Andy Trattner

August 1, 2023

Failure is Part of The Thing

Dear Investors,

I've made the difficult decision to shut down Senseg Inc. After speaking with many of you, this seems the best path forward.

It has been over 3 months since pivoting away from Ecuador payments, and it's becoming clear that I'm unlikely to succeed as a solo founder. Better to return cash instead of spending it all on my living expenses until there's nothing left.

Philosophically, this is more aligned as well. I am increasingly open to bootstrapping a business, or even joining a company to make myself some long-needed income. Given the wider variety of options I'm considering, I am no longer fully stewarding your investment in a venture orientation as originally intended.

My plan for the next few months is to join Shuffle Speed Dating as cofounder & COO. The web app our team built was finally rolled out to production for live events this past weekend, and it worked well. Tomorrow is the first event for city #2 (Seattle). I am excited to grow this business and hopefully to pay ourselves out of earned revenue soon.
As much as I would love to bring along the friends & family who helped me iterate to this point in my life, so that you could share in potential future upside, this is structurally difficult:
  • The founder & CEO Austin will occupy the sole board seat, giving him the power to fire me. You did not invest in Austin, and may not want to blindly do so.
  • We have another cofounder as CTO, Harris. Neither of my cofounders chose you to be their investors. 
  • I would be wiped out if I were to carry along your SAFE into my portion of the new entity, or
  • you would end up owning a smidge under 1/3 of your originally-intended stake if we "shrunk" Senseg down somehow.
  • The amounts we're dealing with here are not worth any legal hoops to do so.

To my present knowledge, a total of 19 individuals and entities contributed a sum of $279,750.00 to Senseg. We currently have $141,273.78 left, after receiving our final consulting payment from Shuffle. This total will go down slightly with legal fees, before being sent out according to your SAFE terms. You will receive official details soon. 
I am extremely unhappy to have spent half your money with nothing material to show for it. I hope one day to be able to give all of it back and more. I will be forever grateful for the trust and support you've given me on this journey. I'm indescribably sorry for this outcome.

Please let me know if this all makes sense, or if you want to discuss anything further. 




Initial response has been positive. So blessed to have had such amazing partners:

"Congrats on making a difficult decision — rooting for you every step of the way and this seems like 100% the right move. Happy to have been along for the journey!"  -Founder CEO of YC startup, Thiel fellow, Forbes 30 under 30, raised $16M+

"I trust that all of your investors feel similarly, but for my part, you have ventured earnestly, with dedication and integrity. As an investor, I can ask for nothing more. Failure is part of the thing. As much a mark of honor as anything else. Good luck on your future adventures."  -Founder CEO of early internet company, raised $150M+, IPO exit, Santa Fe & Aspen Institutes, Harvard, etc.


Update: here's the full PDF of Senseg monthly investor updates
(from What's it about? - 12/30/23)

About Andy Trattner