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Incogmito Shuts Down

Incogmito- an anonymous social networking platform that lets its users to share thoughts and ideas, make confessions, post problems, ask questions without giving off their identity-decided to shut down operations recently. Although, the startup is yet to make a public announcement but we have come to know from authentic sources that the startup is no more in operation. In fact, Incogmito never made it to the field. It launched a beta version in August 2014 but it stopped working once Facebook changed its API.

Founded by Shehzad Noor Taus, Muhtasim Rahman and Jamiur Bin Nasir, Incogmito launched out of Bangladesh Startup Cup 2014. The startup was one of the four finalists of the event. After the launch it received quite good attention and made good progress until stopping in December once there was nothing to do. They tried to pull off a redesign but it never worked out.

Platform dependent applications and companies often come under fire once the platform decides to close its door. We have seen Periscope, Meerkat, Upworthy and many other startups to build on platforms and later also getting into trouble because of the the same reason. Meerkat had to change everything once Twitter decided to shut down its access to Twitter feed. It almost killed the streaming startup.

Incogmito faced the same problem but it was not the only reason for its failure. There are more to it. Team and finding product-market fit are two other areas we have to look at to understand Incogmito story. So far we know, it had around few 100 users using its beta version that went blue later. And it is a matter of concern of-course. Bangladesh as a target market for an anonymous social app does not sound interesting.

Similarly, Incogmito team was unusually young. All three founders just came out of high school and about to go for higher studies. It was pretty unlikely for them to take big risk to build a startup in Bangladesh, for which future was at best bleak, while they had better option to take. Socio-economic condition of Bangladesh also does not support the idea that young kids to drop out and try and fail. So, as we could guess, once Incogmito required further push and a pivot of sort, they backed off and decided to let it go.

We are not sure about many things about Incogmito. We requested for comments from Incogmito team and hope to hear back. There was rumor in the market that Incogmito raised undisclosed amount of seed fund from few local angel investors. It means there would be some sort of deal with the investors as well. We also don't know about the team and why they did not go for a pivot when they saw it dying because of platform dependency. We will update this story once we hear back from Incogmito team.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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