Year in Review: Venture-backed startups that went belly up in 2017

The majority of venture-backed startups ultimately fail, and most of those shutter with little fanfare.

VCJ looked back at some of the more memorable companies that ceased operations in 2017, which raised a combined $1.68 billion in venture funding before going extinct.

Several of the companies that closed down in the first half of the year had reached high valuations just a few years earlier. The second half of the year saw fewer flameouts of previously highly valued companies, but proved to be especially gloomy for startups touting expensive smart beverage appliances.

  • Auctionata, a German online auction platform for luxury items, closed in February after raising nearly $95.5 million in venture funding from U.S. investors, including Hearst Ventures and
  • Home care provider HomeHero shuttered in February after raising $23 million from investors Social Capital, Techstars, Science and Tencent Holdings.
  • Fresco News, which aimed to allow citizen journalists to submit video to news outlets and counted actor Ashton Kutcher, Outbound Ventures, and Liberty Media among its investors, closed in June after raising $6.48 million.
  • Auto camera company Pearl Automation shut down at the end of June after raising $50 million from Venrock, Accel Partners, Shasta Ventures and Wellcome Trust.
  • Raptr, an online gaming platform that raised $44 million from Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Founders Fund and Tenaya Capital, announced it was shutting down in September.
  • Juicero, purveyor of a $400 internet-connected juicing machine, shut down after raising more than $118 million in venture funding from investors, including Artis Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Campbell Soup Company and GV. The company’s fate was likely sealed when it was discovered that its juice packets could be squeezed as efficiently by hand without the expensive machine.
  • In October, Teforia, maker of a $1,000 smart tea infuser, ceased operations after raising more than $17 million in venture funding from investors, including Translink Capital, Upfront Ventures, Correlation Ventures and Lemnos Labs.
  • Wearable tech company Doppler Labs closed shop in November after raising more than $51 million from investors, including Acequia Capital, the Chernin Group, Accel Partners and Jaws Ventures.

Other notable closures in the first half of 2017 included wearable tech company Jawbone, which began liquidation proceedings in June after raising $591 million from investors; used car marketplace Beepi, which raised $149 million before closing in February; and mobile app search company Quixey, which had raised $165 million before shuttering in February, VCJ previously reported.

Photo of upside down dead piggy bank bleeding pennies courtesy of cmannphoto/iStock/Getty Images