7 massively funded start-ups that failed spectacularly: From Rethink Robotics, Airware to Theranos!

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Oct 31, 2018, 10:49 PM IST

Start-ups are hard to keep alive! Given. However, does money, lots of it, guarantee survival and longevity in this killer corporate world? Not really, as these unfortunate ones found out as they went down in spectacular fashion. Estimates are that 9 out of 10 new business will fail and the funds that are invested in these startups can disappear as well, much to the disappointment of investors. Take a look here at some of the startups that grabbed everyone's attention and then died spectacular deaths this year, according to Business Insider.


To start off, we have Rethink Robotics, which was founded in 2008, had a valuation of $291 million and had raised about $150 million. It was a Boston company that pioneered cobots - collaborative robots designed to work alongside humans. It was founded by Artificial intelligence (AI) expert Rodney Brooks and Ann Whittaker. It burned through all its money and, was forced to close failing to find additional funding.


The once-heralded blood-testing startup Theranos was founded in 2003. The company had a valuation of $9 billion and raised a whopping $910 million but had to shut down after the company founder Elizbeth Holmes and COO Ramesh Balwani were charged with criminal fraud.

In Pic: Elizbeth Holmes


Primary Data was founded in 2013, had a valuation of $52 million and managed to raise $89 million. This automation software platform was founded by David Flynn and Rick White. It failed five months after receiving $40 million in funding. Notably, it had the services of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak!


As far as Airware is concerned, the start-up was founded in 2011 and had a valuation of $59 million and raised $104 million. This drone operating system startup was founded by Jonathan Downey. The company reportedly ran out of money after trying to manufacture its own hardware.


Then there is SHYP! It was founded in the year 2013, had a valuation of $275 million and raised $62 million. This on-demand shipping startup was once compared to Uber. CEO Kevin Gibbon said that the business could not recover from its earlier mistakes.


Well, Bluesmart had the smart part in its name, but unfortunately was did not manage to translate that into success. It was founded in 2013 and had a valuation of $41 million and raised $30 million. It was founded by Diego Saez Gil and four others. Notably, there was nothing really wrong with it, except that it had to close its doors after concerns over batteries in checked luggage kept travellers from using its bags!


Apprenda was set up in 2007 and had a valuation of $90 million. The company raised a funding of $56 million but had to quietly shut its doors and sold off its assets. It was founded by Sinclair Schuller, Abraham Sultan and Matt Ammerman.