6 AI Companies That Shut Down In 2020

The pandemic has made us witness many unimaginable things including losing our dear ones,  recession, lay-offs, salary cuts and more. Besides this, another outcome of the pandemic is the closing of businesses due to financial losses, and many other reasons that companies are facing amid this unprecedented time. 

With the pandemic and recession, it has become even difficult for startups and small businesses to weather the current storm. In this article, we are listing down six such AI companies, in no particular order, that faced the worst during the pandemic and led to shutting down.


Founded: 2017

Shut Down: July 2020

Stockwell, formerly known as Bodega, was shut down this year in July. Founded in 2017 by ex-Googlers, the company was an artificial intelligence-based vending machine startup. According to news sources, the company could not find a viable business for its in-building app-controlled “smart” vending machines stocked with convenience store items. CEO Paul McDonald stated to the news media that the current landscape of the economy had created a situation where they could no longer continue the operations. 

Starsky Robotics

Founded: 2015

Shut Down: March 2020

In March, the maker of driverless trucks, Starsky Robotics announced that the company would shut down. The company used to create autonomous driving technology for long haul trucks on open highways. In a blog post, Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, the CEO & Co-Founder at Starsky Robotics stated, “In 2015, I got obsessed with the idea of driverless trucks and started Starsky Robotics, and in 2020, we’re shutting down.” Seltz-Axmacher mentioned that the breakthroughs of the unmanned truck failed to appear as well as the downpour of investors’ interest became a drizzle.


Founded: 2010

Shut Down: January 2020

Founded in 2010 by Adam J. Goldstein and Reddit co-founder Steve “spez” Huffman, Hipmunk was a trip planning platform. In June 2016, the company announced the launch of an AI-powered assistant known as Hello Hipmunk. The AI-assistant used to provide automated advice to would-be travellers with added support for Facebook Messenger and Slack. The shutdown comes after three and a half years of being acquired by Concur, a corporate travel/expensing platform.


Founded: 2014

Shut Down: July 2020

Sorabel, an Indonesian fashion e-commerce startup, decided to shut down this July due to COVID crisis. According to sources, the e-commerce startup was using AI-based applications in order to spot fashion trends. The reason for shut down is that due to the pandemic, consumers avoided non-essential spending, which led to enormous losses for the company. 


Founded: 2014

Shut Down: July 2020

ScaleFactor is a finance and accounting platform that recently raised $100 million from investors to create AI-powered products for automating bookkeeping, financial forecasting, bill paying, tax completion and other financial tasks. However, soon after the funding, the company announced that it would be shutting down due to COVID-19. According to a blog post, the closing down of the company led to some different reason. As per the company’s employees, there were far more issues such as books filled with errors, forced to re-hire accountants, among others.

Founded: 2014

Shut Down: January 2020 is a Toronto-based startup that leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically fill potential gaps in CRM data. In January, the company announced that it will soon end its operations and will be shutting down. The company‘s process focussed mainly on a CRM platform that used artificial intelligence to pull data from communications platforms — including email, phones, chat platforms and even calendar appointments — to automatically enter professional interactions and relationships that staff might not otherwise think to feed into a CRM system.

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Ambika Choudhury
A Technical Journalist who loves writing about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. A lover of music, writing and learning something out of the box.

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