London-based Togethera, a startup that allowed families to share photo albums privately, is to shutter after failing to raise beyond its initial £250,000 seed round from 2014. The startup managed to garner 65,000 users for its web/mobile platform for private photos. But it would appear the audience is continuing to use other platforms, such as Apple albums or Facebook, and it struggled to raise further capital with those low user numbers.
The key difference between Togethera and other apps was that a user could only be invited to a group by someone who already had their email address. They also had a side-project app called Upshot where photos between friends on a night out would automatically delete a week later.
Co-founder and CEO Sokratis Papafloratos started the site with Matt Dempsey, formerly of Facebook.
Papafloratos told me via email: “Unfortunately we couldn’t raise further funding this year or build a business out of the product, so we have decided to shut down Togethera and Upshot and wind down the company. We took on a big, ambitious goal and built a product that was beautiful, private and put your needs as a user first. Many of our 65,000 users loved it, but the space proved to be too difficult to crack. Obviously, we’re saddened by the outcome, but don’t regret going for it for a second. We built a product we’re proud of, we brought joy to thousands of families across the world and created an amazing team. We’re now speaking to a few people about next steps and opportunities and I’m confident we’re going to find a good home for the team.”
The site sent out an email this afternoon to users telling them that the service will shut down on August 4th, with instructions on how to download their photos: “Unfortunately we’re not generating enough revenue to cover our costs, and our user base isn’t growing fast enough to suggest our revenue issues might be solvable soon. We were also unable to secure further funding to keep the company going, despite our best efforts.”
Around three days after Togethera shuts down users will receive an email to download archives of their groups’ photos, videos and comments.
The startup had previously raised seed financing from a group of influential European and SF-based angels/entrepreneurs. These were: Mosow-based Kirill Makharinsky (co-founder of ostrovok), SF-based Andy McLoughlin (co-founder of Huddle) and, from London, Andrew Bredon (London co-founder of dealchecker), Nic Brisbourne (partner at Forward Partners), Alexios Vratskides (Persado and Upstream), Chris Burke (ex CTO of Vodafone and previous investor in TrustedPlaces) and HOWZAT Partners (previous investors in TrustedPlaces and Trivago).