We have not heard from Dugdugi for quite a long time. Dugdugi, an online music distribution startup for bangla music, started back in 2013. It was one of the three finalists at first Startup Weekend Dhaka held in 2013 and also only startup to launch from such a competition in Dhaka, so far. Right after the launch, Dugdugi received huge initial responses from industry people, press and music lovers. In 2013, the year Dugdugi launched, it was one of the hottest startups in Dhaka. The idea was great. The team was cool. Even there was rumor of few great investment offers in the market. After few months of its being the company launched a new website with exciting design. Dugdugi even made in the list of our best startups to watch in 2014. And then puff!
Recently, we tried to find out what actually went wrong with Dugdugi.
We contacted with co-founders, early backers and few well-wishers of Dugdugi. Many of these people did not reply our questions and expressed unwillingness to make any comment.
Startups fail, all the time, for hundreds of reasons. Founder dispute is one of the most common and sure fire reasons.
We spoke to few early stage associates of Dugdugi to understand what caused the recent demise of Dugdugi and common answer was co-founder dispute. It was rumored in the market that there was an internal battle going on between co-founders.
So far we came to know, old team of Dugdugi is no more in work and majority of the founding team members left the company. A close source of one of the co-founders confirmed that, the dispute was about equity distribution and started once one of the founders was offered less than what he deserved. There was also accusation of mismanagement against one of the co-founders. We tried to talk to both co-founders of Dugdugi but could not find a clear explanation about what really happened.
But the truth is: Dugdugi is no more in operation from last year.
This is sad news for us, since we wanted it to succeed so much. We wanted to see an example of big scale tech startup success in Dhaka.
However, we have lessons to learn from Dugdugi. Most important one is of course: don’t make a mess!
We have a bad reputation regarding partnership business in Bangladesh. They say-it works for 01 year at best and once company starts making profit things get complicated and then fall apart. If this culture continues with startups we can't expect our future to at all be different. The bad thing we have here is: we start without making any professional deal and putting almost nothing on paper. The common expectation is: since we know each other better, we will fix whatever comes up. But for a startup time is critical. Once you get into mess, it is difficult to clear.
Founders should make things black and white from the very beginning and should maintain transparency and due diligence with whatever they pursue.