Path To Close Social Network

Onetime tech darling Path has decided to shutter its mobile social network over the next month.

“It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service,” the fated company said Monday.

Founded in 2010 by ex-Facebook exec Dave Morin and Napster cofounder Shawn Fanning, Path launched to great fanfare and investor interest.

Well before Path had a chance to scale, Google tried to grab the startup for a reported $100 million.

Instead, Path tried to go head-to-head with Facebook and other social players by raising tens of millions of dollars from top investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Greylock Partners and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff.

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At its peak, Path was raising capital at a $500 million valuation.

Setting itself apart from Facebook, Path was originally designed with mobile platforms in mind. It stressed intimacy by limiting the size of users’ friend networks to 50. 

“Think of it as a place for the memories along your path through life,” Morin explained back in 2010. “No following, no friending, just sharing with the people who matter most.”

Despite the initial hype, however, Path never built much of a community in the United States. In 2013, the company claimed, per Gawker, about 20 million users. Yet, even those modest estimates might have been massaged. 

While Facebook’s network grew and grew, Path’s small team was made even smaller by cutbacks

Path gained more traction overseas, which recently attracted acquisition interest from South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk, and other foreign suitors.
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