Leaders at a Prairie Village tech startup announced Monday their decade-long mission to fix a broken piece of the economy would come to a close later this week.
Zaarly — an online marketplace to hire accountable home service providers — is expected to cease operations Friday, according to a message from Bo Fishback, co-founder and CEO of Zaarly.
“We knew [our mission] would be challenging and that we might fail. We knew it might be impossible or that even if it was possible, we might not be the group to pull it off,” said Fishback. “Unfortunately, after 10 years of grinding in pursuit of a better local services economy, we’ve come to the final chapter of Zaarly.”
The startup launched a transition FAQ page to help homeowners and professionals using the marketplace understand next steps. Click here to read the FAQs.
“ … Rest assured, we’re doing everything we can to make it as smooth of a transition as possible for those of you who rely on Zaarly to care for your home or run your business,” Fishback said.
Fishback co-founded Zaarly with Eric Koester and Ian Hunter in 2011. The company began as an idea Fishback — then-vice president of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and president of Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation — first pitched at Startup Weekend in Los Angeles.
A $14.1 million Series A round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers’ iFund and Sands Capital Ventures, soon followed in 2011. The company made headlines when it added former HP CEO and eBay CEO Meg Whitman to its board — joining fellow celebrity board member LeVar Burton of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Reading Rainbow” fame — and welcomed actor Ashton Kutcher as an investor.
“I’ve learned over the years that when tackling something new and ambitious the two things you hear most often are ‘This is going to be amazing!’ and ‘This will never work!’” Fishback said. “I’m incredibly proud of the fact that the team at Zaarly, our investors, the small businesses we work with, and the customers who use Zaarly every day are the optimists who can imagine and commit to creating a better future.”
It’s been an honor to work every day knowing a small army of people were creating something better, he added.
“I’m more confident than ever that there is an opportunity to build a truly meaningful company in this part of the economy — we’ll just have to wait a bit longer to find out what it looks like,” Fishback said.
Startups are hard.
The one we’ve spent the last 10 years on didn’t make it.
Thank you to all the team, investors, customers, and partners who supported us and made it such a great experience. https://t.co/4LuJb3mddd
— Eric Jorgenson 🛠🏔 (@EricJorgenson) April 5, 2021