Kublax deadpools after failing to get more funding

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The race to create the Mint.com for the UK has claimed its first victim. Kublax, a Seedcamp 2007 winner which launched in August 2008, has now gone into administration, saying it was unable to secure a further funding round.

In an email to the customers of its beta site, founders Sridhar Sethuraman and CEO Tom Symonds wrote: “Over the course of the last 6 months we have been trying hard to raise funding which would have allowed us to launch our enhanced new product and develop our offering further. Unfortunately we now have to admit defeat.”

Yodlee, which runs the back-end of Kublax’s cunsomer-facing service, as we pointed out recently, will be deleting all user data, including online banking details from its servers and user’s transactional data will also be completely erased from servers by close of business on Friday 19th February.

Suffice it to say that this is a big surprise. Everyone was expecting Kublax to become a big player in the UK after the success of Mint.com in the US.

Kublax luanched it’s public service in May last year of “just under” 1 million euros. The new funds were from Ambient Sound Investments and individuals such as Stefan Glänzer, former executive chairman of Last.fm and Jonty Kelt, Vice President of Search, International with DoubleClick. Previous investors which participated in that round were The Accelerator Group (TAG) (a Seedcamp backer), Omnis Mundi Invest AG and Digitalents Capital. In February 2008 Kublax won a round of undisclosed angel investment from those latter three, together with Five Ventures.

New player MoneyDashboard now appears to have a clear field to take over the space. There is also Lovemoney.com which is keeping fairly quiet.

The email to users is below. We’ve reached out to Kublax to try and get more comment.

Dear Kublax Customer

It is with great regret that we announce the closure of our service as we have been forced to take the business into administration. Over the course of the last 6 months we have been trying hard to raise funding which would have allowed us to launch our enhanced new product and develop our offering further. Unfortunately we now have to admit defeat.

We are sorry that we have not been able to repay your trust in Kublax and particularly disappointed not to be able to launch the new enhanced version of the service which was being shaped to a very large extent by your Feedback on the current service.

Kublax’s partner, Yodlee, will be deleting all user data, including online banking details from its servers. Once deleted no further information will be gathered and stored for Kublax customers. Your transactional data will also be completely erased from our servers by close of business on Friday 19th February. We will not pass your data on to any third parties.

If you wish to contact Sridhar or I you can reach us at the following email address – kublaxenquiry@googlemail.com

Many thanks again for your support and we hope that Kublax was able to help you make slightly better sense of your finances over the last year or so.

Tom and Sridhar

UPDATE: So we’re getting some more information coming in on this. It looks like it was a genuine problem with further fundraising, rather than anything wrong with the company or product itself. There does also appear a way out in that the underlying financial engine product may get bought pretty quickly since so much of the product is now built.

However, there does appear to have been a couple of issues. The CEO had a media background and perhaps wasn’t experienced in technology startup fundraising. Plus the company was too wedded to the brand name Kublax, which means something to do with money in Indian folklore but means nothing in Western circles. Perhaps MoneySomething might have been better.

We’re also hearing that the product was very good, possibly better than MoneyDashboard’s.

UPDATE Feb 26: Kublax has confirmed, for the last time, that it’s closing.

  • JiminyD

    MoneyDashboard will now be the 2nd player in the UK (if it ever actually launches before they run out of icecream money too); after lovemoney.com’s Online Banking app (which seems to have been launched and running live since late lat year with no fanfare).

    • Jack Thorpe

      The competitor to watch is SimplyFinance http://www.simplyfinance.co.uk who is rumoured to be launching a pan European personal finance product. You can tell this by looking at the jobs they are advertising for.

    • dave

      luanched = nonsense

  • sam

    To be honest I have just been using yodlee directly here in the UK, seems to work well – like the light weight browser access, SMS alerts – the actual dashboard is OK and I think their weakest point.

  • fivebellies

    I’ve been lucky enough to be using the Beta for moneydashboard.com and have to say that it’s really great. Their UI blows away what kublax had. It’s all Microsoft silverlight based and really user friendly.

    • sam

      yea if you can get silverlight to work properly in chrome! ….. HTML5

      • fivebellies

        HTML 5? Why? Even when major browsers do offer full support (NONE do at the moment) the features available in Silverlight (version 5 by that time?) will far exceed those in the HTML 5 specification.

        moneydashboard.com is in beta, which means it is a pre-release site. Apparently, it will launch with support for all major browsers, as Silverlight itself will be supported in all major browsers, on all major platforms including mobile devices.

      • sam

        yea yea heard the same thing about flash. HTML5 will offer a standard platform for all. Yes it will lack the bell’s n whistles of Silverlight and Flash but do you need all that. Not sure.

      • sam

        yea yea heard the same thing with flash and try getting that to work on your mobile – HTML5 will provide a truly even platform – it wont have all the bells-n-whistles of flash/silverlight to start with but then do you really need it … honestly if yodlee spent

      • James

        I wouldn’t use any site that uses Silverlight

      • fivebellies

        @james “I wouldn’t use any site that uses Silverlight”

        I bet you are the sort of person that disables Javascript and images in their browser too. Maybe you should try out Lynx (text only browser) to enhance your surfing experience, or as you seem to have such a handle on web standards, why not get the standards compliant ‘Amaya’ browser from the W3C installed? (haha)

        Huge sites like Facebook are in the process of developing Silverlight UIs. I think that speaks volumes.

