FAİLED STARTUPS -3 - Financing the business: right information, right investment. FAİLED STARTUPS -3 - Financing the business: right information, right investment.



We continue to provide examples of recent failed attempts.

33 –

Kliksa, a subsidiary of Sabancı Holding, was an e-commerce site established in 2012. Kliksa, which changed its design to the marketplace model with an investment of 10 million dollars in 2014, started to look for new investments towards the end of the year. 2015. The failure of Sabancı, one of Turkey's largest holdings, in the e-commerce market, where profit margins are very low, was an indication of the difficulties awaiting entrepreneurs. The biggest mistake of Kliksa, which will continue to operate as an outlet within Teknosa, was to change models. Changing both its design and business model, Kliksa's customer loyalty began to decline.

Lesson: Building your startup well from the start and managing change well is vital.

34 –

Founded in 2002, Weblebi, one of the oldest and largest e-commerce sites in Turkey, ceased its activities in 2008. Weblebi, which allegedly received investment offers a few years before the closure, has been in the news many times, especially recently with many complaints. The most important reason for's closure was administrative errors. Comments such as the late arrival of the product, its non-delivery, and the wrong product affect the consumers negatively. It is a great misfortune for an enterprise, especially due to the nature of the Internet, that these articles remain for years.

Lesson: The customer is king.


35 –

Vimjo, which entered the e-commerce market in 2010 in the health and personal care product vertical, was quite popular for a period with its campaigns, TV advertisements and cargo system within three hours to Istanbul. The site, which also opened an offline store in Ümraniye, was planning to expand throughout Turkey. Founded by Murat Küçükoğlu and his brothers Mehmet and Mesut Küçükoğlu, the site was locked in 2012 with a million-dollar debt. The main reason for the closure of the site is that it does not manage stock well and is far from corporate management.

Lesson: Start by reading business books.


Research in the world shows that the most common reason for startups to fail is that the market does not need that product.

36 –

TurkStudent, which was founded in 2001 as a Germany-based social network, had more than 500 thousand members. Having received its first funding support in 2008, the site also received investment from Ç owner Çağlar Erol in 2010. It lost its popularity over time and was closed due to reasons such as not meeting the benefits that young people expect from a social network and being used and is currently used as a chat site.

37 –

It was opened in 2007 to sell a discounted item every day. The site, which increased up to 3 products a day over time, started to sell products that were in stock the day before. Hundreds of sites with similar business models were launched between 2007 and 2010. Like, The reasons such as the poor quality of the products, the inadequacy of the customer services, the late delivery of the cargoes were the end of all these sites.

Lesson: Whatever you do, do it perfectly.


38 –

It was established by Teknoloji Holding with the aim of owning Turkey's largest global product pool. It provided the opportunity to compare product features, prices and vendors. It included many different categories such as the opportunity to sell from many sites with a single membership, giving points to the seller, opening a store for brands that are not sold on the internet, selling second-hand products to individual users. In fact, at the beginning of 2008, it was the first site to publish the mobile phone shopping application, which could be considered a revolution for that period. Despite all this, it was closed in 2008 due to financial difficulties.

Lesson: Sometimes it doesn't happen when it doesn't.


39 –, a foodtech startup, was a site that made homemade meals. Shortly after opening last year, you can place an order on iOS or Android or on the platform where Aslanoba Capital also received investment. It was possible to pay with cash, credit card or meal card at the door and online with a credit card. After a while, the site started to use the same distribution channel as Aslanoba's other food technology venture, Mealbox.

40 –

Launched in August 2012, Designlock was a site established to sell different and design-oriented products. Offering different and unique designs to its users every day, the DesignLocks team consists of former employees of Rocket Internet, which decided to withdraw from the Turkish market. Engin Gökdiken, co-founder of Designlock, explains the reason for the shutdown: “Our metrics were pretty good. Our biggest mistake was trying to operate in an immature market in Turkey. People interested in design were a very limited audience. Our second shortcoming was our weakness in purchasing. Our margins were not adequate for our volume. The most important item to fix overall is the purchase. E-commerce means retail. Unless you have a strong purchase, keeping growing organisms afloat with small margins is nothing short of a dream. It is not easy to achieve extraordinary success without innovation.

Lesson: When it comes to buying in small quantities, losing is inevitable!


41 –

Founded by Gökhan Ayantaş and Ali Kasımoğlu in 2012, operated in the category of niche opportunity sites in the consumer electronics field. The biggest difference of from other opportunity sites was that it put products on its shelves. But it wasn't enough…



42 –

Founded in April 2012 as a joint venture between Garanti Bank and Doğuş Internet, has become the new player in the group shopping market. The end of the project, which was implemented with the support of Garanti Payment Systems and Garanti Technology, was no different from other opportunity sites. The end of sales was due to the fact that Bonubon sold products at higher prices than its competitors, as we mentioned before, because of market saturation, counterfeit products, and the departure of users from the market due to problems such as late arrivals. attempt.

