Failed Chinese Startups 2013

by -
2

Like always and anywhere, a number startups in China failed in 2013. ITjuzi, a China-based starup data base, shared with us this list of worth-mentioning Chinese startups that died in the year.

Four-month Startup

Of all the worth-mentioning startups on ITjuzi, the one with the shortest life is Niuwo. 2013 saw a lot of startups trying to streamline China’s furniture market with the Internet and several of them raised large amounts of funding. Niuwo was one of them that was launched in June 2013 and would announce RMB300 million (roughly $48m) funding later. The site was closed four months after its launch.

Gaming

Happy Farm, launched in 2008, was one of the earliest social game hits in China. Nobody expected that Five Minutes, the game development company behind it, would be closed in five years. When Happy Farm got traction, Tencent bought the right to do a custom version for its QQ IM users and other Chinese social platforms like Kaixin001 made copies of it. The Tencent one turned out to be a success in terms of both popularity and revenue. The original Happy Farm was removed by Renren, the Chinese social networking service, in August 2013 at the request of Five Minutes.

Clone

Airbnb clone Airizu was backed by the notorious Samwer brothers. The German brothers’ strategy is to, with funding, scale a certain Internet business fast in certain markets and sell it at a high valuation. It was reported that Homeway and local online travel service eLong offered to acquire Airizu but were turned down, for Samwer brothers were not satisfied with the prices. Launched in 2011, Airizu was found closed in July 2013. Till now there isn’t any Airbnb clone that is successful in China. Existing businesses in short-term apartment rentals, such as Mayi and Xiaozhu, are doing it differently from Airbnb.

Group-buying

24Quan was one of the largest in the hype of group-buying a couple of years back. In January 2013 the site was closed. On the last day of 2013, Meituan, a leading player in China’s group-buying market, announced its daily sales reached 100 million yuan (roughly $16m). Meituan and Dianping turn out to be of the few that stood out of thousands of group-buying sites in China.

Online-to-offline

Jiekuwang was established in 2011 aiming to help traditional offline businesses to do marketing and loyalty programs online. The company announced RMB100 million and RMB200 million funding in 2012 and February 2013, respectively. The money was burned through so fast that the site has been shut down.

Niche Market

Sock Manager is a subscription-based sock retailer. Founded in 2010, the company always wanted to be creative to attract customers. For instance, female customers could ask their better half to pay for their purchases. Another one is an annual subscription that subscribers could ask for socks endlessly. The service was shut down in May 2013.

Pivot doesn’t always work.

Ximi started off in 2008 as an online snacks retailer. It had been doing well before the company began building brick-and-mortar stores, warehouse and logistics. The company decided to close down the snacks business in late 2011 and pivoted to lunch delivery in 2012. Ximi the site was shut down in the past year.

Time has changed.

Yibai Shopping was founded way back in 2007, offering spending installment plans for credit cards. It raised $10 million in Series A funding shortly after launch. Sales numbers would be good in the next several years. But the service was closed in June 2013.

image credit: wwydw.com

  • Francesco Zhou

    Reasons for they closed down?

  • dan

    Can also mention wodache (car pooling) that was funded by 500Startups