Uber, a publishing platform that was cofounded by artist Glenn Kaino and his cousin, former Friendster CEO and NBC West Coast president Scott Sassa, has called it quits. A notice on the site’s homepage states that Uber is latest victim of the US’s current economic woes, and that the site will shut down entirely on September 29.
The direct cause of the shutdown has been attributed to an in-progress funding round that fell through because of investor distress over the economy. Past investors in Uber have included media networks Universal Music Group and Discovery, as well as Sterling Stamos Co-Investors Fund. The site reportedly closed a $7.6 million Series B round in May.
Uber was originally founded in 2006 as a social destination, but later shifted its strategy to become a publishing platform while still retaining some of its social roots. Users were able to craft slick webpages (primarily blogs) that included drag-and-drop rich media like YouTube videos and photographs. The platform developed a dedicated following, but never reached a large user base – traffic data leveled off and hovered at less than half a million users a month (though Sassa pegged that number at around 2 million users).
Sassa previously was CEO at Friendster, which he joined in 2004, and subsequently left less than a year later. Before Friendster, Sassa held a string of executive positions in media organizations, doing stints at Fox Broadcasting, Time Warner, Marvel Comics, and NBC (he reportedly didn’t leave these on his own accord).
Uber has been added to the Deadpool.