Why gear rental marketplace Lumoid shut down

Startups



Lumoid, a tech gear rental startup is no longer in business and its founder Aarthi Ramamurthy is moving on to Facebook.

The startup launched as just a “crazy idea,” when it came out of Y Combinator four and half years ago, Ramamurthy wrote on a Facebook post this weekend announcing the shut down.

Lumoid went on to raise nearly $6 million over the last four years. This spring, the company announced it had inked a deal with Best Buy, which would soon allow customers to rent equipment from the big box store.

“We built something people wanted, accomplished a lot as a small team, had a lot of fun in the process and learned so much,” Ramamurthy said. “…we’re all insane people for doing what we did, and thankful for our investors who believed in us when no one else did.”

But sometimes customer demand, a deal with Best Buy and investors believing in your vision just aren’t enough, especially when it comes to scaling the business.

Ramamurthy told TechCrunch she had tried to secure the necessary funds to gear up for that Best Buy partnership but was unable to do so. “As a result, we decided to wind down the business,” she said.

Lumoid has since worked to sell off the assets it owned, repay some of the debt and help find new roles for team members.

“While this is not the outcome we wanted obviously, I’m glad we were able to build Lumoid and scale it to thousands of customers, ship hundreds of thousands of Lumoid gear, and learn so much from the process of building the company,” Ramamurthy told TechCrunch.

It would make sense for Ramamurthy to want to start another company after this one didn’t work out. She has experience growing and scaling startups as a serial entrepreneur. She co-founded another try-before-you-buy company True & Co, spent some time as entrepreneur-in-residence at Battery Ventures and before that she worked on building the consumer devices SDK at Netflix and on the Xbox Live team at Microsoft. But she’s not going back to entrepreneurship — at least not for a while.

Ramamurthy will instead take on a new role with the Facebook payments team. Her husband Sriram Krishnan worked at Facebook a couple of years ago before jumping to Snap and later Twitter. But she said she was introduced to several of the team members on the payments team at the Women in Product conference in September and talks started from there.

“I just finished my first week at Facebook and its been a whirlwind in a very good way,” she said.

But moving on from what might have been a success with just a little more time and money is still “bittersweet” for the founder. “I’ve been getting emails from customers for the last few months to keep the service going and it’s been bittersweet – we’re sad to wind it down and we’ve been so lucky to have these passionate customers,” Ramamurthy said.



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