Online furniture store Dot & Bo abruptly shut down on Friday, joining a long list of failed e-commerce startups we’ve seen in recent years.
The company announced the closure on its website late Friday, saying it simply failed to find new investors to support its business.
Apparently it looked into getting acquired by a big public company, but those talks seem to have fizzled out as well.
“We were in deep discussions to be acquired by a prominent public company, but ultimately the partnership did not come to fruition. We are humbled to have had such loyal customers and are extremely proud of the impact we made on the home furnishings market, but ultimately we were unable to find backers with the necessary vision to help us achieve our mission.”
Dot & Bo, founded by former CBS Interactive exec Anthony Soohoo, was an online-furniture retailer targeting millennial customers. It had a storytelling aspect too, offering news articles and stories around products, and recently expanded its focus to furniture consulting for business customers as well. The company raised $20 million in total and was last valued at roughly $60 million, according to Recode.
Dot & Bo’s failure underscores the challenges e-commerce startups face as they go up against traditional big-box retailers and larger competitors like Amazon. Although there have been huge successes like Jet.com and Dollar Shave Club recently, once richly valued companies like One Kings Lane and Gilt have sold themselves at a fraction of their previous valuations.
In an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Soohoo said Dot & Bo failed because “the market was frozen over and the sector was out of favor.”
“Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but as you get into a business more, you realize that maybe some of the challenges get pretty impossible … And then you feel like s—,” he told Swisher.