Seed Stage Slaughter
Back in more innocent times, our intrepid reporter Adrianne Jeffries went down to SXSW to cover the group messaging wars. A clutch of startups including Beluga, GroupMe, Kik and Fast Society were all battling to be the breakout star. GroupMe did the grilled cheese party, Fast Society countered with the shuttle bus from the airport.
Since then, Beluga was bought by Facebook and GroupMe got acquired by Skype. Kik is still going, but last night Fast Society, always the wildest of the bunch, announced they were shutting down their messaging service and moving on to a new app, Cameo, they will be launching in January.
If you’ve been listening closely at tech parties and events over the last month, you could begin to hear the tectonic rumblings of a reckoning. The bubble in seed stage funding that saw hundreds of start-ups raise capital during 2010 is coming to an end. And many of the companies who raised less than $1 million are now running out of cash.
This morning we got an anonymous tip, since confirmed, that flash sales aggregator MyNines, which raised $750K back in April of 2010, has shut down. The company’s website is currently offline. Founder Apar Kothari has been named vice president, head of business development and strategic partnerships at private sale shopping destination site Rue La La. (Sounds like that emerging talent pool we told you was coming.)