was that its technology was never quite as compelling as it needed to be, given that it was trying to sell mission-critical software.

(If it’s not up to snuff, data virtualization software can create challenges with manageability, usability, data quality and performance.) Immediately upon joining Primary Data, [former CEO] Lance Smith realized that its burn rate was out of control, particularly for a company with no revenue.

The day after the shutdown announcement, one Mode manager of an overseas office described receiving frantic emails from headquarters requesting immediate transfer of all funds and assets back to the US.

In order to spur revenue, the company moved into downstream energy services such as solar installation and insulation installation and found itself in a low-margin business with a high rate of cash burn.

By the time NSL tried to return to its core home energy audit skills and jettison its downstream installation businesses, many of the VC investors had chosen to stop investing in NSL, despite their earlier entreaties for growth at all costs.

Despite our best efforts to fund the company and continue to fuel our growth, the Company has been unable to raise the growth capital needed to continue operating as a going concern.” via Cleantechnica Company: Quixey Select VC investors: Alibaba Group, Atlantic Bridge Capital, GGV Capital Total disclosed funding: $164.2M Quixey, which revealed last month it was ‘exploring strategic options,’ has reportedly shut down…

Byers, Andreessen Horowitz Total disclosed funding: $185.3M Steering the ship — handling all of the engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing, even when you’re taking 90 percent of the subsequent profits — was ultimately too expensive of a proposition, especially in comparison to other, less-handholding-oriented start-ups.

via New York Magazine Company: Powa Technologies Select VC investors: Wellington Management, Otto Group Total disclosed funding: $176.3 million + at least $50 million of debt The chief executive’s downbeat tone was a stark contrast to an optimistic tone last year.

You have to make it up with extreme volume, which is why you see Spotify going after every human being in the world.” via The Verge Company: OnLive Select VC investors: Lauder Partners, Time Warner Investments Total disclosed funding: $116.5M First there were doubts about its ability to deliver a lag-free experience, then business troubles led to a form of bankruptcy followed by big layoffs and a buyout, and all sorts of uncertainty after that.

via SFGate Company: Better Place Select VC investors: VantagePoint Capital Partners, Lend Lease Ventures Total disclosed funding: $675.3M The bet was risky because it required large geographies — indeed, entire nations — to adopt the technology in order for it to scale successfully.

via VentureBeat Company: Amp’d Mobile Select VC investors: Highland Capital Partners, Columbia Capital, Redpoint Ventures Total disclosed funding: $324.5M Maybe it was Verizon’s most recent in-court request to stop serving up costly airwaves for which it couldn’t pay, maybe it was the cold reality that it’ll allegedly have a mere $9,000 in the bank as of next Monday — but at any rate, Amp’d Mobile appears ready to throw in the towel.

via Engadget Company: Select VC investors: Alloy Ventures, Walden Venture Capital Total disclosed funding: $133.8M In a statement posted on the site, the company said the move was taken because “the advertising and capital markets have changed so fundamentally that it is now impossible to continue our infomediary incentive programs and benefits.”…

The company, which employs about 140 people, had furloughed its developers and some other employees early in October, asking them to use up their vacation time or go on unpaid leave while Savaje moved to find its way out of its financial troubles.

Many pet supplies are heavy and costly to ship – cat litter, cans of dog food – and the firm couldn’t sell enough higher-profit items such as pet toys.

victim of swiftly shrinking corporate IT budgets and a sharp drop in demand for the startup’s large-scale enterprise storage systems, the Marlborough, MA.-based company last week abruptly shut down and laid off 140 employees.

via Bloomberg Company: Auctionata Select VC investors: German Startups Group, Bright Capital,, Earlybird Venture Capital Total disclosed funding: $97.4M Auctionata has been in decline since news of serious trade violations perpetrated by co-founder and former CEO Alexander Zacke came to light in March 2016, when Zacke and Auctionata board members were accused of illegally bidding on their own auctions.

Wimdu, a startup originally hatched out of the Rocket Internet startup factory in Berlin and modelled on the travel accommodation US startup Airbnb, announced that it would be shutting down at the end of 2018, citing “significant financial and business challenges.

The closure of the company came ahead of the imminent opening of its first commercial facility, which would have been an impressive achievement for an industry where one of the main challenges lies in producing bio-based materials on an industrial scale.

