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Russian Mebelrama and American ClipClock have closed within just a week of each other, as reported on other blogs. Although both sites raised millions in funding within the past year, this is another reminder that impressive investment hauls does not necessarily translate into sustained growth or success. It would be fair to say that the closing of Mebelrama is not a typical business failure (more on that in a moment), but the situation surrounding ClipClock does seem to be typical for the closing of a startup.
First, there is news that online furniture retailer Mebelrama will be closing its doors. This is a somewhat surprising development as last December, we had news that they had raised $10 million (7,71 million Euro) from Rocket Internet. One of the site’s co-founders, Dr. Manuela Stoll, told EWDN they are combining their operations with Westwing (another Russian online retailer that she co-founded and which is backed by Rocket Internet) and that they will assist those whom they will be letting go to find other employment. Prior to the investment last December, Mebelrama obtained an inital $4-6 million (3,08-4,62 million Euro) from Rocket Internet in 2011.
Then, from last week, StartupAfisha reported that ClipClock, a site which was founded in February 2012 and which had been billed by TechCrunch as a “Pinterest for video clips”, abruptly shuttered its doors. We reported that ClipClock was designed to be a service which would allow users to collect and share favorite video clips. Although headquartered in San Francisco, this is another startup with CEE connections and which had raised a healthy amount of funding recently as they were backed in November 2012 by Russian VC Runa Capital with $2,5 million (1,93 million Euro), by the Moscow Seed Fund last April 2012 with $50,000 (38,500 Euro), and with $500,000 (385,000 Euro) the month before that by investors Igor Ustinov, Marina Revun, and Aleksei Krainov. This is not the only recent Runa-backed startup to close in recent months, as in April we had news about the close of Russian Travelmenu.
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