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The Rise and Fall of a Promising Start-up

Everpix, the two-year-old photo storage and organization start-up, will shut down, thanks in part to a $35,000 bill from Amazon.
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Photo-sharing start-up Everpix has closed its doors, the founders sadly announced on its website.

The two-year-old start-up raised $1.8 million in angel and seed rounds, and took on $625,000 in debt, according to its CrunchBase profile.

But it ran out of money, in part because it racked up a good-sized bill every month from Amazon, CEO Pierre-Olivier Latour told The Verge's Casey Newton.

In the early days, Everpix had all the earmarks of a success. Latour is a 34-year-old French entrepreneur who sold his first company to Apple in 2003 (a tech called "PixelShox” which was renamed “Quartz Composer"). His co-founder Kevin Quennesson was from Apple, too, and held several patents.

Everpix landed in the 500 Startups accelerator program and was a TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 finalist. When launched, Everpix earned great reviews for a service that stored and automatically organized stockpiles of photos. It could understand the content of the photos, like people, or animals or beach scenes.

The start-up grabbed 55,000 users including 6,800 paid subscribers and stored their 400 million photos on Amazon's cloud storage service.

But subscriptions tapered off and the income wasn't enough to cover its bills. Venture capitalists weren't biting when Latour tried to raise another $5 million. The start-up's seven employees were working for minimum wage with hope that Latour could sell the service, and its automatic sorting technology, as an acqu-hire. Latour wanted Path to buy it, but that deal fell through, Newton reports. 

The final straw was a looming $35,000 bill from Amazon. "Our AWS bill is going to be due on the third. We're not going to be able to pay," Latour told Newton.

In the face of that, the founders had no choice but to close shop. Here's the sad good-bye note that Everpix posted on its website:

We gave it our all...

It is with a heavy heart we announce that Everpix will be shutting down in the coming weeks.

We started this company two years ago with the goals of solving the photo mess and designing better ways for people to enjoy their memories. We are very proud of the work we've done-;from the cutting-edge semantic analysis and syncing technology, right down to every pixel on our website and mobile apps.

We are grateful to our investors for giving us the opportunity to grow this project. But more importantly, we are so very thankful to the folks who supported us with subscriptions and feedback. You guys are the best.

It's frustrating (to say the least) that we cannot continue to work on Everpix. We were unable to secure sufficient funding in order to properly scale the business, and our endeavors to find a new home for Everpix did not come to pass. At this point, we have no other options but to discontinue the service.

We will email everyone soon in regards to refunds and exporting photos from Everpix-;your memories are very important to us, and you can rest assured everyone on the team is working hard to ensure a simple and painless process.

Please read this document which explains the situation in more detail. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or thoughts. Email us atfeedback@everpix.com or tweet @everpix.

Thank you, again. We'll miss you.

The Everpix Team

 

This article originally appeared in Business Insider

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

IMAGE: Araya Diaz/Getty
Last updated: Nov 6, 2013




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