Via Bio Based World News Company: Sonitus Medical Select VC investors: GE Capital, Aberdare Ventures, Novartis Venture Funds, RWI Ventures Total disclosed funding: $89.7M We took a prevalent surgical treatment into the office where we reduced the cost by half and we significantly impact patient safety because there was no surgery involved and we made it more effective… They [the Centers for Medicare &

Medicaid Services (CMS)] arbitrarily draw a line saying, “No, you are not qualified for coverage because the way we draw a line between what’s a prosthetic and what’s a hearing aid is whether it involves surgery or not.” via MDDI Online Company: DeNovis, Inc.

Total disclosed funding: $97M Inside the infrastructure that drove its online service, it assigned every Aereo user a mini broadcast TV antenna, and it used this to argue that its service was no different than sticking a pair of bunny ears on your television.

via Wall Street Jourrnal Company: Canopy Financial Select VC investors: GGV Capital, Foundation Capital Total disclosed funding: $89.5M …company management discovered earlier this month financial records provided to investors and lenders that were “fraudulent,” as well as “significant financial and accounting irregularities.” via Wall Street Journal Company: Soapstone Networks Select VC investors: Accel Partners, Oak Investment Partners Total disclosed funding: $87.3M Soapstone was an underdog from the start.

via Light Reading Company: Claria Corporation Select VC investors: US Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital Total disclosed funding: $84M The company realized that there were too many ad networks out there, and with the souring outlook for advertising, it made better sense to close shop and sell the company’s extensive set of patents, the source said.

Finance  Company: Oryx Vision Select VC investors: Bessemer Venture Partners, Trucks VC, Maniv Mobility Total disclosed funding: $67M Currently, the architecture of the autonomous vehicle is simply not converging, so a venture-backed company will not be able to justify the investment that will still be needed… There was a lot of deliberation and investors were prepared to keep going, but we saw that LIDAR was becoming a game of giants and as a small company, it would be difficult to continue operating and return investments.

Via co-founder Ran Wellingstein quoted in CTech Company: Crazy Teacher Select VC investors: Tencent Holdings, Kun Ling Capital, bioVENTURE Total disclosed funding: $65M The crazy teacher app page displays the words “Goodbye” and writes: “The madness has ended, thank you for the past.” Via Pencil News Company: Shyp Select VC investors: Homebrew, Sherpa Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield &

But the company still needed more funding to continue and was unable to secure it from venture capital firms, which have grown wary of the whole category of startups that provide on-demand services involving physical infrastructure such as Shyp’s couriers and warehouses.

Via Ticketmaster Company: Gridco Systems Select VC investors: General Catalyst, North Bridge Venture Partners, Lux Capital Total disclosed funding: $54M Utilities have failed so far to expand their use of distribution grid-level power electronics much beyond the pilot phase, leaving Gridco with little opportunity to grow to the scale necessary to maintain its operations on the strength of its own revenues.

via Benzinga Company: PepperTap Select VC investors: Innoven Capital, Sequoia Capital India Total disclosed funding: $52M PepperTap – which operated in a high-competition, low-margin market – decided to shut down its main e-grocery business after months of rapid expansion showed no signs of profitability and deep discounts led to high cash burn.

“Losing cash on every order (no matter how small or how controlled or how goal-oriented the burn) meant one day we will run out of cash – perhaps we could slow down the process but mathematically speaking, this was a certainty,” PepperTap co-founder Navneet Singh said while announcing the shutdown.

“The demand for Sprig’s convenient, high-quality food was always incredibly high, but the complexity of owning meal production through delivery at scale was a challenge.” Sprig had raised $56.7 million to cook and deliver its own gourmet meals in the San Francisco area, but insiders said it was losing six figures monthly and could not expand the service into other cities.

Unfortunately, by the time the new management team took control last week, it was clear that the financial situation was pretty dire, and Karhoo was not able to find a backer.” via TechCrunch Company: Select VC investors: Gefinor Ventures, Apax Partners Total disclosed funding: $73.8M After the Internet bubble burst, e-currency companies tried to evolve by concentrating on business customers, but the collapse of a high-profile trailblazer such as Beenz shows that the Old Economy credit card companies have probably won the online shopping battle.

via Gigaom Company: Nirvanix Select VC investors: Valhalla Partners, Mission Ventures Total disclosed funding: $70M By trying to play in the pure storage business, Nirvanix found itself in a market that, over the past five years, became increasingly commoditized by Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and now Google Compute Engine, which have all been engaging in a price war.

via Bio-IT World Company: Akimbo Select VC investors: Zone Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Total disclosed funding: $54.7M The company had raised $4 million earlier this year from existing investors, but Chantel said the company was looking to raise $8 to 10 million to become cash positive with its new white-label strategy.

via Gigaom Company: Sequoia Communications Select VC investors: Tallwood Ventures, BlueRun Ventures Total disclosed funding: $54M Luis Arzubi, a general partner at Tallwood Ventures, told EE Times that Sequoia (San Diego) was forced to cease operations despite having working parts and customers because it failed to raise the needed capital to continue.

