It’s a good thing Lady Gaga didn’t quit her day job.
The celeb’s startup for building online communities, Backplane, has burned through $18.9 million in funding in five years and is now out of business, TechCrunch reports.
Backplane was Gaga’s vision for an online social network, a place where her so-called “little monsters” (that is, Gaga fans) could come and connect.
The startup fetched an original $40 million valuation back in 2011, Vanity Fair reports.
But the Fame Monster’s bubble has since burst.
Backplane launched a single product, LittleMonsters.com, which was born out of Lady Gaga’s fan website. The monsters site was billed as a high-end social media and photo sharing network:
Lady Gaga poured $1 million of her own cash into the launch, with Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Google’s Eric Schmidt also funding the endeavor.
But since the LittleMonsters.com launch, the company’s seen little success. Now backplane has defaulted on its loans, forcing the company to go belly up, TechCrunch says. A group of investors has bought the company’s assets, everything from the patents to the office space, and is planning to restart the business, TechCrunch adds.
Gaga’s fumble comes just as many venture capitalists are tightening their own purse strings, slowing the era of billion-dollar tech startup valuations.
But Lady Gaga’s days in Silicon Valley aren’t over yet. The star recently partnered with Intel and Vox Media via her Born This Way Foundation for the new “Hack Harassment” project that will work to quell cyberbullying and sexual harassment on the Internet.