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Australian shopping app Booodl goes bankrupt

BOOODL

Australian retail app Booodl has said goodbye officially in December, announcing it has started liquidating its assets to pay off creditors just before Christmas.

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Backed by media mogul James Packer and Westfield mall owner Scentre Group, Booodl first withdrew from the market last year, with the app – which connects shoppers to retailers in their immediate vicinity – filing as insolvent with the Australian corporate regulator.

The company reported having AU$80,606 worth of assets and owed creditors $70,456, according to the recent filing.

With creditors to be paid in full, company shareholders will not receive a return, said founder George Freney.

“There is always a huge risk associated with technology ventures, and the unfortunate reality is that many fail,” Freney told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Founded by Freney in 2014, the $8 million start-up was conceived as a social media platform to play against photo pinning app, Pinterest, where users would curate personal profiles portraying their favourite things.

Then, in 2015, Booodl evolved into a mobile shopping app, sourcing and directing shoppers to shops that they sought via the platform. In the same year, Scentre Group became a major shareholder, investing $2.85 million in Booodl to fund the research and development required to build its web and mobile platform. In particular, it funded the technology used to help consumers locate physical retail stores and in-turn see retail businesses be more easily discovered by shoppers.

By August 2017, retail heavyweight Scentre group was using the app and website for its Westfield mall chains across Australia and New Zealand, effectively rolling out the app to 35 malls.

“This latest milestone is validation of the role Booodl’s technology plays in the retail ecosystem. The platform now boasts $86.7 billion of shopping centre assets and is utilised by more than 150 Australian shopping centres to increase in-store visits,” Freney said, at the time of the Scentre Group news.

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Prior to this, Booodl had inked deals with shopping centre owners SCA Property Group, ISPT Super Property and QIC.

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