Entrepreneur

2016 Killed More Than Just Celebrities—These 4 M'sian Startups Faced The Same Fate

It’s been said that an average startup’s life span is generally not long. Some have estimated that startups last for around 3 years before either losing to competition or pivoting to another market. This could be due to over-saturation of enterprises in the market and many businesses require a very high volume of customers just to be sustainable.

Statistics have shown that generally by their 3rd year, over 44% of startups begin showing signs of dying before they completely shut down for business.

So although 2016 was an impressive year in terms of funding for some startups, there were also those that were not able to receive such good news and were forced to see the end of their enterprise. Sometimes it wasn’t a matter of funding, just teams that decided they wanted to go different ways.

For whatever reasons, here’s a look at 5 Malaysian startups that unfortunately did not survive to see the end of this year.

1) WatchOverMe

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

This was one of the deaths that actually caught people off guard with a sudden closing.

WatchOverMe first started when co-founder Chin Xin-Ci went through a traumatic experience of nearly being kidnapped a few years ago. This incident led her to wanting to protect fellow women from ever being in such a situation themselves. So she made an app called WatchOverMe which essentially that sends out distress signals when anything horrible happens.

It lasted for a good three years but unfortunately did not live past that. On June 2016, the team announced via email that they were shutting down the app and that the source code for their app would be made available for those who could make use of it.

But this death didn’t have such a horrible ending, seeing as how a part of the team was acqui-hired by Carousell.

2) ReferJobs.my

Screenshot of the website.

Last Facebook update: 5 May

This was an online job-hunting platform that helped refer jobs to those who seek and rewards the referees. A rather popular service with young graduates looking for jobs or helping fellow peers who were seeking for them as well, it has been rather silent as of this year.

Their Facebook page shows their last update was in May and although the website is still up, maintenance has not been done in awhile which leads us to believe it is no longer updated nor active.

We’ve attempted to speak with them to find out more but as of the time of writing, we have received no reply.

3) Hello Roaming

Screenshot of the website.

Hello Roaming was one of the first few startups that gained traction during the early stages of the year but then soon fizzled out as less consumers began using their service.

What Hello Roaming focused on was providing SIM cards for users whenever they travel, which was a definite problem for those frequent flyers. However, after 10 months of running the business, the team decided to shut it down due to not having enough funds to sustain themselves and moved on to other plans.

But sometimes the lessons learnt from the death of a startup are valuable enough to make it all worth it in the end. Founder Serene Gan had actually penned down her thoughts on her business dying away and the lessons she managed to gain from it.

4) Posto Express

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Last Facebook update: 5 February

Posto Express gained attention with their on-demand dispatch platform that connected customers with their riders and ensured that the package would be delivered within 3 hours as long as it’s within the same territory. However, it seems that their service didn’t last very long.

Their last Facebook update was earlier this year and although their website is still up, their mobile apps which are used to track your deliveries are no longer listed on the Google Play and Apple store. At the time of writing, they have not responded to my inquiry on their social media pages on their status as well as their telephone number no longer being active.

Also, when you Google their name, it shows that they’re ‘permanently closed’.

Looks like postal on-demand wasn’t so in-demand after all.

[Editor’s Note: The co-founder of Posto Express has clarified that they have rebranded to Zepto Express, but are not redirecting or providing notice about the rebranding on their old website.]

There may be more startups that faced this same fate which are not included in this list, but the harsh reality is that there may be many that die away without much public attention. Should you know of any particular startups who threw in the towel this year, do leave their names in the comments below.

[Editor’s Note: We have removed three entries from this list as the founders have clarified that the startups are still active/on hiatus. We apologise for any misunderstanding.]

Feature Image Credit: Youtube.com

 

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