7 Startups that shut shop in 2019

on Dec 30, 2019 | 18880 views

By Priya Shetty


We celebrate the stories of startups that have created history, we often forget to acknowledge the struggles of the start ups that had to shut shop. 

In fact, for every start up that takes off, there are 90 failed startups. It is a well-known fact that even with a million-dollar funding and years of strategic planning has not helped startups escape the Valley of Death. 

The Valley of Death does not spare big players such as Jet Airways. The company had to stop operating in April this year . It was a shock to discover that such a big carrier had about $1.2 billion debt and failed to receive  funding.

Many other start-ups in our Indian ecosystem perished in the attempt. Let us have a look at the major shutdowns of 2019 in the Indian startup ecosystem. 



Bengaluru-based Doodhwala was founded in 2015 by Aakash Agarwal and Ebrahim Akbari. This startup being a subscription based milk delivery platform claimed to deliver more than thirty litres of milk every day, also taking care it was delivered before 7 am in all three cities-Bengaluru, Pune, and Hyderabad.

Technically they had a very strong and efficient platform, that connected milkmen to daily sources of fresh milk.

The founders also boasted of the lowest operational cost in the industry. But sadly in October 2019, the founders announced that they would be discontinuing the services. The sad part hearing in the news about the disgruntled employees who had to file complaints against the absconding founders due to non-payment of salaries.



Wooplr provided an online platform to social sellers to open their online store. They could add products from the Wooplr catalogue and start selling through social media platforms. 

As of October 2018, the company had over 1 lakh products from over 300 brands and reported a growth rate of 20%.

Wooplr stopped taking orders this April. Sources reveal it was struggling to find further investments.

This is in spite the huge boom in social media opportunities and other companies like Meesho and glow road reaping rich benefits.



RUSSSH was launched as GetMyPeon and was the only delivery service in Mumbai. Russsh competed with Bengaluru based delivery service startup Dunzo, which was the first Indian startup to get a direct investment from Google in India. Russsh had completed five lakh tasks and claimed to have a database of over 50,000 loyal clients by the time it shut shop.



Buttercups was Bengaluru based startup. They are one of the early players in India’s online lingerie industry launched by Arpita Ganesh. They had to  huge competition from larger well-funded players . Some of them being Zivame, Clovia and PrettySecrets . 

Around July 2019, the Buttercups website was shut down. 

Buttercups claimed to have up to 43% repeat customers. The company has raised $1 million from various investors

This year, the company reported a net loss of INR 1.94 Cr.



LoanMeet was founded by  US-returned Sunil Kumar. He stated that he was surprised to find that people in small cities in India did not have facilities to avail collateral-free loans. Sensing an opportunity he, along with Ritesh Singh, founded LoanMeet to help retailers to get short-term loans for purchasing inventory .The Bengaluru-based startup provided ultra-short-term loans to retailers, to buy inventory. Inspite of getting funded by Chinese investors, the startup could not sustain and finally shut shop this May



DocTalk was a medical device startup. News reports stated that ,Doctalk shut down its operations earlier this year, after cofounder and CEO Akshat Goenka resigned from his role last year in November . It was also reported that the company had laid off over 100 employees. It is said that DocTalk shut shop because of the company’s inability to pivot



Homingo was a Bengaluru based start-up that promised to help clients to find the new way to fix and maintain their home

In March this year, it came to light that the cofounders of Bengaluru-based co living start-up are on a run along with tenants’ money.  

There were several cases lodged against the founders by tenants and employees of the startup.


Going out of business….a story seldom told!

Start-up has been the most exciting and loved word among most young Indians.  An adrenaline rush on hearing start up success stories have driven several young Indians to take up the entrepreneur journey . But not all are able to succeed as we have seen in the above stories. This is a very common scenario in the Indian startup ecosystem. As investors continue to support new ideas and entrepreneurs continue to innovate and disrupt, shutdowns also continue to be a part and parcel of the celebrated Indian startup ecosystem. The success stories motivate us and the failures teach us to be cautious. We hope this article based on true stories will serve as an eye opener to all young Indians


Let us consider another scenario here for young entrepreneurs as all is not rosy in the startup stories as it is usually projected to be. What is the middle ground? How can you take up entrepreneurship but yet the burden of making it successful does not lie solely on your inexperienced shoulders?

 In  a franchise business, the franchisor provides a well-researched and developed way of doing business with reliable and ongoing guidance. They have efficient systems in place  and assistance in return for payment of pre specified fees.

Starting a franchise business can be a viable alternative to starting your business from scratch. Over the years, we have found some advantages of taking up a franchise that could help you in your decision making process


  • Franchises offer the choice of taking up a business ownership, yet being supported by the huge benefits of a big business brand and resources.

  • You do not need to be experienced in running a business. The companies provide the training you need to operate and sustain your precious company.

  • Statistics show that franchises have a higher rate of success than start-ups worldwide.

  • It is often easier to avail finance for a franchise. Banks and other financial institutions trust a bigger brand. 

  • Franchises have an established reputation proven management and operational practices. They have access to advertising, marketing and beneficial support.


Do you wish to discuss further regarding the benefits? Do you know anymore start-ups that shut shop this year? Share your view and opinions below in the comments section

Check out the Top Franchise Opportunities in India all set to rule in 2020 here

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