DotBlu, which we first covered in 2007 when it was called BluBet, had some of Silicon Valley’s highest profile angel investors backing it. But it wasn’t enough, and company hit the deadpool earlier this week.
Investors in an early angel round included Jawed Karim (Co-Founder of YouTube), Kevin Hartz (Co-Founder of Xoom and Eventbrite), Joe Greenstein (Co-Founder and CEO of Flixster) and Keith Rabois (Former PayPal & LinkedIn Executive and Current Slide Executive). A later $2 million round was funded by Maples Investments and DE Shaw.
The company first launched as an online betting service and then changed its name and focus to social gaming. But on October 16 the company shut everything down with a brief note to users: “Dear dotblu members: dotblu.com is down indefinitely. A big thanks to each of you for being part of our community for the past two and a half years.” The note also asks users to stay in touch via their Facebook fan page.
Most startups die, so this isn’t any particular slam on the founders or investors. They tried and they failed, and that’s the way of Silicon Valley.
And as a goodbye salute to dotblu, I remind readers of The Man In The Arena speech by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. Adapt or die, they say. And if you die, put another quarter in the machine and start the game over.
Thanks for the tip, Tinycomb.