VC-Backed Bust: N2N Commerce

N2N Commerce is shutting down, less than one year after raising $30 million in first-round funding. That’s what you do after losing your only customer. And you do it even faster if that only customer is one of your primary investors.  

Cambridge, Mass.-based N2N was trying to make on-demand commerce management software for retailers, which would cut accross multiple channels (in-store, ecommerce & call center). It raised $30 million last January from General Catalyst Partners and Limited Brands, and signed a deal to deploy its platform with Victoria’s Secret’s ecommerce and catalog operations. Perfect test case, and it didn’t hurt that N2N CEO Ruben Pinchanski previously was an executive VP with Limited.

Unfortunately, however, N2N failed the test. Its solution was so underwhelming that Victoria’s Secret pulled the plug on the partnership, which branded N2N as a company that simultaneouslty lost the confidence of its client and investor. At least everyone’s cutting bait quickly, rather than holding out hope for another bite…