        Time will tell.

  • http://www.lovemoney.com Carl

    Thanks JiminyD,

    Yes, lovemoney.com online banking launched just before xmas09, since when we have really positive feedback from customers.

    In brief, lovemoney.com online banking is being evolved iteration by iteration, based partly on customer feedback (which has so far been excellent) and the insight of the team we have in place at lovemoney.com.

    We understand the complexities of offering an aggregation service and are really sorry to hear the recent news from the Kublax team.

    Carl
    Product Director – lovemoney.com

    • http://www.ragorder.com Mark Stanley

      Carl – any plans to expand into Ireland?

      • http://www.lovemoney.com Carl

        Mark,

        Yep, we are building out banks that we support in both UK and Ireland.

        Carl

      • Spam Assassin

        Stop spamming the board here with your self serving comments. If you want to buy an ad on Techcrunch, then pay for one.

        Jeez.

      • Candice

        Carl

        You dirty spammer. Get lost.

  • Mike

    Hey Mike, FYI typo on first sentence, 2nd “the” should read “to”

  • http://www.jmedwards.net Jamie Edwards

    This is a tragedy. The UK is crying out for a mint.com, especially since Microsoft pulled its Money product from the UK in 2007.

    • fivebellies

      check out moneydashboard.com

      • http://www.jmedwards.net Jamie Edwards

        Isn’t open to everyone yet. Looking at https://www.lovemoney.com which seems just like Kublax

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    […] Kublax announced that it was closing down: The race the create the Mint.com for the UK has claimed its first victim. Kublax, a Seedcamp 2007 […]

  • http://www.moneydashboard.com Dave Riley

    Money Dashboard offers an alternative to Kublax. Our free online personal finance software tool, also using Yodlee technology is currently in the process of beta testing.

    We’re testing extensively because we want to make sure the product is just right, in terms of both functionality and user interface, before we launch it to the UK market. Money Dashboard not only enables you to tag your transactions but also helps you to set up budgets, allowing you to track your spend using our monthly tracker.

    With Money Dashboard you can build a realistic picture of your spending, identify where savings can be made and set a budget you can actually achieve.

    We are very secure and well financed – we’ve already received £1M in funding last year.

    If you haven’t already, we’d love for you to sign up as a Beta tester on our site. We’re releasing the product to the Beta testers in waves, and will fully launch Money Dashboard in the spring.

    • Sanderton

      Spam.

      Very classy move. You can be sure I don’t go anywhere near your site. Stop spamming this board.

      • Gab

        it’s hardly a spam, since they are actually mentioned in the article.

      • tolly-dude

        I hate spam comments that are in fact spam themselves, disguised by complaining about spam.

      • All Spammers Die

        Hey all of you loser sites and spamsters and fake spammers. No one cares. If you want to promote your own company do it on your own company blog!

        Die spammers die!

  • sam

    Dave – would like to try it out – perhaps you can convince me – appreciate an invite to mailsamd(at)gmail.com thanks

    • http://www.moneydashboard.com Dave Riley - Money Dashboard

      Sam – Thanks for your Interest in Money Dashboard. We fully appreciate the difficulties Kublax have faced with fund raising and are sorry to hear of their misfortune.
      As mentioned previously Money Dashboard are currently rolling out beta invitations in waves due to the large number of applicants we already have.
      Please apply for a Beta invitation at our site and we will strive to get you on board as soon as possible.

  • EH

    All of these domain names suck. Come on, Europe.

    • http://www.wehuhu.co.uk Dan Mullineux

      @EH what about wehuhu.co.uk :p

  • http://www.nadx.co.uk/blog/kublax-finaly-throws-in-the-towel/ Kublax Finaly Throws in the Towel
  • http://none Lol

    I’m really looking forward to trying the moneydashboard site, but I signed up for the beta on the 30th Nov 2009 and I still haven’t had an invite :(

    Has anybody in fact, would be interested to hear what its like.

    Thanks,
    Lol.

  • http://tekfin.com/2010/02/16/klublax-is-going-under-administration/ Klublax is going under administration » Tekfin

    […] Techcrunch is reporting that Klublax has gone into administration. Here is the official mail: […]

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  • http://www.moneyStrands.com Lucia @ moneyStrands

    Another option available is moneyStrands. We support some UK banks, and we also allow users to manually import transactions via a CSV file. If Kublax allows you to export your data, you can easily import them into moneyStrands (we also support 44 currencies). More info at http://www.moneyStrands.com.

  • Gibarian

    Did anyone actually use kublax? I did, it was total crap. Maybe it folded cause it was crap? For like 5 months it had an out of date security ceritificate to – way to make everyone feel confident giving their bank details. Total rubbish.

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  • http://money-watch.co.uk Rob Lewis

    Looks like Kublax has had a reprieve (http://money-watch.co.uk/6412/kublax-lives) – interestingly given Jack Thorpe’s comment above (#2), it looks like Simply Finance have bailed them out.

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