43 – Clover Game Studio

Clover Game Studio, which achieved the success of being the most downloaded Turkish game in the world for a while with Reveal The Maze, the first game they designed, later released its second game called Candy Chain. The general problem of game studios, the inability to create a source of income, also showed itself in Clover Game Studio and the company was closed in 2014. Clover Game Studio, which was chosen as one of Turkey's top 10 startups by Wired magazine in 2013, also entered Turkishtime's top 100 startups list in the same year.

Lesson: No matter how good the e-commerce or game idea you have in mind, if you can't build your income source, wait for a while.


44 – Saklı, which entered the opportunity market in a niche area in 2011, offered products and events related to Ottoman culture to its users. Founded by Ömer Ekinci, the site provided the opportunity to learn the art of marbling and glassblowing at affordable prices. The startup, which was in high demand in the first days of its establishment, joined the caravan of sites that were closed after about 15 months. Ekinci, the founder of the site, lists the mistakes they made as follows: “I tried to be successful in e-commerce as a side job, without leaving my main job, Desnet. I was fed from my parent company without any serious capital. But e-commerce is not done without capital as it is thought. The entry barrier has now increased to 1 million TL. I also aimed to reach the breakeven point in a short time, but it took a long time to be patient… I worked with a young and inexperienced team instead of an expert team, which was a big mistake. Finally, I entered an area like the opportunity sector, where competition is stifling, differentiation is difficult, profit margins are very low, and field operations are high, and I could have built a different business model.”

Lesson: There are multiple lessons. Read Ekinci's self-criticism again.

45 –, which set out in 2011 with the aim of becoming a worldwide initiative, was a site working with the Airbnb model. Developed by Mavi Kelebek New Media, founded by Alper Yamaner and Bora Ulutaş, the aim of the initiative was to offer world travelers an accommodation experience where they can get to know the local culture and make new friends. hotels. The site, which has competitors such as Airbnb and HomeAway on a global scale, had to spend serious promotion and advertising in order to be successful. The inability of the Supernomads, who set out with low capital, to receive investment, can be shown as the main reason for the failure.


46 –

Established in 1998 as one of Turkey's first online e-commerce sites, Estore made a big splash when it was sold to Çukurova Group in 2006. The site, which later established a sales channel on Digiturk under the name of, was once shown as the biggest competitor of was closed in 2008 due to administrative errors and mistakes made in

Lesson: Choose your managers well.

47 –

It was a vertical e-commerce startup founded in September 2012 by successful entrepreneurs in their fields. Among its founders were Sina Afra, Tolga Tatari, Ahmet Emre Sarı, Emir Aral, Hakan Baş and Alper Afşin Özdemir. The game was a vertical site in the console space. It closed in November 2013.


48 –

Founded by Tolga Esin and Can Elbeyli in February 2012, the initiative was based on the logic of promoting products by celebrities in the areas of style, food, personal care and children with video. The initiative, which has a very different and creative style from the e-commerce startups in Turkey, was closed in February 2013.

The founding partner of the company, Tolga Esin, explains the mistakes they made as follows: “It was implemented with a business model that took a long time. However, the most important factor we missed was the change in costs with the involvement of big players in the e-commerce sector. Companies that have become aggressive to dominate the market have increased the average cost of acquiring customers. This made it impossible to participate in the competition. We could not reach the levels we wanted in terms of scale. It would have been easier for us to be more conservative about the capital to be included in the competition during the planning period and to secure this capital before implementing the project. In addition, the low share of founders working full-time in the project during the search for investment was also seen as an important risk factor for investors and hindered the progress of negotiations.”

The Lesson: Entering the market at a time when costs were rising and profit margins was falling was one of Gurunzi's biggest mistakes.

49 –

Founded in 2006, Filimk is positioned as a video surveillance site. After users become a member of the site, they can add videos to the system and vote for other videos. Another feature of the site was the live broadcast section. In the section where you can instantly monitor all events taking place on the site, you can be instantly informed of comments, votes or video submissions made by users. The site's revenue model was ad-based, which is why the site was shut down.


50 –

Petofoni, which can be defined as an opportunity site for pets, was an e-commerce opportunity site founded by Emrah Eşkin. Aiming to reach pet owners with high discounts, the initiative was put into service in 2011 and offered service alternatives such as hairdresser, hostel services and training for many pets, especially dogs and cats. Due to the large number of e-commerce sites for pets, it did not survive and was closed after a few months.

Lesson: Stay away from the highly competitive market.

Sources: Turkishtime,

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