Joost UK dissolves, office furniture already in the hands of another startup

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The once immensely hyped and heavily-funded video company Joost continues its unceremonious journey to the deadpool.

TechCrunch Europe has learnt that the startup, famously co-founded by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, put its UK subsidiary into liquidation at the beginning of this month. The reasons that are given are not all too surprising: the liquidator says the company has “failed to sustain a significant share of the internet video industry and was unable to address this effectively through a re-positioning of its services.”

We’ve also learnt that the office furniture of Joost UK Limited, registered in England and Wales with number 05821718, has apparently already found its way to another startup, namely Songkick (also based in London).

The news of the closure of the wholly-owned UK subsidiary of Joost comes only a few months after the company underwent a number of serious changes, which included the ousting of former CEO Mike Volpi, significant lay-offs and a weak re-positioning of its core service offering. At this point, its future is more uncertain than it has ever been, and frankly I wish someone would just put the venture out of its misery by picking up the pieces or shutting it down altogether.

Update: more information from Paul Appleton, the liquidator:

Joost was incorporated in May 2008. It had circa 20 employees in the UK until July 2009, operating from Focus Point, Caledonian Road. Joost UK Limited was the UK trading company for the Joost Group and the latter operated Joost.com. The Joost Group suffered financial problems due to increased competition within that market and due to a failure to generate sufficient advertising revenues. When the Company entered into liquidation there were relatively few trade creditors as it had been supported by the Group. Users of Joost.com were unaffected financially by the closure of the company as the provision of its services was free.

The UK subsidiary is still listed on the Joost website, but the number that is listed is no longer in use and the e-mail address bounces (admittedly, so do the e-mail addresses for the other office locations). I was unsuccessful at gaining more information at Joost’s headquarters in The Netherlands, too: the person who picked up the phone was unable to answer any of my questions and referred me to the company’s press office in New York.

In a recent interview with former chairman and CEO Mike Volpi, PaidContent inquired about how Joost was shutting down after the last business turn-around. In his answer, Volpi didn’t mention the UK sub but said : “It’s going to be virtually all in New York, we are in the process of winding down the Dutch office.”

Looks like it’s going to be a slow, painful death for Joost indeed. Unless someone steps up and picks up whatever assets are still left on the table, of course.

(Hat tip to Alex Muir)

  • http://www.playfool.com/blog/2009/10/joost-uk-dissolves/ Playfool® - Darren Richardson » Blog Archive » Joost UK dissolves

    […] heavily-funded video company Joost continues its unceremonious journey to the deadpool. Read more TechCrunch Share this on del.icio.usStumble upon something good? Share it on StumbleUponShare this on […]

  • http://www.thefurobiker.com The Furobiker

    Finally

  • http://www.robodance.com/ Robert Oschler

    Maybe one of the desks for sale had a drawer with a disk in it that has the Skype source code on it?

  • http://www.twitter.com Tom Tailor

    Too bad when good ideas are halted because of copyright issues and everybody in the value chain wanting a too big piece of the cake!

  • http://twitter.com/reachstudents Luke

    What’s with the angle on the future of Joost’s office furniture?!

    • http://jamesmitchell.co.uk James

      It was this really dumb office furniture that no one wanted to use because there was easier-to-use and more popular office furniture in Youtube’s office.

      • Gubatron

        you mean Hulu’s office

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex_Graham/546326314 Alex Graham

    Any spare staplers? I’ve been with my employer 9 months and still haven’t gotten a stapler yet…

    • Richard John

      9 Months? Staplers are the holy grail of office stationary, we’re talking 4+ years before you even get one on your floor.

  • jabba

    Where can we buy all the cool Joost £1k lazeeboy chairs and CEO schwag?

  • jabba

    That was one impressive Money Bonfire they built, we could feel the glow over hear in Shoreditch.

  • Bysshe

    “…out of its mystery”?

    I’d hate to see Joost go – it was a damn cool site. Also has one of the biggest catalogue of music vids.

  • Gooley

    Robin, thanks for your opinion that you’d like the Joost story to be over. Hard to believe.

    Joost dug it’s own grave for sure. But drive by reporting from places like Techcrunch and Liz Gannes from NewTeeVee and SAI contributed. A little acknowledgment of that and impact the hyperbolic tone of you and your peers have on the direction of startups in general would be interesting.

  • Ben

    Oh, classy. I bothered to post results of my unintentional proof-reading of this article, and Robin has incorporated all of my revision suggestions, and then deleted my comment.

