ClayValet, the Seattle online personal shopping service, has decided to close down after three potential acquisition offers fell apart in the past week.
While the economic crisis may have caused at least one of the acquisition offers to disintegrate, ClayValet founder Mikhail Seregine blamed the shut down more on his own inexperience as a startup CEO than the general economy.
“We didn’t feel like we had a compelling case to raise more money,” said Seregine, adding that the sales just didn’t materialize when the shifted to a business-to-business focus. “I am disappointed, of course. And I am disappointed with some of the decisions I made.”
If he had it to do over again, Seregine said he would have partnered with a more experienced co-founder and formed an official advisory board. That sort of guidance would have been invaluable, said the 28-year-old former Amazon.com worker.
ClayValet, which employed three people, raised about $400,000 from an angel investor. Some of that money will be returned, said Seregine.
And what is next for the entrepreneur?
At the moment, he is trying to oversee an orderly shut down of the company. As part of that effort, Seregine posted on the Seattle Tech Startups list that his two colleagues are now available for work. He also said the 700 square feet Capitol Hill office space — including desks, furniture, high-speed Internet and some core technology — is available to any takers.
“It’s the perfect starter package for a frugal startup,” he wrote.
Beyond that, Seregine said he is weighing his options including the possibility of another startup.
“Most likely I will take a position now that prepares me for starting a new company in a couple of years,” he said.
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