Company: IgnitionOne Select VC investors: SoftBank Capital, ABS Capital Partners Total disclosed funding: $40M While the business had turned the corner this year and had the best year to date for % growth, revenue and EBITDA, our liquidity was severely hampered by our inability to renew our line of credit from existing lenders.

Via China Economic Net Company: CrediFi Select VC investors: Battery Ventures, Liberty Technology Venture Capital, Viola Ventures Total disclosed funding: $29M The company, led by CEO Ely Razin, had been in talks to sell to firms including Moody’s — which has been ramping up its real-estate data business — but no deal ever went through, according to a senior employee, whose account was later confirmed by sources familiar with the talks.  Via TheRealDeal Company: Kettlebell Kitchen Select VC investors: North Castle Partners Total disclosed funding: $27M The prepared meal delivery business is tough to scale, given all the supply chain, safety requirements, and logistics.

Via head Shaun VanWeelden quoted in GetStream Company: Call9 Select VC investors: Index Ventures, Y Combinator, Anne Wojcicki Total disclosed funding: $34M The company had raised $34 million in venture capital but struggled to secure additional capital to scale its business and manage the high cost of running a health-care business.

“Together, we built a product that allows you to invest in companies innovating to solve global challenges.” It continues: “While we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished together, Swell was not able to achieve the scale needed to sustain operations in the current market.

In a message to Arivale customers this afternoon, the company attributed the decision to “the simple fact that the cost of providing the service exceeds what our customers can pay for it.” Via Geekwire Company: Aria Insights Select VC investors: Lux Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst Total disclosed funding: $46.5M The company was primarily known for its Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) platform, a tethered drone that provided secure communication and continuous flight to customers.

When the company was unable to raise said funds, the company’s main lender pulled its existing line of credit, causing the company’s management and board to begin winding down operations around the middle of June 2018.

The board of directors, as well as its investors and financial advisors, have met over the past few days to investigate and analyze the current state of the company as well as possible fraud… Based on an analysis of the economic situation of the company, and the effects of the crime of fraud, the decision has been made to end the operation definitively, since the company is in a situation of no return.” Via EdSurge Company: Chef’d Select VC investors: CircleUp Total disclosed funding: $40M We have had some unexpected circumstances with the funding for the business.

The meal kits space is notoriously expensive, with many firms facing high marketing expenses as they work to attract and retain customers, many of whom flee after just a few times using the service.

There also has been growing evidence that investors, concerned by high operating costs and the lack of a clear path to profitability, are reluctant to invest further in meal kits, a factor that ultimately contributed to the demise of Chef’d.

via Business Insider Company: Otto Select VC investors: Greylock Partners Total disclosed funding: $37M The startup, first founded in 2013, was planning on bringing the lock to market in the first couple of months of 2018 after having been acquired by an unnamed company that was going to handle the shipping of the product.

via TechRadar Company: Plaxo Select VC investors: Sequoia Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, Harbinger Venture Management Total disclosed funding: $35M Comcast had hoped to turn Plaxo into a way “to bring the social media experience to mainstream consumers,” according to a blog post by the startup’s founders at the time of the acquisition.

Among the ideas floated: discovering new TV shows to watch based on friends’ recommendations and sharing photos with friends and family that they could view “online, at work, on their mobile device, or in their living room watching TV.” But Plaxo never expanded beyond being a utility for syncing contacts.

via Variety Company: Bluesmart Select VC investors: FundersClub, Endeavor Catalyst, Tsing Capital, Fairhaven Capital, Pear Total disclosed funding: $27M Earlier this year when airlines started banning luggage with lithium-ion batteries in their cabins, smart luggage maker Bluesmart had a problem — one that ultimately led to the company’s demise.

In a statement Tuesday, Bluesmart said that the new rules “put our company in an irreversibly difficult financial and business situation.” via Fortune Company: Pearl Automation Select VC investors: Accel Partners, Shasta Ventures, Venrock Total disclosed funding: $50M Early product sales disappointed, which was exacerbated by a high burn rate.

via Company: SideCar Technologies Select VC investors: Google Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Softbank Capital Total disclosed funding: $36.3M Sidecar Technologies Inc., a smaller rival to Uber whose investors include Alphabet Inc.’s Google Ventures and British billionaire Richard Branson, said it is shutting down its ride-sharing and delivery service and reassigning its staff to new projects.

