Fast, a much-hyped San Francisco-based one-click checkout startup, is shutting down, its CEO Domm Holland said in a statement on Tuesday, following reports it was looking for a new buyer after failing to raise money.
Holland referred to the startup as a “trailblazer,” saying some pioneers “don’t make it all the way to the mountain top,” according to the statement.
He said trailblazers pave the way for successors to follow, adding that his startup has “forever changed” buying online.
The Information reported in late March that Fast was looking for a new buyer following an unsuccessful fundraising effort.
The publication reported potential investors were told Fast planned to fire more than half of its staff, contradicting Fast’s head of engineering Vicky Xiong’s comment to Insider in February that the startup planned to double its staff by the end of the year.
The startup’s revenue for 2021 reportedly came in at $600,000, a tiny fraction of around one-fiftieth of the amount its rival Bolt generated.
Holland, the colorful wakeboarding, skydiving founder, launched Fast in 2019 with former Uber employee Allison Barr Alleen, who is Fast’s chief operating officer. Fast was valued at $1 billion in November 2020 and raised $124 million, including $102 million from payments giant Stripe in January 2021, before hitting roadblocks that eventually led to its closure.
The Australian entrepreneur Holland has raised controversy among some Australians who believe he escaped to the United States to leave behind controversies surrounding his former startup in Australia called Tow.com.au, NPR reported. Tow.com.au sought to be the “Uber of towing,” but a “multimillion-dollar” billing dispute with the Australian state government caused the liquidation of the startup in 2018 after owners did not reclaim their towed vehicles. At one point, as the startup was running out of cash, Holland considered selling the personal information of more than 21,000 people obtained through the startup. In a September interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Holland said he had “just always done my thing,” and that many founders tended to have a “different lens on the world.”