Profig, the Y Combinator-backed virtual phone system startup that launched out of the accelerator program’s summer class this August, has shut its doors after fewer than three months on the market. Its homepage is now a (pretty) 404 page and there is no way to sign up for the service anymore.
Profig was founded by two brothers, Anantha and Vamsi Katragadda. The original concept for Profig was to offer a professional and affordable virtual phone system for small and medium businesses. For just $30 per month, Profig promised to take the hassle out of using legacy hardware and software solutions. The old systems, Anantha Katragadda told me when the company launched, were too expensive and didn’t offer the advanced features that a modern virtual phone system could offer.
When Profig launched, Anantha Katragadda told me that the idea for the service was very different from the concept the brothers had originally pitched to get into Y Combinator’s program. The idea for what would become Profig was hatched during a number of office hours with Y Combinator founder Paul Graham.
This may also have been Profig’s downfall. As Katragadda told me earlier this week, Profig “was a pivot from our original idea and ultimately we weren’t passionate enough about it. Startups are a marathon and we figured if we’re gonna spend the next few years of our life on something, it should be something we’re passionate about.” Indeed, Profig was actually the name of the brothers’ original idea.
We often talk about how you have to be very passionate about your idea if you want your startup to succeed. Something we don’t talk about much is what to do when that original idea doesn’t quite work out and you need to pivot in order to keep your investors and others involved in the project happy. For Profig, sadly, this pivot was obviously not the right choice, but at least the team decided to shut it down quickly and move on.
Profig was an interesting product, so it’ll be interesting to see what the founders come up with next, but it doesn’t look like they are planning to pivot Profig itself again.