Mobeam launched back in 2010, pitching a complex solution to a problem that most couponers didn’t know exists: Most retail scanners can’t read a barcode off a mobile device.n 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.

Despite all the appearances of growth, market awareness was still quite low.” via The Globe and Mail Company: Carrier IQ Select VC investors: Accel Partners, CRV, and Mohr Davidow Ventures Total disclosed funding: $42M Knowledge of what (our) software tracked unbeknownst to the average user clearly hit a nerve with a public already skeptical about how private information is regarded by large corporations and other organizations for their own purposes … And so, unsurprisingly, following the revelations, there was a windfall of announcements about which companies were using it (and were not using it) to collect information;

via ReCode Company: Laguna Pharmaceuticals Select VC investors: Sante Ventures and Versant Ventures Total disclosed funding: $34.5M Two months into its roughly 600-patient initial Phase 3 trial, called Restore SR, researchers started to see side effects that would not have enabled Laguna to market the drug as widely as they had initially anticipated, [Laguna CEO Bob] Baltera said.

Rather than trying to find any path forward, we decided to shut the company down.” via Xconomy Company: Healthspot Select VC investors: BlueTree Allied Angels Total disclosed funding: $32.7M Jason Gorevic, CEO of telemedicine company Teladoc, expressed his belief that there are three critical elements to success in this industry segment: the technology platform, clinical capabilities and consumer engagement.

“Because we have both of those revenue sources, we can pour that money back into our customers.” … Also, Teladoc is purely a software company, so it doesn’t have the overhead associated with building and delivering kiosks … A bigger issue, according to [CEO of American Well Roy] Schoenberg, is that HealthSpot required patients and providers to pre-arrange appointments;

That’s a large hurdle considering established chip companies have not been very active buyers lately and venture investors only put $327 million in chip deals in the first half of this year – not even half the amount for the same time last year, according to VentureSource, a research unit of Dow Jones &

via Wall Street Journal Company: Joost Select VC investors: Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures Total disclosed funding: $45M Joost attracted investment – $45 million to be exact – because it appeared to be the antithesis of YouTube, suspected by the networks of enabling and then turning a blind eye to piracy.

via Gigaom Company: Color Labs Select VC investors: Bain Capital Ventures, Sequoia Capital Total disclosed funding: $41M Nevertheless, the app simply failed to gain much traction with users, with reviewers often commenting that Color appeared to be an app trying to solve a problem that didn’t seem to exist.

via PCMag Company: Goodmail Systems Select VC investors: Doll Capital Management, Emergence Capital Partners Total disclosed funding: $40M Daniel Dreymann, cofounder and CEO of Goodmail, said the biggest reason for the shutdown was an aborted acquisition attempt by a firm he would only call a “Fortune 500 company.” via Direct Marketing News Company: Xeround Select VC investors: Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners Total disclosed funding: $39.8M + $4M of debt Xeround is shutting down their MySQL Database as a Service (DBaaS) because their free instances, while popular, simply did not convert into sufficient paid instances to support the company.

The monthly operating profit turned to loss as more talentless executives were hired who threw out the company’s old, useful products and put their blind faith in engineers who spent millions building complicated software that solved no business problems.

technology was supposed to be sold for use in wrist watch, calculator and PDA displays, but as VentureWire reports, suddenly the people who already made the displays found a glut of scrap material, which was also suitable, thus resulting in a rapid drop in market prices.

via Internet Retailer Company: AdBrite Select VC investors: Sequoia Capital, Artis Capital Management Total disclosed funding: $35M Despite claiming to be the largest independent ad exchange and at one time being seen as a serious competitor to Google Adwords, it seems that they were unable to make enough money or sell the company to potential buyers.

Unfortunately, the recent uncertainty in the TV industry, highlighted by particularly slow sales in May, made it virtually impossible to introduce a new type of projection TV at this time.” via Twice Company: Cuil Select VC investors: Tugboat Ventures, Greylock Partners Total disclosed funding: $33M …if it has failed, it’s probably because the name is tough to spell and unintuitive to pronounce (every story about Cuil has to remind you that it’s pronounced “cool”), and because it couldn’t live up to its hyperbolic claims of outperforming Google.

via American Banker Company: NebuAd Select VC investors: Menlo Ventures and Sierra Ventures Total disclosed funding: $31.6M The company, which has occasionally been described as the ‘US version of Phorm’, has been dying a slow death since US authorities forced the company to abandon its targeting practices with local internet service providers in September.

Though many sectors have been under pressure as venture funding is harder to get than it was a year ago, chip companies have been especially hard hit due to their high capital needs and the many years it can take to move beyond the development stage.

