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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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.