The co-founders of mobile shopping app Grabble, and its associated technology firm, Mobula, have decided to wind down the company after they failed to make the required progress in creating a technology platform for native mobile commerce.
The company, founded by Daniel Murray and Joel Freeman, launched in October 2013 with Grabble, an iOS and Android mobile commerce app that allows users to buy products from more than 1,500 brands such as Reiss, Asos, Topshop and Selfridges by swiping to “like” items.
In September 2016 the pair later launched an app called Popcorn, which allows users to discover films, watch trailers and buy them through iTunes.
In December 2017 they received £1.6m funding to build Mobula, which used the insight gained through Grabble and Popcorn to make a platform that would enable small to medium size brands to have best in class ecommerce apps with low cost and time investment.
However Murray, one of Drapers 30 under 30 alumni, said the firm failed to hit required targets and decided it would be irresponsible to “throw good money after bad”. The company, which employed 13 people is in the process of winding down.
“Grabble and Popcorn had millions of users, and winding these down this week is very painful,” he said. “We topped all the app charts, won all the awards we could, and fans loved us. We never ever accepted that Grabble would fail. We got so many ‘get out of jail free’ cards that it ended up being our party trick, when no one else actually believed this day would come.
“Instead, this time has come in a totally unexpected way. We always thought running out of cash would be our cause of death if anything. But in the end, it was a failure to deliver results and launch a product, and taking the responsibility that comes with that.”
Murray told Drapers he and Freeman will consider starting a new company at a later date: “The reality is we now have to come up with something completely new and use the remainder of the funds – a considerable amount – responsibly on an idea we can execute and get behind.”