Path, founded by ex-Facebook executive Dave Morin in 2010, came with a fresh concept of private networking – a model akin to Facebook but limited to 50 users. The app gained prominence and gradually grew over time but, could not withstand the increasing competition in the market. In an official announcement, Path has revealed that it’s going to shut down in exactly a month – on October 18th.
It’s trajectory has witnessed wild fluctuations to say the least. The startup which had almost run out of capital, had raised multiple rounds of funding with its series C amounting to $50 million valuing it at $500 million. Just few months post its launch, it received an acquisition offer of $100 million from Google which it turned down for some reason.
The California-based startup chose to do away with its concept of ‘limited users’ a few months into its existence. It expanded to other regions in Southeast Asia and Middle East as well. Having witnessed a high of $15 million users at one point of time, the number of daily active users and its staff started declining which hindered its growth.
Path released another standalone app named Path Talk, a business messaging service. It had high hopes from the new service but things did not turn out to be in the company’s favor. It had to sell out its messaging service to a Korean messaging app Daum kakao in 2015. The app had a quite decent userbase of 4 million in Indonesia and Daum kakao had a keen eye on the growing market. So, it worked out in the favour of both. Rarely do we see such instances, where a Southeast Asian company takes over a U.S. competitor. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.
However, things do not seem to have faired out well, since it did not meet the expectations and the presence remained stagnant. Now, Kakao is finally letting it go, as the statement says,
It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Path. We started Path in 2010 as a small team of passionate and experienced designers and engineers. Over the years we have tried to lay out our mission: through technology and design we aim to be a source of happiness, meaning, and connection to our users.
The app will not be listed on Google Play and App Store October 1st onwards, then finally closing its service on 18th. Users can restore a copy of their data until 18th from their website.
The startup counts big names among its backers including Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Insight Venture partners and others.