Failure – Quirky
- Current Company Value: Around $4.5 million
Honestly, Quirky had a fantastic idea in theory. A lot like what you might see on ABC’s Shark Tank, they connected inventors with investors. Better than this, they let people vote on the inventions to fund and crowdsource. In 2010, they were given $6.5 million in Series A venture capital by RRE Ventures and $16 million in Series B in 2011 by Norwest Venture Partners. They ended up also getting Series C and Series D funding worth a total of $109 million. This included investment from GE into Wink, which was Quirky’s side software business.
In 2011, Quirky was riding high as the Sundance Channel decided to make a reality series that followed the events of the Quirky office. CEO Ben Kaufman was pushed heavily as a major businessman, even added to CNN’s “The Next List” in 2012. By 2015, the company laid off 111 employees and Kaufman stepped down as CEO. It came shortly before Quirky filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Q Holdings bought the company’s assets for $4.7 million, which included Quirky’s website and most of its products. Flextronics purchases Wink in late 2015 for $15 million. New financing and new owners came in after this, but Quirky hasn’t done much since.