In his message to shareholders, Donald wrote that the board “has concluded that it is in the best interests of the company to make a general assignment of its assets for the benefit of creditors and to file a petition to appoint a general receiver to administer and liquidate such assets in accordance with the Washington Receivership Act.” Via Geekwire Company: Homepolish Select VC investors: Alumni Ventures Group, Elephant Venture Capital Total disclosed funding: $17M CEO Noa Santos told designers [the funding is] all gone.

Daqri was, at one point, speaking with a large private-equity firm about financing ahead of a potential IPO, but as the technical realities facing other AR companies came to light, the firm backed out and the deal crumbled, we are told.

Via AFR Company: Lighthouse AI Select VC investors: Eclipse Ventures, Felicis Ventures, SignalFire Total disclosed funding: $17M Lighthouse AI, a smarthome startup, stated on its website: To our customers, investors, family, friends, partners, fans, and everyone else involved in the Lighthouse journey: It’s been a pleasure, and we can’t thank you enough for your support along the way.

manager with the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that there had been several rounds of layoffs in recent weeks, but that a plan to sell the company gave remaining employees hope their jobs would remain intact.

It is with a heavy heart that we are forced to admit that Lantern as it exists today will not be able to accomplish its mission to provide affordable and accessible mental health services that empower people to live their healthiest and happiest lives.

According to Gothamist, the paper’s owner, Peter Barbey, told the staff in a phone call that “due to the business realities, we’re going to stop publishing Village Voice new material.” Some staff members are being retained to “wind things down” and migrate the Voice’s archive online.

via Endpoints Company: Chorus Select VC investors: Emergence Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures Total disclosed funding: $22M Through the Beta and subsequent launch, we observed a number of fascinating things about the social motivation and accountability mechanics in Chorus, including the following very important observations: Outside of these two cases, we were unable to reduce typical churn.

If team members didn’t meet regularly in the real world or weren’t all working toward the same deadline-based event, we essentially observed traditional (high) churn after 4 –

via Axios Company: CastAR Select VC investors: Playground Ventures Total disclosed funding: $15M CastAR, the augmented reality start-up co-created by two former Valve employees, laid off its staff, shut down internal studio Eat Sleep Play and closed its doors today, according to now former employees…

via Fortune Company: HomeHero Select VC investors: Launch Fund, Tencent Holdings Total disclosed funding: $22.4M “Almost exactly one year ago, HomeHero lost its core identity when we were effectively forced to terminate our working relationships with 95% of our 1099 caregivers and required to adopt an inferior employment business model.

In the process, HomeHero also lost a majority of its competitive differentiators in price, speed and scalability that allowed us to be so disruptive in 2014 and 2015, and it had nothing to do with competition.” — Kyle Hill, HomeHero CEO via Medium Company: Lily Robotics Select VC investors: Dorm Room Fund, InnoSpring, Liquid 2 Ventures, Seven Seas Partners Total disclosed funding: $15M In the past year, the Lily family has had many ups and downs.

via Lily.Camera Company: Kitchensurfing Select VC investors: Spark Capital, Tiger Global Management, Union Square Ventures Total disclosed funding: $19.5M The startup had originally allowed customers to book chefs days in advance for at-home dinner parties, but last year moved to an on-demand model.

The company was competing in a crowded market, as better-capitalized companies like Blue Apron and Plated pushed the concept of meal-kit delivery while startups like DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar started delivering meals from popular restaurants that didn’t offer delivery on their own.

According to a press release back in 2009, the company reported at the time that it had “closed a $10 million Series B round of funding led by Castile Ventures of Waltham, Mass., with participation by existing investors .406 Ventures and Prism VentureWorks.” Which goes to show … venture funding is no guarantee of business success.

Our game plan was to raise a significant amount of capital to push this comprehensive service offering deeply into markets and, as a result, change the basis of competition in the daily deal space.

via VentureBeat Company: BusRadio Select VC investors: Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners Total disclosed funding: $20.1M The FCC study found that BusRadio, the only commercial broadcaster on school buses, had disguised commercial content as editorial and exposed kids to more commercial content than the four-minutes-per-hour limit it promised parents.

Without a really large audience, they were unable to attract significant advertisers.” via Media Life Magazine Company: Monitor110 Select VC investors: Acadia Woods Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Total disclosed funding: $16M + $3.5M in debt “We began to raise our next round of funding in May, during one of the most challenging quarters in recent history for VC investments, and despite the progress we have made operationally, we have been unable to secure funding.

2013 QUT Grand Challenge Lecture - Intelligent Machines and the Future of Work - P Corke

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Chamath Palihapitiya discusses cool medical startup.

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