Protonn closes its company and returns $9 million to investors

Protonn, a startup founded by former Flipkart executives, shut down within six months of raising capital from investors, people familiar with the matter said.

The Bengaluru and San Francisco-based startup, which had raised $9 million in seed funding, was founded by Anil Goteti and Mausam Bhatt.

It offered its platform to freelance professionals such as lawyers, graphic designers, and nutritionists to launch their businesses online, create videos, host live sessions, generate payment links, and track the financial performance of their businesses.

The company couldn’t find the right product-market fit and the founders didn’t agree to pivot its business model, people briefed on the matter said.

It completely shut down its operations and laid off all of its employees, they said.

Goteti declined to comment.

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“Covid-19 also didn’t help the startup, but there was a time when a pivot became necessary but the founders weren’t on the same page about it,” one person said. aware of the matter, adding that the company had returned the entire capital to the investors.

Investors include Matrix Partners, 021 Capital and Tanglin Venture Partners and prominent angel investors like Binny Bansal, Flipkart Managing Director Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Udaan Co-Founder Sujeet Kumar and Cred’s Kunal Shah.

Goteti, who served as senior vice president at Flipkart, left the company in November 2020. Bhatt, who is also a former Flipkart executive, previously worked with Google. The startup first launched its product in the United States and raised seed capital in July 2021. It also planned to start operations in India.

Mumbai-based insurance startup BimaPe also closed in its first year after failing to meet product suitability metrics set in March 2021.

The company then moved into the B2B insurance business and changed its name to Verak.

Ratan Tata-backed AI-chatbot developer Niki also shut down last year.

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