Solar Battery, Barcode Scanner, Payment Prints: Seven Large-scale Start-up Failures

Founder of the service “Filolog” Mikhail Smolyanov studied a new report from CB Insights, dedicated to the 108 most expensive failures of startups, and published in his Telegram channel a few illustrative examples from the study. In the review of CB Insights, theres incorrect data about the volume of investment in many companies, it is necessary to recheck, and there is very little information, had to add from Wikipedia, Forbes, Venturebeat and so on. On the website users can vote for ideas they liked the products and the project team is to translate these ideas into reality. The concept of future products offered by the users themselves.

They had good products, and completely failed — like Bluetooth speaker that I bought 28 people. Chasing quantity over quality and detail of each product, they are unable to build margin business.

Solyndra was created in 2005 by the American inventor Chris Granatum who had just patented a fundamentally new solar battery composed of a plurality of cylinders (batteries, beaten in the name of the company). In 2009 the turnover reached $100 million. Star investors, a government guarantee for the loan of $535 million — seemed to be doing great (by the way, this is reminiscent of todays heroes energy and electric vehicles).

In fact it turned out that they were selling “dollar for 90 cents”. High cost of production, plus falling price of silicon, reduce the production cost of their competitors, killed them off in 2011. The photo of the funny device. It is a barcode scanner for quick access to the websites of the companies that published ads in magazines.

Yes, they came up, and investors believe that there is such a problem to enter complex URLS. It was a very quick rise and fall, scandals after breaking proprietary encryption and leak user base. At registration they were asked to specify the email index and gender because I wanted to use the data for targeted advertising.

The old story is described in many books. $400 million from foundations, plus $375 for an IPO in 1999, the estimate of $4.8 billion. Trying to change the market of food and move it to the Internet. Bankruptcy two years after the IPO.

Oddly enough, so far nobody has been able to do it on a global scale. Maybe you will be able.

Beautiful idea — to build a station to replace batteries in electric cars. Started with a small Israel, but was unable to confirm the model when scaling. The plan was the rapid development in Australia, the Netherlands, China and USA.

Has partnered with Renault. The partnership involves the development of the QuickDrop service for quick change of batteries for the Fluence owners that could in five minutes to a fully charged battery in the network of charging stations. Renault planned to sell 100 thousand electric cars Fluence ZE in Israel and Denmark by 2016. By the time of the bankruptcy of Better Place has sold only 1,400 of these machines.

Yes, to build a business on the beautiful promises of partners is very risky. Since 2003, it has developed a technology for making payments using a fingerprint. The Pay By Touch terminals have been installed in 3,000 stores across the United States. Major funds the company spent on the purchase of competitors who tried to create a similar product.

The company stopped work in 2008 — suddenly, without warning users. Online store Kozmo.com was founded in 1997. He had five major commodity groups — fun and games (video games can be rented), food products, grocery, drugstore and souvenir products.

In addition, the store selling tobacco products and alcohol, which at that time online shopping was almost non-existent. They have relied on the speed of delivery. Within hours the people of new York were delivered to any chosen product.

But a small average check and the large costs associated with scaling killed the company, despite the fact that its founders have successfully attracted investors money.

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