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Investor Deadpools Jooce. Not Sure They're Aware.

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Funny how we receive tips sometimes. Yesterday we covered the latest Startup2Startup meetup, and a certain ChrisATSo33t commented on the story pointing to the latest quarterly report (PDF) of Luxembourg-based VC firm Mangrove Capital Partners in which they state that Paris-based portfolio company Jooce would be “closing its doors” during the month of February.

We’ve now entered the month of March, and the Jooce website is still alive, people can still sign up, and their blog has been silent since October 2008. No notice of shut-down anywhere to be found, and e-mails are not bouncing (we hope they’re still being replied to since we contacted the Jooce team for comment). But since Mangrove was the company’s only investor, having injected seed funding into the startup in 2007, we’re pretty sure we can deadpool the startup.

Update: wow. Jooce got back us with a completely different story:

I think the gun was jumped just a bit, Jooce is not closing. In fact, Jooce has been recently been in talks with an undisclosed buyer within the internet cafe world wishing to acquire Jooce. Doors don’t shut so easily on great technology.

When I asked why the VC would possibly claim such a thing about one of their portfolio companies, they made me laugh out loud by saying that “VCs are apparently not omniscient” and that “God can rest easy for now”.

We covered Jooce, which operates (operated) a web-based OS, a couple of times before starting with its launch in August 2007. It offered a virtual online desktop that provided a Flash platform for communication services like chat and e-mail combined with a custom way to play games, listen to music, etc. so you could essentially have the same user experience when you go online on any computer anywhere in the world.

I’ve always had doubts about this kind of concept, which is similar to what startups like Goowy, Cloudo, eyeOS and others are up to, given the current evolution of the web.

See, I already have a web-based OS. I just refer to it as my browser.

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