    I mean, I finished with ‘pretty shabby’ (there were 8 or 10 glaring mistakes in this article) – but it’s even shabbier to just delete comments.

    Robin, I believe the best-practice here is to use the feedback and post ‘thanks for the heads up’ – if you wanted, you could even email me to ask if I’d mind having the snarky bit taken out.

    • http://techcrunch.com Robin Wauters

      @Ben I didn’t delete any comments on this thread?

      • Ben

        That’s weird then – I did see my comment displayed on the page – it was definitely posted. Is there anyone else ‘moderating’ these comments, maybe?

        Also, it’s ‘misery’, not ‘mysery’ ;)

      • http://techcrunch.com Robin Wauters

        I know, I saw it, can’t retrieve it. Anyway, thanks for the pointers, wrote this pretty quickly, although it’s hardly an excuse (but maybe the fact that I’m not a native English speaker is :-) )

  • http://www.diggerderrickforsale.com Digger Derrick

    Great Blog. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it!

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    @Gooley – In 2007 year Nicholas Zennstrom of Joost did an event and asked the audience if anyone had used Joost. All hands went up. Someone else on the panel asked if they’d used it more than once. No hands went up. ‘Nuff said.

  • Ed

    It was always cumbersome. A seperate software for Joost, that needed to be updated constantly. Hulu then comes in, with full, good, current and old TV programs and movies that I can view without needing to install anything. Just click and watch. Why bother with Joost?

    • drew

      When Hulu comes in? To the UK, I presume. Will be when hell freezes over….Rupert Murdoch’s dead body.

  • http://www.tvjoost.nl/joost-sluit-kantoren-in-uk Joost sluit kantoren in UK | TVJoost, weblog over films downloaden, internet tv, Joost tv, films branden en meer

    […] behalen op de online videomarkt, ondanks een herpositionering van de diensten. Dat is te lezen op TechCrunch. De sluiting van het kantoor kan het begin van het einde zijn voor de dienst die ooit werd gestart […]

  • http://www.ashtontech.com/?p=637 Joost UK dissolves, office furniture already in the hands of another startup | Ashton Technology Blog

    […] Joost UK dissolves, office furniture already in the hands of another startup. […]

  • http://www.muztec.com/uncategorized/video-company-joost-uk-goes-titanic-no-social-killing-field-left.html Video company Joost UK goes Titanic – no social killing field left | Muztec.com

    […] video company Joost heads for the deadpool mode to paraphrase our Techcrunch buddies. Joost, co-founded by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, will put its UK subsidiary […]

  • http://www.simplyzesty.com Niall Harbison

    The problem was never the technology but always the content. I could never spend more than 5 minutes on the site as there was literally nothing to watch

  • http://aresvista.com/news/joost-uk-shuts-down/ Joost UK shuts down

    […] The site is still online but, “the office furniture of Joost UK Limited, registered in England and Wales with number 05821718, has apparently already found its way to another startup,” says TechCrunch. […]

  • Ron

    When Joost finally keels over and dies someone needs to write a book about it.

    I’m fascinated by how arrogant the founders must have been, over capitalized, constantly overspending, overbuilding, ignoring user feedback at every turn, hyping everything they do, mistake after mistake and bleeding slowly to death while everyone watches all the while publicly denying the end.. Its epic

  • http://www.discountpallet.com/ Pallet

    Aww..sad…

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2009/10/16/skype-founders-return-with-rdio-a-we7-or-a-spotify-clone/ Skype founders return with Rdio – a We7 or a Spotify clone?

    […] looks like the founders of Skype are already moving on from the recent Skype controversy and the failure of Joost. Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are planning to return to the startup fray with Rdio, […]

  • http://blog.idolmasti.com/skype-founders-return-with-rdio-%e2%80%93-a-we7-or-a-spotify-clone/ Skype founders return with Rdio – a We7 or a Spotify clone? | IdolMasti

    […] looks like the founders of Skype are already moving on from the recent Skype controversy and the failure of Joost. Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are planning to return to the startup fray with Rdio, […]

  • http://marketingtypo.com/2010/02/18/seesaw-launches-uk%e2%80%99s-answer-to-hulu-or-another-joost/ SeeSaw launches, UK’s answer to Hulu or another Joost? | MarketingTypo.com

    […] Anyone remember Joost? […]

  • http://www.century-office.co.uk Rosendo

    Sometimes that will happen, selling furniture require positive mind set…

    • http://www.relaxofficefurniture.co.uk/ office furniture

      I agree with you.

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