March 24, 2023

Businesses Google, LG and other companies exited in 2021 | Gadgets Now

The year 2020 was tough for startups. The pandemic bled the industry, overnight killing successful business models and squeezing funding. The list included those that were once investors’ darling. The year 2021 was a lot better, as people and businesses learnt to live with pandemic. Little doubt India saw 30-plus unicorns. However, there were some that found it tough. Here are eight such businesses, not all startups, that failed to reach the finishing line during the year.



​Houseparty app

Launched in 2016, the video chat Houseparty app became big in 2020. The pandemic that made the app popular also proved to be the reason behind its undoing as it increasingly faced competition from deep-pocketed rivals from Google, Facebook and Microsoft. In September 2021, the Fortnite maker Epic Games-owned app was shut down. The company did not give any specific reason behind the move. “The team behind Houseparty is working on creating new ways to have meaningful and authentic social interactions at metaverse scale across the Epic Games family,” Epic said in a statement.



​Google’s internet balloon firm Loon

Google pulled the plug on its internet balloon company Loon. Founded in 2011, Loon was part of Google’s moonshot projects. It aimed to bring high-speed internet to remote areas of the world. The project failed as it reportedly failed to find partners due to lack of sustainable business model.



​Hike Messenger

2021 also saw Hike shutting down its messaging service. In a post on Twitter, CEO Kavin Mittal, said that the company will shift focus to two new social products – Vibe and Rush.




The health analytics marketplace Apervita ceased operations in October 2021. In a post on LinkedIn, chief informatics and innovation officer Blackford Middleton wrote that the company had failed to drum up enough resources in its second round of funding. “It has been a great ride full of innovation and impact,” he said.




Bengaluru-based startup Niki.Ai was founded in 2015. The startup that had Ratan Tata among its investors offered an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot that allowed users to transact in several languages including English, Hindi, Bengali and Tamil. The AI startup shut down in October last year just months after it announced its overseas expansion.



​LG exits smartphone business

In April 2021, LG Electronics announced that it is shutting down its mobile business unit. Once a prominent mobile industry player, LG has been struggling in the market since the last few years. The company said that it will continue to provide service and software updates to its users for some time.



​Dark Sky weather app

Dark Sky – this one is on its way out. The popular hyperlocal weather app was acquired by Apple in March 2020. While the Android app went down some months after from the Google Play Store, the iOS app will shut down by the end of 2022.

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