Fifteen million users wasn’t enough for Duet Media, the developer of app launcher EverythingMe. They announced that they will be shutting the app’s doors
Duet Media, the developer of the EverythingMe Launcher app, has decided to stop their current operations on the app and to let go of the majority of their team in the process. The decision to close down the project comes in spite of the considerable amount of cash the company held.
During their various funding rounds to date, Duet has raised $40 million from investors like SingTel Innov8, Mozilla, DFJTF, DFJ, as well as groups such as BRM and Horizons.
Ami Ben David along with Joey Simhon and Rami Kasterstein founded the company in 2010. Already in 2011, the team rolled out their first search product called @do, which was on display at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference.
Soon after, Duet decided to relaunch itself at SXSW under the EverythingMe brand, where they were voted by the crowd to be the most liked app at the conference. With their dynamic EverythingMe Launcher, the crew wanted to recreate the way users consume content and apps on our smartphones.
15 million downloads sans a business model
The company’s primary product, their Android home screen, was ranked in the top ten for its type in over 40 countries. Through the built-in suggestions in their app, they paved the way for a million downloads a month for their partners. With all their success, according to sources inside the company, they were unable to turn these impressive numbers into a successful business.
The closing of the company is not a reflection of the three entrepreneurs, who worked for five years on different products and tried a diverse set of business models in an attempt to grow their startup. It is important to note that it was out of a sense of responsibility for the team members as well as their investors’ remaining funds the company decided that in spite of their impressive accomplishments — including 15 million installs throughout the world — without a viable business model, they had a responsibility to shut down.
A special recruitment page for reaching their team members
EverythingMe’s 36-member team is considered to be one of the best programming and mobile teams in Israel. As the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, they are sure to receive a ton of offers from many of the big companies and startups.
To help the team find their next challenge a little bit smoother, the company has set up a section of their website for sending offers directly to the team members.
“This was a painful decision, we built an amazing team, and a product that we put all of ourselves into that was well received by users. I have no doubt that we will hear a lot about those who are leaving the company, since they bring with them the special way that we developed to build technology products for other companies that will be lucky to have them,” says the company’s CTO Joey Simhon.
Are downloads a bad metric for apps?
The shuttering of EverythingMe raises questions about other consumer companies that were founded when downloads were the ultimate metric in predicting their success. This system of measurement has changed over time to the retention of users and of course in recent years, those that can prove that they have a sustainable business model. No small number of Israeli startups that are working in the mobile sector are yet to crack the nut of how to have a viable business model. Many of them are still at the stage where they are spending most of their efforts in trying to bring new users.
The question that remains here is whether the closing of Duet Media will be a signal to these companies that they need to find a decent business model — or be forced to shutter their windows.
Gabriel Avner translated this article from Hebrew.