VYou, the NYC-based video question and answer site that raised $3 million back in May 2011, will be shutting down its consumer-facing product next week. The company, which operates from an office in SoHo, sent out an email to users today announcing that they will no longer be able to upload videos starting April 3rd. By April 5th, the site will shut down completely.
VYou cofounder Steve Spurgat told Betabeat by phone that the shutdown was primarily tied to the well of VC cash running dry. “A lot of it was capital related,” he admitted. “I think in the end it was just more of a business decision We had a very dedicated, very active community, but there just weren’t enough of them.” Mr. Spurgat declined to share user metrics.
Despite the fact that regular users will no longer be able to record and share videos on the site, VYou won’t be shutting down completely. The core team of five will continue working on custom integrations for celebrities and media companies “In the end all of our traffic was happening off the site rather than on the site,” Mr. Spurgat said, meaning that the majority of VYou’s traffic came from VYou products embedded on outside sites.
The company had wrangled a host of big names, like Oprah, Kat Dennings and the cast of Doctor Who, to join up. Recently the site hosted high profile VCs like Adam Ludwin and Dave Tisch (both VYou investors) as part of its “Ask Angel Investors & Venture Capitalists Group.” Given this news it’s hard not to see the Ask a VC series as a last ditch effort to enlist financiers to spur more interest in the consumer side of the business.
Here’s the full text of the email sent out to users:
Dearest VYou Community,
Video answers to life’s questions, spread all over the web. VYou was founded on that simple idea and generated millions of videos, from YouTubers falling off of chairs to Martin Luther King III sharing stories about his father.
Now, sadly, this email comes with unfortunate news. VYou is shutting down. Keeping the website running is no longer possible.
Next Wednesday, April 3rd, the website will no longer allow you to record videos. On Friday, the website will come down entirely. You will be able to receive all of your videos at that time (more info here).
Through all the peaks and even the outages, the tight knit VYou community has meant so much to us. The VYou team is still together and working on awesome stuff – this won’t be the last you hear from us.
We’ll still be around, always. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The VYou Team